Donald Trump Alleging Poll Fraud in US Elections is Reminding Everyone of 'Citizen Kane'
It has been a few days since polling closed in the United States, and the votes are still being counted, much to current President Donald Trump's dismay. Since November 3, Trump has been urging states to stop counting votes and even promised to move the Supreme Court, saying that votes should not be counted after Election Day.
Trump is alleging "voter fraud," even though he has no substantial claim to prove it. Not even his own party members are willing to back his claim.
Trump again claimed without evidence that Democrats were trying to "steal" the US election with illegal votes, saying he would "easily win" the race against Joe Biden without the alleged interference. Joe Biden has racked up at least 253 of the 270 electoral votes that he needs, according to US network projections -- and 264 if Arizona is included. Trump, on the contrary, has amassed only 213 electoral votes.
On Thursday, Trump seemingly had a mini-meltdown on Twitter, wrote in all caps, "STOP THE COUNT."
STOP THE COUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2020
Trump's meltdown and his reaction to the results has reminded Twitter of Orson Welles' masterpiece, Citizen Kane, which is oft considered to be one of the most iconic movies ever. Not just because of its cinematography and its gripping storyline, Citizen Kane's portrayal of politics and power has become strangely relevant given the current political scenario.
For the unaware, here's some context. The movie, which released in 1941, is about Charles Foster Kane, an industrialist and newspaper publisher. One day, Kane decides that he wants to run for the Governor's office in New York. His campaign takes off smoothly, but is ruined when his extramarital affair with a local singer is discovered. Owing to the scandal, Kane loses the election.
In an extremely poignant scene, which is still considered to be one of the most stinging commentaries on yellow journalism, Kane had two versions of his newspaper printed ahead of the election results. One paper said "Kane elected", in the event that he should emerge victorious. In case he did not, he had a backup newspaper front page ready which would claim "Fraud at the Polls", suggesting that he had been a victim of poll fraud -- which was untrue.
Ironically, a few years ago, Trump said that his favourite movie is Citizen Kane and that he "absolutely loved the director."
CITIZEN KANE continues to age well. pic.twitter.com/LJWuXhQIO4— Twas the Bibbs Before Christmas (@WilliamBibbiani) November 5, 2020
This front page is how newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane responded to his own political defeat in “Citizen Kane” (1941): pic.twitter.com/C2l7Qa5y4p— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) November 4, 2020
Forgot about this: Kane runs for governor on a promise of jailing his opponent, gets caught in a sex scandal, and this is the headline his newspaper runs when he loses. That's my main problem with Citizen Kane, it's just not realistic. pic.twitter.com/MBFA1mwe3Y— Ben Schwartz (@benschwartz_) November 1, 2020
Citizen Kane was on to this last century.Headline for either case- pic.twitter.com/xNmO18lDOd— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) November 5, 2020
There's that moment in Citizen Kane when Kane has two front pages made up: one reporting his victory, one that says, "Fraud at polls". It's as if Trump has published both simultaneously, when neither is true. pic.twitter.com/9JAK5du8An— Matthew Sweet (@DrMatthewSweet) November 4, 2020
In the movie “Citizen Kane,” a tycoon runs for political office. In advance of the election result, his newspaper prepares two headlines after the election. One headline says: “Kane Elected” and the other says: “Fraud At Polls.”This feels spookily prophetic today. #USElection pic.twitter.com/UoL2TWgETM— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 4, 2020
ReReRe-seeing CITIZEN KANE, and the grim sight gag of the disgraced candidate’s only Page One headline option—“Fraud at Polls!”—may explain why Trump says it’s his favorite movie.— Michael Phillips (@phillipstribune) November 1, 2020
Over and over again Trump has claimed, without evidence, that he was a victim of mass fraud. Trump prematurely declared victory Wednesday and threatened to seek Supreme Court intervention to stop vote-counting but it has continued nonetheless.
Since then, his team fanned out across the battleground states challenging the results in court and staging a series of press conferences where supporters lodged allegations of irregularities.
The campaign has announced lawsuits in Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania and Michigan -- where it has already been dismissed -- as well as demanding a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden won by just 20,000 votes.