This week, I discovered that the “fact-checking” site Snopes.com had done a piece on my Open Letter to Joe Biden. As usual with these pieces, it was filled with arguable leftwing talking points presented as indisputable facts, while it misrepresented what I wrote. But on the whole, it didn’t really attack my piece too much, because frankly, I don’t think there was anything to attack in it on a factual basis, and I stand by it. Their purported reason for running it was to verify that I actually did write it, since people were posting it on social media without links to the original site in my newsletter.
Here’s a piece of their introduction, with my corrections in parentheses, to show you how “objective” these so-called “fact-checkers” are:
“In the aftermath of the Nov. 3, 2020 U.S. election and Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s projected victory (only by the media, which has no authority to declare a winner), defeated incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump (the election has not been settled so calling Trump a “defeated incumbent” is inaccurate), along with some of his allies and his supporters, promoted unfounded and often easily-debunked allegations and conspiracy theories about electoral fraud playing a telling role in the outcome of the election (while some stories have proved incorrect, there are many such claims which have yet to be “debunked” or proven as “conspiracy theories,” and the jury is still out on whether there was sufficient fraud to have affected the election outcome), which they disputed more than a week after Biden was declared the winner (Biden has not been declared the winner, the stories began appearing as soon as the next day after the election, and Trump declared that he had actually won – also a disputed claim – on Thursday after the election, which is two days, not more than a week.)
Would you like me to drop by Snopes HQ and explain to your “fact-checkers” what a fact is?
Snopes also claimed that my letter included several “dubious,” later debunked claims of suspicious vote activity that I haven't changed. I made it clear there and in subsequent writings that I only report that these claims are being made, I don’t endorse their veracity. I’m not a leftist, so I’m not going to go back and rewrite old news stories. Besides, those claims have already been supplanted by countless others. But whether they eventually prove true or not, the salient “fact” to my article was that they did exist and need to be addressed because they affect the public's attitude toward their government.
The point of the letter was obviously not to endorse every claim of vote chicanery but to appeal to Biden (and by extension, his fellow Democrats) to join in calling for a full and transparent investigation to assure Americans that the vote was honest. Did they not just put us through a two-year, $40 million investigation of their claims of Russian collusion with the 2016 Trump campaign in the last election? And now we know for sure: there wasn’t any. I warned Biden in good faith that even if he prevailed, he would suffer the taint of suspicion by millions of Americans, just as Trump did, if the Democrats refuse to cooperate and keep putting up stonewalls and telling suspicious voters that they’re crazy and to shut up. That’s not good for him, and it’s not good for America as a whole.
There are certain things you learn from a decades-long career in politics that maybe a twentysomething Internet “fact-checker” doesn’t know. One is that once a politician loses the public trust, it’s very hard to win it back. Unlike Google, political leaders don’t have a monopoly. They can’t violate the public trust and sail blithely on, assuming there’s nobody else people can turn to.
And even if you have Google, most of the news media and all of social media on your side to censor any criticism or suspicion of you, you still can’t stop people from thinking it. Not even the most repressive communist regimes, where the government and military terrified people into voicing fake love for Dear Leader, could manage that.
Conservative humorist P.J. O’Rourke used to visit countries behind the Iron Curtain, and he wrote that the first thing oppressed people did when they discovered he was an American was to take him aside privately and tell him the latest jokes about what a corrupt, incompetent bunch of clowns their government masters were. If that’s what you want, then keep telling people they’re not allowed to question their leaders or voice their suspicions of wrongdoing by them
I’ll leave you with one more quote from Snopes that’s actually accurate:
“The main point of the letter appeared to be to ask Biden to ‘put partisanship and political ambition aside and join President Trump in demanding an impartial investigation into the very disturbing allegations of voter irregularities and fraud in Tuesday’s election.’”
Well, they got me there! I actually did call on a politician to put partisanship aside and work across the aisle to reassure voters that the election was honest. The HORROR!!!