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The goofy origins of Trump’s ‘too big to rig’ mantra

The
reason
casinos
make
money

or,
at
least,

most
casinos


is
that
the
odds
are
stacked
in
their
favor.
The
extent
of
this
advantage
varies
by
game;
it’s
generally
smallest
in
craps.
But
over
time,
the
house
comes
out
on
top
because
probability
says
it
will.

This
is
what
it
looks
like
when
something
is
rigged:
The
chances
of
one
thing
happening
are
constructed
to
be
higher
than
the
chances
of
something
else
happening.
A
loaded
die
won’t
always
land
the
way
you
want
it
to,
but
it
does
more
often
than
it
should.
It’s
rigged.

Were
American
elections
rigged
in
the
way
Donald
Trump
suggests
they
are,
the
only
way
to
overcome
that
bias
would
be
to
dismantle
it.
Sure,
you
can
beat
the
house
for
a
while,
maybe
long
enough
to
make
a
profit
and
hustle
out
the
door.
But
you
don’t
beat
the
house
by
betting
more
and
harder.
If
you
want
to
unrig
a
blackjack
game,
you
have
to
change
the
way
the
game
is
run.

End
of
carousel

At

recent
rallies
,
Trump
has
taken
to
demanding
that
his
supporters
overcome
the
rigging
that
he
says
prompted
his
loss
in
2020
(it
did
not
)
by
voting
more
heavily.
This
is
summarized
tidily
as
“too
big
to
rig”

to
overcome
the
house’s
advantage
against
Trump,
you
just
have
to
pour
more
votes
into
the
system.
Got
to
bet
harder.

For
the
most
part,
it’s
just
a
way
for
Trump
to
accomplish
two
things
at
once.
He
wants
to
reinforce
the
idea
that
the
2020
election
was
somehow
ripped
away
from
him
(it
wasn’t
)
and
that
his
supporters
need
to
turn
out
in
November.

But
he
also
suggests
there
is
a
way
to
overcome
the
rigging
by
voting
more.

“We
want
a
landslide
that
is
too
big
to
rig,”
he
said
at
a
rally
in
Virginia
this
month.
“That’s
what
we
need
because
they’re
going
to
be
cheating,
and
they’re
cheaters,
and
we’re
going
to
be
watching
them,
and
we’re
going
to
prosecute.”

He
didn’t
articulate
how
this
would
work.
Nor
did
he
do
so
when
he
said
at
a

rally
in
North
Carolina

that
“we
have
to
win
so
that
it’s
too
big
to
rig.”
How?

We
can
trace
this
idea
that
voting
breaks
a
rigged
system
back
to
the
infamous
November
2020
news
conference
at
the
Republican
National
Committee
headquarters
in
D.C.
This
was

the
event

in
which
attorney
Sidney
Powell
and
Rudy
Giuliani

she
in
leopard
print,
he
with
impromptu
hair-dye
sideburns

outlined
a
sweeping
theory
of
malfeasance
in
the
presidential
contest.
The
elements
of
the
argument
that
hadn’t
already
been
debunked
soon
would
be,
and
the
event
would
primarily
end
up
serving
mostly
to
trigger
cringes
from
even
fervent
Trump
allies.
But
it
was
here
that
the
idea
of
tricking
the
rigged
system
emerged.

After
all,
Giuliani
and
Powell
were
offering
contradictory
theories
on
how
the
election
was
stolen.
Giuliani
was
claiming,
falsely,
that
illegal
ballots
were
cast,
often
by
mail.
Powell
was
claiming,
falsely,
that
voting
machines
shifted
votes
to
favor
Democrat
Joe
Biden.
But,
you’ll
notice,
if
you
have
the
latter,
you
don’t
need
the
former.
Why
have
illegal
real
ballots
when
you
can
gin
up
illegal
imaginary
ones.

Because,
Powell
explained,
the
computers
fizzled.

“We
only
discovered
[the
voting
machine
vote-flipping]
this
year
because
of
the
overwhelming
number
of
votes
for
President
Trump
in
the
swing
states,”
she
claimed,
“that
caused
the
machines
to
have
to
shut
down
for
them
to
backfill
for
adding
votes.”

The
computers
overheated
or
something!
You
might
think
of
computers
as
digital
machines
that
are
capable
of
calculating
numbers
well
into
the
millions,
but,
in
reality,
computers
are
like
large
barrels
that
can
handle
only
so
many
pickles
before
bursting
their
hoops.

She
explained
it
a
bit
differently
later.

“It
can
set
and
run
an
algorithm
that
probably
ran
all
over
the
country
to
take
a
certain
percentage
of
votes
from
President
Trump
and
flip
them
to
President
Biden,”
she
said,
“which
we
might
never
have
uncovered
had
the
votes
for
President
Trump
not
been
so
overwhelming
in
so
many
of
these
states
that
it
broke
the
algorithm
that
had
been
plugged
into
the
system
and
that’s
what
caused
them
to
have
to
shut
down
in
the
states
they
shut
down
in.”

The
algorithm
was
set
to

Biden
equals
Trump
plus
one
vote
,
but
then
there
were
so
many
Trump
votes
that
the
algorithm
was
like,

wait,
what’s
9
million
plus
one
vote?!?
ERROR
ERROR,

and
the
fraudsters
had
to
scramble
to
figure
out
an
alternative
plan.
The
election,
in
those
places
at
that
moment,
had
become
too
big
to
rig.

It’s
all
silly,
of
course,
but
it
is
also
accepted
by
Trump’s
supporters
as
real.
Before
the
2022
election,
there
was
a
push
for
Republicans
to

show
up
late
on
Election
Day

and
cast
ballots
only
at
the
last
minute,
again
to
confound
the
vote-riggers.
If
you
brought
only
100
fake
Democratic
ballots
and
then,
right
at
8
p.m.,
200
Republican
voters
show
up?

Checkmate
!
Never
mind
that
Trump’s
theory
of
2020
was
that
thousands
of
votes
were
illegally
injected
in
the
middle
of
the
night
(they
weren’t
).
None
of
this
operates
in
the
realm
of
consistency
or
logic.

One
might
generously
argue
that
“too
big
to
rig”
just
means
that
Trump
needs
enough
support
to
overcome
the
purported
influence
of
the
media,
social
media
companies
and
other
actors
accused
of
unfairly
aiding
Biden
four
years
ago.
That
makes
more
sense,
certainly,
but
also
isn’t
“rigging.”
If
you
accept
that
this
played
a
significant
role
(which
you

probably
shouldn’t
),
this
is,
at
best,
“influencing.”

Trump
lost
in
2020
because
he
got

too
few

[votes]

to
renew

[his
presidency].
It’s
not
as
catchy,
but
arguing
more
directly
that
he
needs
people
to
come
out
and
vote
makes
a
lot
more
sense
than
whatever
Sidney
Powell
was
talking
about.

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