The Basic Reason Why I Don’t Buy Trump’s Voter Fraud Narrative

Rudy Giuliani spreads Trump’s propaganda, like a good lackey

Many people have poor bullshit detectors. It’s one of the key reasons why America’s democracy appears so fragile. If people can’t tell fact from fiction, they can’t be informed enough to make wise decisions about who should represent them democratically. This is why critical thinking should be a core aspect of both primary and secondary education. Alas, it isn’t.

An important aspect of critical thinking is understanding some principles that can help to instinctively detect bullshit, even without a grasp of the finer details of a particular issue. This is crucial, because no one has the time to thoroughly inspect every claim for its truth. For example, if you know some fundamental scientific laws, then it’s easy to discern that someone is lying or confused when they tell you they believe something physically impossible occurred.

Another example is understanding some simple facts about statistics and human nature. This helps evaluate the plausibility of conspiracy theories. A simple reason why 9/11 isn’t an inside job is that it would take too many people, all cooperating to keep secrets from the world about causing an atrocity, to succeed. Someone would defect and blow the whistle.

Yet another useful concept is Occam’s Razor. This can be summarized as “the simplest explanation should be preferred”. It’s not universally applicable, but if we go back to the 9/11 conspiracy theory, it applies well to that example. We can simply compare the plausibility of 9/11 being an inside job, with all the government conspirators working together without anyone finding out, with the plausibility that 9/11 occurred without the help of government conspirators. The latter is far more plausible because it requires less “stuff” working together to occur.

Now, let’s apply some of these core critical thinking principles to the claims of voter fraud made by Trump and his supporters.

First, let’s be clear about what Trump and his supporters’ claims are. They’re alleging there’s been voter fraud on a large enough scale to have tipped the 2020 US presidential election in favour of Biden. It’s not just a bit of voter fraud here and there.

It’s important to make this distinction, because it wouldn’t be surprising to find isolated incidences of voter fraud among some people acting alone, out of the 140+ millions of voters, whether Democrat or Republican. Statistically, that’s likely. But a large-scale, orchestrated conspiracy of voter fraud capable of flipping or adding tens of thousands of votes in favour of Biden? No way. Much like the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was an inside job, it would’ve required too many people conspiring together to succeed.

Part of Trump’s supporters’ belief about voter fraud comes from the hysteria about Trump from those who oppose him (what they call “Trump Derangement Syndrome” or TDS for short). Trump’s supporters believe his opponents are so crazy and so desperate that they’d resort to nearly anything to defeat him.

There’s no question many people passionately oppose Trump. However, there’s always a limit to how far political opponents will go, even in the hyper-polarized (but still democratic) USA. For example, it’s not remotely probable that either party would use assassination as a political tool. Likewise, the Democrats wouldn’t cross the line of trying to steal an election through voter fraud. Even if they wanted to, they’d see it was strategically unsound to try. They’d get caught too easily.

What Trump’s supporters fail to analyze is Trump’s own actions in constructing the voter fraud narrative they believe in so strongly. Trump claimed there was voter fraud in 2016, even after he won! He just didn’t like that Hillary had beaten him in the popular vote. He’s clearly a narcissist and has no problem lying; those are indisputable facts. It’s unsurprising he’d construct a narrative designed to protect his ego (note: narcissists have high but fragile self-esteem, hence why they act so strongly to protect it).

As early as April 2020 Trump began claiming there would be voter fraud in the November election. His claims were baseless, as experts said. He kept repeating it right up to election day and more. Throughout Trump’s presidency the conservative media has been all too happy to amplify his narratives, whether true or not, because they know it’s red meat to his supporters. They care more about eyeballs and clicks than telling the truth. The voter fraud “story” is just another one of these false, but engaging, narratives.

Now let’s apply Occam’s Razor and ask what’s more likely:

(1) That the Democrats and DNC have such severe TDS that they created a vast conspiracy to win the election by voter fraud, and risk massive political and criminal consequences if caught; or

(2) That Trump, a known narcissist and liar, constructed a false narrative and repeated it often enough that media and supporters devoted to him believed it and spread it?

Needless to say, my bet is with (2).

Finally, it’s important to point out that Trump’s done this sort of thing before, enabled by media sympathetic to him. Sadly, he’s doing it again.



Canadian criminal lawyer who blogs about US politics or politics in general… or anything else that comes to mind.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Georges Prat

Canadian criminal lawyer who blogs about US politics or politics in general… or anything else that comes to mind.