The Washington Post Subscription
The predictions most people make about the outcome of this election are probably right. President Trump’s refusal to concede to Joe Biden will not change reality. His lawsuits appear to be going nowhere, with one judge describing a Trump campaign legal brief as “inadmissible hearsay within hearsay.” Republican state legislators are not going to designate their own slates of electors in defiance of the duly recorded vote totals. So, once all the ranting and suing is over, Biden will almost certainly be inaugurated as president of the United States on Jan. 20.
But Trump is attacking, defaming and delegitimizing U.S. elections in a manner unprecedented in the country’s history. His obstructionism won’t keep him in power, but it will deeply wound America’s democratic culture. He is whipping his base into a frenzy about a stolen election, and few of them are going to change their minds because of court decisions and recounts. The conspiracy theory of the stolen election of 2020 is here to stay.