Now that Americans are beginning to shake off their shellshock from the stunning results of the 2016 election and are beginning to try to figure out what really happened, it’s becoming increasingly clear that something is off. The voting totals in key swing states appear to be wildly off kilter in terms of overall turnout, demographic breakdown, odd consistencies in numbers that should have been more random, and other oddities that make the election looked rather amateurishly rigged in Donald Trump’s favor. But perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, someone obsessively tried to warn us that the election was “rigged.” That someone was Donald Trump.
Right around the middle of October, Donald Trump began trying to warn us about a “rigged election” in a manner which had him so upset that he apparently couldn’t sleep. In the middle of the night on October 15th, he declared that “This election is being rigged by the media pushing false and unsubstantiated charges, and outright lies, in order to elect Crooked Hillary!” An hour later he tweeted again: “Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election.”
What was Trump’s basis for having suddenly and obsessively decided that the election was rigged? Well, nothing. None of the bizarre charges he was making about Hillary Clinton rigging the election were based on any evidence or had any correlation to anything which had transpired. Nonetheless, Trump once again couldn’t sleep the next night, tweeting three more times in the middle of the night that the election was “rigged.” He also kept repeating the charge at his rallies, always without any context – and no one ever could figure out what he was talking about. But perhaps we should have listened more closely.
During the course of the election, Donald Trump unwittingly but consistently revealed himself to be afflicted with a very real psychological condition called projection, in which an individual preemptively accuses others of doing whatever he himself is guilty of doing. When pundits and comedians began asking if his constant sniffing during debates was due to a cocaine habit, Trump fought back by randomly accusing Hillary of being on drugs. When she referred to him as a “puppet” of Vladimir Putin, he fired back with “No you’re the puppet.”
So where does that leave us? Donald Trump spent the entire election revealing himself to be suffering from psychological projection, and he spent mid-October obsessively talking about a “rigged election.” One is logically left to conclude that, incredible as it sounds, somewhere around mid-October he learned that the election was going to be rigged in his favor. Rather than merely keeping quiet, he fell into his own trap of projection and began randomly accusing everyone from the media to Hillary Clinton to Saturday Night Live of rigging the election instead. Rather than writing him off as simply paranoid, perhaps we should have interpreted Trump’s “rigged” cries as an admission of guilt. Here’s a detailed look into the numerous ways in which the voting totals ending up being essentially impossible.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report