Here are the real takeaways from The Twitter Files
Hand it to ex-President Donald Trump to present exactly the wrong takeaway to The Twitter Files: “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” he posted Friday night.
No, it doesn’t. In fact, the Constitution was written with full awareness of humanity’s imperfections, including election cheating (which is as old as democracy itself). The Electoral College count is the final word, no matter how messy the process that leads to it.
The nation couldn’t function if elections didn’t truly end, and the Founding Fathers were practical idealists. Heck, they gathered to write the Constitution (for ratification by the 13 sovereign states) precisely because the nation’s then-government, under the Articles of Confederation, wasn’t working. All the nation’s later political woes, even the Civil War, would sadden but not surprise them.
That is, in a (completely imaginary) world where Trump somehow today finally produced actual proof of all his wild 2020 ballot-box-stuffing claims, Joe Biden would still be our legitimate president (though it’d certainly bring a vast political firestorm).
Not to mention the simple fact that neither Twitter nor the rest of the mainstream media (social and old-school) did anything illegal in suppressing our Hunter Biden laptop reporting: They simply failed their own expressed principles (not remotely for the first or last time). Americans’ rights to a free press, and free speech, allow for all manner of mis- and even dis-information.
Similarly, the 51 top former intelligence officials whose (transparently disingenuous) letter suggesting the laptop was “Russian disinformation” stand revealed as partisan political hacks, not (for this, anyway) as criminals.
It’s entirely possible that the active-duty FBI agents who prepared the ground for the suppression were engaged in criminal activity, abusing the powers of their office — but that still wouldn’t make Trump the 2020 winner.
Knowledge today of other 2020 dirty tricks, like the Zuckerberg family’s abusive “charitable giving” to boost turnout overwhelmingly in heavily Democratic areas, doesn’t change the result, either — even if could be shown to have cost Trump the election.
It can’t be, by the way, any more than we can know if honest coverage by other media of the laptop revelations would’ve turned the election. The inherent limits of what we can know about such things are among the many reasons the Founders made the Electoral College count, as ratified by Congress, the final word. (They made provisions, incidentally, for what to do if the College didn’t produce a winner: See the elections of 1800 and 1824).
Trump’s welcome to take the news as reason to feel even more aggrieved. For everyone else, the real takeaways here include the need for:
- 1) Proper investigations of what the laptop tells us — e.g., did Joe “Big Guy” Biden do anything in exchange for the millions showered on Hunter & Co. (besides give face time to a host of unsavory characters)? Did he later take any actions for fear of blackmail?
- 2) A thorough look at government insiders’ efforts to (mis)direct media coverage.
- 3) Lowered trust in the mainstream media generally (already well under way).
- 4) Thundering condemnation of Twitter’s then-management’s failure to live up to its professed mission “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers,” Facebook’s fails on “Better connecting you with the pages and groups you care about,” The New York Times’ lapses on “All the news that’s fit to print,” The Washington Post’s hypocrisy on “Democracy dies in darkness” and so on.
As for us: We’re confident Alexander Hamilton would be OK with our political reporting, and would be an avid reader of Page Six. And he’d outright laugh at all the whining now about how our reporting helped boost New York Republicans in the last election.
P.S.: We’re also still outraged at the suppression of our early commentary on the possibility that COVID started at that Wuhan lab. But we’re not demanding any do-overs — we just want the rest of the press to do better next time.