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“It’s unlucky to be behind at the end of the game.”

  Duffy Daugherty, Legendary Head coach at Michigan State University

Sports and elections are numeric. There are winners — and losers.

I first heard the above quote from copywriter Dick Crouser who worked on the product I managed, when we were both employed at Campbell Mithun Advertising Agency in Minneapolis. He was a bonafide sports nut writing a book of famous sports quotes and he revered Daugherty for his 1965 and 1966 national football championships.

The completely unsubstantiated insistence that somehow massive voter fraud has gone on, that the legitimate election of Joe Biden as the projected next president of the United States somehow didn’t happen, smacks not just of a failure to understand numbers; but of a poor loser. You can no more think that Trump has won this election than you can assume that the games that Coach Duffy Daugherty chalked up – both wins and loses — didn’t happen.

In fact, our own government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has put in place an entire rumor control entity designed to address rumors about the election (#Protect2020 Rumor vs. Reality). Ordinary Americans can check whether election rumors they hear or see are true by going to

A message for CISA Director Chris Krebs addresses the dangers of spreading Disinformation is below. As of late Nov. 12, Trump has fired his assistant and Krebs has told professional contacts that he expects to be dismissed as well, apparently because the president does not like the fact that CISA was so successful at protecting our election and that 2020 was the most secure election in history:

The messaging flooding social media channels frequented by conservatives regarding the outcomes of the 2020 election is pure disinformation. Some would categorize it as mal-information; intended to cause real malicious harm. The purpose is clear and it comes from the top. Current President Donald Trump isn’t in this to win the election, he’s in this to take the election by whatever means he can get away with.

The outcome is not in question: with Thursday evening’s award of Arizona to his column, President-elect Biden so far has won 290 electoral votes (270 are required to win the election) and he is already ahead in the popular vote by more than five million votes. Recounting will not change the electoral vote. The odds of any of the lawsuits filed by Trump or his fellow Republicans demanding recounts being taken seriously — or somehow changing the election outcome — are moot.

But that does not sway his cult following; those who continue to pursue an erroneous belief that there must have been, in their words “massive voter fraud”. That somehow– the vote was rigged. Or — that there are millions of uncounted ballots hiding somewhere. Or simply because they wish the end score to be different, they assume that the rest of the American people just could not possibly have voted for an empathetic, experienced reasonable man with a plan.

“Stop the Steal” screams one major social media post, where loyalists who refuse to accept the score at the end of this election hang out. The fake messages are being magnified by foreign governments, led as usual by the Russians. In the midst of this, those calling themselves “true conservatives” are migrating off Facebook, angry with them for doing — of all terrible things — fact-checking the lies, the falsehoods, the threats and bullying, and bigotry on regular social media.

Where are they going, this “refuse-to-accept anything but what they want to hear” cohort? To private Patriot Facebook pages such as Chaffee Patriots. They are migrating to MeWe pages and other places like the CaucusRoom (a homegrown Colorado site for what the local Chaffee County source says will be “true conservatives”, but doesn’t say exactly how that will be determined). They are burrowing deep into social sites like Parler and Gap, that are now crawling not just with sex and pedophile identities but now with right-wing militia groups.

This is a collective delusion. The fantasy that Trump won the election, spread organically in private groups and touted by right-leaning media that act more as marketing departments than fact-based news organizations….this nonsense comes from up high. It is the preferred response spread by Trump himself in dozens of tweets, as he hides out pouting that the election is not like a reality show — it is the real world and he lost. And most of the Republican leadership is allowing him to act worse than a toddler.

This refusal to accept the results of the election isn’t just an affront to the democracy that we share; it is a dangerous slide into authoritarianism. Those who truly ARE real patriots, can see it and are surely called by our democracy to fight it.

Note: “It’s Unlucky to Be Behind at the End of the Game and Other Great Sports Retorts” was written in 1983 by Dick Crouser.