(Image: AP/Ted S Warren)

A combination of Donald Trump’s cult of personality and his use of conspiracy theories in place of policy meant a proliferation of alternative explanations for him losing the US presidency would be inevitable.

Here’s some of the most common, the most out there, and the most surprising.

Vote tampering!

This is by far the most common one, unsurprisingly given Trump and co insisted before the elections that mail-in ballots would be subject to masses of fraud and then continued to do so — without evidence — as the ballots were counted.

One does not have to travel to the fringes of the internet to find this. Apart from Sky News’ sudden horror at the thought of media organisations sharing their conclusions on who has won an election, our Parliament’s own great Trump enthusiast and perpetual-weird-thing-sayer Craig Kelly is sharing a video on his Facebook page claiming vote tampering in Pennsylvania. The video has been debunked.

Further, Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn’s lawyer (herself a prolific far-right conspiracist) told Fox News on Sunday that she has evidence of “massive and co-ordinated” voter fraud. She produced none of this evidence during the interview, which amounted to a vague conspiracy salad identifying 450,000 key state votes which “miraculously” only contain a vote for Biden, and that software in the vote-counting computers were flipping votes from Trump to Biden and, of course, dead voters.

Trump campaign officials have alleged that more than 21,000 votes have been cast in the name of dead people in Pennsylvania as part of a law suit against the secretary of state. The judge says he is doubtful about the claims.

Associated Press has collected and debunked a raft of voter fraud conspiracy theories that have been spread in the past week.

John F Kennedy Jr is alive and well and observing the polls in Pittsburgh!

For over a year, QAnon has been arguing that JFK Jr is alive and in hiding in Pennsylvania. Some even thought he’d come out of hiding and then take over as Trump’s running mate in 2020. Many QAnon believers think a Pittsburgh Trump supporter/Q believer, Vincent Fusca, is JFK Jr in disguise. Fusca, just to add to the “it must all mean something” vibe, turned out to be a poll watcher in Pennsylvania.

Elsewhere, the election results have shattered the faith of many QAnoners: “It’s hard to keep the faith when your wife and daughters have left you and we didn’t get the decisive … win we deserved on election night!!” complained one on a QAnon forum on Friday. Another confessed he felt QAnoners had been “duped”.

Q itself, the anonymous poster at the heart of all this, has been silent since election day. Still, it’s not all bad — Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, two Republicans who have expressed belief or hope that Q is real, were both elected.

China!

Our very own Burn Notice — now banished to alt right Twitter alternative Gab — has kept his cool over the past few days. One story he’s referred to is the theory pushed by GNews — the website of exiled Chinese billionaire and Steve Bannon ally Guo Wengui — that the Treasury secretary was one of two cabinet members to take bribes from Xi Jinping to betray Trump.

Guo has long pushed the theory, so far baseless, of Chinese Communist Party support for Joe Biden’s campaign. Previously GNews promoted a report that falsely claimed Biden had profited from his son Hunter’s ties to China. It failed to take off when key claims about its source turned out to be fabrications.

In reality there has been little sign of foreign interference in the 2020 elections, and most attempts to interfere could be attributed to Russia or Iran rather than China.

The GOP: Kimberly Guilfoyle!

Not so much a conspiracy theory as a surprising scenario: according to Politico, senior campaign and Republican Party officials threw a great deal of blame at former Fox TV host and Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, who headed Trump’s finance team, for being an “HR nightmare”.

Some donors were horrified by what they described as Guilfoyle’s lack of professionalism: she frequently joked about her sex life and, at one fundraiser, offered a lap dance to the donor who gave the most money.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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