The Steal



June 28, 2022

The book is a tough dissection of the Trumpian “stop the steal” conspiracy and its madcap fomenters. The book is a first class account of the pitched battles mounted by Trump supporters to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The authors open with an incident when, in Atlanta, an overflowing urinal flooded a room below where ballots were being tallied; the count ceased and the ballots were placed in water-safe containers—only to be replaced, Trump supporters insisted, with ballots for Biden. The same was alleged to be true in other battleground states, including Nevada, Michigan, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, where, admittedly, a few mistakes occurred owing to confusion in procedures for mail-in ballots. Regarding these mistakes, the authors write, “In an ordinary election, they might result in an angry letter to a precinct captain. But this year, they, like the leaky urinal in Atlanta, were all going to become a big deal.” They were a big deal because Trump had bellowed for months that if he lost the election, it would be because the Democrats cheated—the same tactic he deployed in 2016 when he anticipated a defeat to Hillary Clinton. “Never in America’s history…had a losing presidential candidate argued that the whole nation had been swindled,” write the authors, relying on intrepid on-the-ground reporting. Nonetheless, millions of Americans believed that it was rigged—though fewer than one might think, while meanwhile, millions more loyal Republicans accepted the fact that Biden won. The fight will continue, write the authors, even as wise voices hopefully prevail, such as another GOP loyalist who commented, “Harm does come from witch hunts, even if you’re not a witch.” TW


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