Daddy Donald eating his GOP children, in a modern day rendition of the Goya classic

The Roman God Saturn (based on the Greek myth with his Greek equivalent, the Titan Kronos) feared that his children would one day overthrow him, so he ate them.

One by one.

The Spanish painter Francisco Goya gave us a wonderful depiction of this family cannibalism in the early 1800s.

Recent political developments have placed President Donald Trump in the role of Saturn, savagely eating his GOP children, due to their reluctance to overturn the 2020 election in their states.

Recently, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger have been targets of his ire.

Gov. Ducey had a strong relationship with the president. Although the president is fond of buttering people up with flattery, this transcript from a August 5th meeting about COVID demonstrates their strong semi-bromance. In July, Mr. Ducey said “I’ve got a relationship with the president and when there’s a need in Arizona, I talk to him directly.”

Fast forward to post-election. Mr. Ducey seems to ignore a call from Mr. Trump while certifying former Vice President Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the state. The governor had set his phone to ring “Hail to the Chief” when the president calls and the song is faintly audible in the background.

Shortly afterward, the president retweeted tweets such as “Who needs Democrats when you have Republicans like Brian Kemp and Doug Ducey?” and “Gov Ducey has betrayed the people of Arizona.”

Child #1, eaten.

In regards to Georgia, The Hill complied some of the president’s recent tweets. Mr. Trump urged Mr. Kemp to ‘override’ the ‘obstinate’ Mr. Raffensberger so signatures can be matched on envelopes. In a phone interview with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo this past Sunday, the president said “I’m ashamed I endorsed him.”(Gov. Kemp)

According to Georgia law, signatures on absentee ballots are matched twice according to an AP Fact Check:

“When a voter requests an absentee ballot on a paper application, he or she must sign it. Election officials must compare that signature to the signature in voter registration files before a ballot in sent to the voter. When those ballots are returned, the required signature on the outer envelope is compared to signatures in the voter registration system.”

President Trump and Gov. Kemp want to go even further- signature matching tied directly to ballots. This is not possible according to Georgia law. Per voting system implementation system manager Gabriel Sterling, “there’s no current structure in Georgia’s election law to audit the envelope or application signatures. It’s unclear who would pay for that process and how it would be done.” Furthermore, “representatives of political parties-as well as any Georgia resident-have the right to observe the signature matching as part of the absentee ballot process. Sterling said neither party participated.”

So, Georgia’s election officials are following their own laws, which include verifying signatures twice.

Interestingly, Mr. Raffensperger contended that the president would have won Georgia if he hadn’t disparaged mail-in voting so much, since 24,000 party members who voted in the primary didn’t vote in the general election.

Child #2 eaten.

All of this nasty in-fighting is tearing the Georgia GOP apart. Over a week ago, Mr. Raffensperger wrote an Op-Ed, stating that the man he voted for threw his family ‘under the bus.’

Mr. Sterling held a press conference yesterday, visibly upset when revealing how he, Mr. Raffensperger and other employees are being harassed. So far, President Trump has not condemned any of this harassment. Mr. Sterling powerfully stated: ‘It has to stop.’ He fears that someone will get killed if the rhetoric doesn’t calm down.

Today, the president responded to the press conference in a tweet, again demanding to “show signatures and envelopes” without acknowledging the threats against them.

Child #3, eaten.

Earlier this afternoon, the president tripled down on his aggressive fraud claims, laying them out in a long speech. Admittedly, he was more calm, but much of what he said has been already disrupted, is hearsay or insufficient to overturn the election.

With control of the Senate coming down to two runoffs in Georgia, this is one hell of a time to savage your own party. Republicans are starting to fear that President Trump’s constant screaming about a rigged election will depress turnout, leading to a Democratic majority.

Yeah, family cannibalism tends to hurt the family, don’t ya think?

Much like a paranoid, cannibalistic deity, Mr. Trump is destroying everyone in his wake, afraid to be challenged and unable to accept the truth. As the great astronomer Carl Sagan popularized, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” One of the first principles you learn in argumentation, whether written or spoken. It’s not hard to understand.

Sure, there are some ‘irregularities’ and certain witnesses testifying to fraud. I support investigating them through the court system, including laws and decisions such as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s to extend the mail-in ballot deadline to three days after November 3rd.

Nevertheless, how could these allegations rise to the level of overturning an election in which he lost popular vote by almost 7 million and the battleground states by margins of 10k at the lowest and over 100k at the highest?

This isn’t the 1960 presidential election between Senator John Kennedy and VP Richard Nixon, in which the popular vote difference was .17% and 112,827 votes. Allegations of dead people voting and other irregularities in Democratic strongholds such as Mayor Richard J. Daley’s Chicago held more weight because of the lack of oversight and technology and the narrow vote margin.

The president’s election response explains why he lost. He has aggressively asserted fraud on an unprecedented scale-yet his extraordinary claim does not have extraordinary evidence. His legal team has fallen short time and time again. He seems unaware of the effects his words have on the electoral system.

Furthermore, how well does it stack for the ‘law and order’ party to conveniently order threats of violence against election officials carrying out their duties? Sounds like intimidation and disorder to me.

There are plenty of conservatives and Republicans who are disgusted by how the president was treated via the Russian collusion allegations and Special Counsel investigations, general legacy media coverage and the list goes on and on. As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, the president’s strategy of discrediting the election builds on corrosive rhetoric from both parties from the past decade.

Although 68% of Republicans believed the election was ‘rigged’, the president’s response and rhetoric is likely to disgust some of them, along with many Independents, especially as the legal ‘kraken’ never causes waves like it’s supposed to.

Since the president did get 74 million votes, a record for a sitting president, and persistently claims voter fraud, challenging him is political suicide within the party. Get ready to be eaten, chump! While the president did turn out a lot of people, think of how many more he could have turned out if he polished his message a little, saying the same thing without the judgmental wrath of a fast-food loving Mt. Olympian?

Mr. Trump has never moderated his message, believing that it carried him to the White House in 2016. Perhaps it did. But in 2016, he ran against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a woman with unfavorables close to his. His margin of victory was also incredibly narrow- 79,646 votes in three states was the difference between him taking office and not Ms. Clinton.

Is it so surprising that a candidate with higher favorability and less controversy defeated him?

No, it isn’t.

The tale of Saturn/Kronos usually ends with imprisonment. Trying to eat his children didn’t ultimately pay off.

Something tells me Mr. Trump is headed for a similar fate down the round, unless he takes the GOP out of his mouth.

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Patrick McCorkle

I am a young professional with keen interests in politics, history, foreign languages and the arts.