Jeanette Strong: How to profit from a loss

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF
“What Trump's gonna do, is just declare victory. Right? He's gonna declare victory. But that doesn't mean he's a winner. He's just gonna say he's a winner.” Steve Bannon, Donald Trump campaign advisor, Oct. 31, 2020
Months before the 2020 presidential election, then-President Donald Trump knew there was a good chance he was going to lose, so he laid the groundwork early. First, Trump declared over and over that if he lost, it meant the election was rigged.

Second, on election night, Trump would declare that he had won, even before all the votes were counted. If Trump ended up losing, as he did, he would claim “Fraud,” since he had already declared himself the winner, and he would refuse to acknowledge his loss.

Trump lost the election overwhelmingly, by 7 million popular votes and 74 electoral votes. There was no evidence of fraud, but Trump put his plan into action anyway, pushing the “Big Lie” that he had won.

As the ongoing January 6 congressional hearings have shown, Trump’s hand-picked administration officials told him repeatedly he had lost. In response, Trump searched for those few allies who would support him. They relentlessly pushed Trump’s claims, despite losing over 60 court cases.

Because of this constant propaganda, Trump’s followers were convinced the election had been stolen. As Jan. 6, 2021, approached, Trump began telling his followers to come to Washington, D.C., where the official count of the electoral votes would take place during a joint session of Congress.

Article II, Section 1, U.S. Constitution, says the votes shall be counted by the vice president. This is basically ceremonial. Despite that, Trump insisted that Vice President Mike Pence stop the count and return the votes to the states. Trump told his followers that Pence had that authority. He encouraged his followers to march to

the Capitol to “Stop the Steal,” as he called it.

On Jan. 6, by 12:30, crowds of Trump supporters were outside the Capitol building. By 12:58, the breach of the Capitol had begun. At 1:10, Trump ended his speech, telling his followers to “fight like hell.” At 1:25, Trump entered his private dining room and began watching the insurrection on television. He stayed there until after 4 p.m.

We know how the protest developed into violence and people died. Instead of calling on his followers to stop, which he could have done at any time, Trump incited them even further when he tweeted at 2:24 p.m., that Pence “didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution.”

As the horde overwhelmed the Capitol, Pence was evacuated at 2:26, just seconds ahead of the mob which was chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” The crowd grew even more dangerous. During all that, Trump watched television, doing nothing to stop the violence.

Finally, at 4:17, after three hours of inaction, Trump put out a video asking his followers to go home. He never condemned their actions or the danger in which they had put so many people. His last words as he entered the residence were “Mike Pence let me down,” seemingly indifferent to the fact he had put Pence in mortal danger.

Trump knew he had lost the election. He knew Joe Biden was going to be inaugurated on Jan. 20, but he was incapable of admitting that. He has kept the Big Lie alive and used it to fraudulently raise money.

After his election loss, Trump opened something called the “Official Election Defense Fund.” By Dec. 18, 2020, he had collected over $200 million from supporters who believed Trump would use the money to fight the election results. “Contrary to its stated purpose, the ‘Defense Fund’ is a slush fund that can pay Trump's personal expenses after he leaves office.” (The Hill, Dec. 18, 2020)

“The truth is there was no such fund and the money being raised… went to the family members and allies of Donald Trump.” (The Recount, June 15)

In other words, Trump has repeated his life’s pattern, scamming those who trusted him and using the money for himself. Small money donors sent him money to support his election fight, not realizing the money went in his pocket for his personal use.

Trump lost the election. He knows it. He doesn’t care and didn’t care about those he endangered on Jan. 6. All he cares about is how to profit from his loss and how he can continue to bilk his followers. He is an embarrassment to our country.

Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment