Every mainstream media outlet is howling from the rooftops this week because they believe they’ve suddenly proved that Ronald Reagan stole the 1980 election from Jimmy Carter. A no-name aide to former Texas Governor John Connally (D) now claims that his boss traveled to the Middle East in 1980, and convinced Iran to keep holding 50 American hostages until after the election to damage Carter.
There’s one tiny problem with this conspiracy theory. It was Ronald Reagan’s version of Donald Trump’s Russia collusion hoax. It never happened. Democrats in Congress were still investigating this conspiracy theory years after Reagan left office. They were still investigating the Iran hostages thing after Bill Clinton became president. No credible evidence ever existed. But it’s all over the headlines again this week, as part of a coordinated effort to smear a former Republican president.
What’s really going on?
The same thing that always happens in presidential politics in America. When a Republican wins fair and square, the Democrats cling to wild fairy tales and conspiracy theories about how the election was stolen. Whenever a Democrat wins the presidency under shady circumstances, they claim the election was clean as a whistle. Safest and most secure ever!
With George W. Bush, Democrats believe to this day that the Supreme Court stole Florida to give him the win over Al Gore. Media outlets recounted the ballots for six years after that election, and never managed to come up with a win for Gore. About 70% of Democrats still believe Russia stole the 2016 election, despite zero evidence.
With George HW Bush, they claimed that the Willie Brown ads were a dirty trick to help him defeat Michael Dukakis. They think Willie Brown didn’t really kill that couple in Virginia when Dukakis let him out of prison.
And they think that Ronald Reagan snuck emissaries over to Iran to keep Americans held hostage for 400 days, all so he could steal the election. Because how else could anyone have wanted to vote against Jimmy Carter?