Adam Serwer’s latest essay explains Trumpism’s view of its larger opposition in If You Didn’t Vote for Trump, Your Vote Is Fraudulent:
To Trump’s strongest supporters, Biden’s win is a fraud because his voters should not count to begin with, and because the Democratic Party is not a legitimate political institution that should be allowed to wield power even if they did.
This is why the authoritarian remedies festering in the Trump fever swamps—martial law, the usurpation of state electors, Supreme Court fiat—are so openly contemplated. Because the true will of the people is that Trump remain president, forcing that outcome, even in the face of defeat, is a fulfillment of democracy rather than its betrayal.
The Republican base’s fundamental belief, the one that Trump used to win them over in the first place, the one that ties the election conspiracy theory to birtherism and to Trump’s sneering attack on the Squad’s citizenship, is that Democratic victories do not count, because Democratic voters are not truly American. It’s no accident that the Trump campaign’s claims have focused almost entirely on jurisdictions with high Black populations.
Serwer earlier and accurately described Trumpism’s schadenfreude in The Cruelty Is the Point (‘President Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear’).
In his latest essay, Serwer insightfully links earlier exclusionary arguments to Trumpism’s current (delusional) perseveration that it won this election. Having lost by millions, Trumpists simply insist that those millions don’t exist or shouldn’t count.
In all this, it’s worth noting that for their bold statements, the conflict with Trumpism will not end through their maneuvers but rather by an inexorable attrition of their position.
That foul movement is much for in-the-moment declaration and performance, but to no avail; it’s reason among a growing demographic majority that will doom Trumpism.
A long contest lies before us.