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Editor’s note: The following op-ed is excerpted from the author’s new book, “Rigged.”
If questioning the results of a presidential election were a crime, as many have asserted in the wake of the controversial 2020 election and its aftermath, then much of the Democratic Party and media establishment should have been indicted for their behavior following the 2016 election. In fact, the last time Democrats fully accepted the legitimacy of a presidential election they lost was in 1988.
After the 2000 election, which hinged on the results of a recount in Florida, Democrats smeared President George W. Bush as “selected, not elected.” When Bush won re-election against then senator John Kerry in 2004, many on the left claimed that voting machines in Ohio had been rigged to deliver fraudulent votes to Bush.
HBO even produced and aired the Emmy-nominated “Hacking Democracy,” a documentary claiming to show that “votes can be stolen without a trace,” adding fuel to the conspiracy theory fire that the results of the 2004 election were illegitimate. But nothing holds a candle to what happened in 2016 after Donald Trump’s surprising defeat of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Rather than accept that