Two Urgent Lessons of 2020
– By Jake Novak

The bewildering and confusing presidential election results have left a lot of us wondering what we can learn from a contest where we may never know who truly won and just how much of the votes were real or not.

But through all the haze, there are two very clear messages and marching orders for patriots right now that Republicans most act on now.

Election integrity is job 1

You’ve probably heard a lot of Trump supporters talking about how the silver lining of this election is that it looks like the GOP has major momentum with its gains in the House elections. But this line of thinking is irrelevant unless the GOP and all honest Americans do something about the major attack on vote integrity that have resulted from the highly undemocratic practices of vote by mail, ballot harvesting, and absentee ballot fraud.

Vote by mail, implemented nationally despite many states putting no safeguards in place to protect the validity of those mail-in ballots, are the biggest reason why the 2020 election results will forever be disputed. COVID-19 fears were used as the biggest excuse by the Democrats to use this process, but now that they’ve seen how well VBM works for them it’s not likely the Democrats will allow states to rescind the process for any reason, COVID or no COVID. Republicans at every level of government need to introduce bills, file lawsuits, and organize marches to oppose the continuation of VBM under any circumstances.

Just as urgent are the efforts that will be needed to curb the Democrats’ use of a process called ballot harvesting. This is when Democrats go from block to block and “help” local residents fill out absentee or vote by mail ballots. Those ballots are then usually just stored away and not delivered to local boards of elections unless the races look tight enough on Election Night, making those stored ballots potential difference-makers. Ballot harvesting was a key reason why Republican Senate candidates lost some key races in 2018, and it played a key role in the early morning lead changes from Trump to Joe Biden in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Ballot harvesting must also be fought with legislation, (even Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has introduced a bill to ban it), litigation, and marches. But it may also need to be exposed better with videos posted online showing Democrat operatives in the act of manipulating voters to fill out and sign the ballots. A further step of following those operatives and documenting where those ballots are warehoused is probably also necessary.

By the way, even if there were no fraudulent votes counted thanks to vote by mail or ballot harvesting they still are practices that violate the fundamental American principle of the secret ballot. Anyone who knows their history and human nature knows that without the secret ballot, you simply don’t have a real democracy. This isn’t just about stopping Democrat fraud, it’s about preserving one of the pillars of Western society.

Fixing this problem isn’t something that can wait until the 2024 election or even the 2022 midterms. The double U.S. Senate elections in Georgia coming up this January are already being targeted by Democrats not just for more ballot harvesting, vote by mail, and absentee ballot chicanery, but there’s even a push for Democrats to temporarily move to the state to tip the elections. If the Democrats win both of those Georgia races, they will control both the Senate and House and there will be little to stop them from radical policies like packing the courts and massive tax and regulation hikes.

Now we can really ignore the polls

Many of us have been asking since 2016 how the major media and university polling outfits were still doing so much business and getting so much attention when they had been so wrong in their prognostications. It turns out we were all asking that question based on the false premise that those pollsters were being paid to predict election results correctly.  

They weren’t, and they still aren’t.

Instead, the second big lesson of 2020 is that we now know most pollsters are paid to boost certain candidates’ profiles and fundraising, make those fishy ballot harvesting efforts look less fishy, and take most “journalists” off the hook from actually covering the issues of a political campaign beyond just repeating poll numbers.

The voting public may seem very polarized about a lot of issues, but most Americans now really get the picture about the inaccuracy of almost every poll. It used to mean a candidate was a dead duck when he or she urged everyone to ignore the polls. But now that’s the kind of message that connects with more people than not.  

What does all of that really mean? The easy part of it means Republican candidates and supporters should follow their gut more and push issues and messages that we don’t need polls to tell us are popular with the public. Polls were manipulated for years to pretend the American public didn’t want border security, fair trade deals, troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, and was happy enough with higher taxes and more regulations. At the same time, polls were messed with to make it look like the American people weren’t wildy opposed to defunding the police, tearing down statues, and a host of socialist policies.

The harder part of ignoring the faulty polls is remembering that elections and campaigning are much more about making personal connections and showing up for the public than they are about statistics and social media posts.

The old fashioned fundamentals of campaigning are proving to be more important than they’ve been in decades. That includes knocking on doors, putting up posters everywhere, and making sure candidates are as physically accessible as possible. It was that kind of effort that made Douglas Tuman’s campaign so effective and brought him just 13,000 votes shy of shocking Kathleen Rice in the 4th District congressional race when the polls never gave him a remote chance to win. But remember, this wisdom goes both ways as it was just that kind of pavement-pounding campaigning that gave Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez her surprise win in the 2018 Democratic primary in Queens.

The news media and the dishonest partisan pundits will work hard to push the narrative that Biden’s “hide in the basement” election strategy is a winner while everything from President Trump’s massive rallies to Doug Tuman’s heavy canvassing didn’t make a real impact. But they did, and they are very much the path to future GOP victories and future victories for America.

All of the great new policies the new Trump-influenced Republican Party now stands for will do nothing for the GOP or the country as a whole unless we successfully secure the voting process and learn how to campaign more effectively. If Republicans can achieve those two goals, nothing the Democrats do over the next two, four, or 40 years will really stick.



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