Edward Norton’s Twitter thread explaining Trump’s refusal to concede is a must-read

Amanda Hatfield

Edward Norton in Rounder

Lots of theories have been floated about Donald Trump's refusal, in the face of facts and one failed legal challenge after another, to concede the presidential election to Joe Biden. A new one has gone viral on Twitter, and it comes from a surprising source: actor Edward Norton. Norton explains that growing up with a father who was a federal prosecutor and sitting in with serious poker players (you may remember his performance in 1998 poker-centric drama Rounders) has given him insight into Trump, who he says is trying to eke out a pardon.

"I’m no political pundit," Norton writes, "but I grew up w a dad who was a federal prosecutor & he taught me a lot & I’ve also sat a fair amount of poker w serious players & l’ll say this: I do not think Trump is trying to ‘make his base happy’ or ‘laying the groundwork for his own network’ or that ‘chaos is what he loves’. The core of it is that he knows he’s in deep, multi-dimensional legal jeopardy & this defines his every action."

"We’re seeing 1) a tactical delay of the transition to buy time for coverup & evidence suppression 2) above all, a desperate endgame which is to create enough chaos & anxiety about peaceful transfer of power, & fear of irreparable damage to the system, that he can cut a Nixon-style deal in exchange for finally conceding," Norton continues. "But he doesn’t have the cards. His bluff after ‘the flop’ has been called in court. His ‘turn card’ bluff will be an escalation & his ‘River card’ bluff could be really ugly. But they have to be called. We cannot let this mobster bully the USA into a deal to save his ass by threatening our democracy. THAT is his play. But he’s got junk in his hand. So call him."

"I will allow that he’s also a whiny, sulky, petulant, Grinchy, vindictive little 10-ply-super-soft bitch who no doubt is just throwing a wicked pout fest & trying to give a tiny-hand middle finger to the whole country for pure spite," Norton writes, "without a single thought for the dead & dying. But his contemptible, treasonous, seditious assault on the stability of our political compact isn’t about 2024, personal enrichment or anything else other than trying to use chaos & threat to the foundation of the system as leverage to trade for a safe exit. Call. His. Bluff."

"Faith in the strength of our sacred institutions & founding principles is severely stretched…but they will hold," Norton concludes. "They will. He’s leaving, gracelessly & in infamy. But if we trade for it, give him some brokered settlement, we’ll be vulnerable to his return. We can’t flinch."

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Publisher: Amanda Hatfield