The midterm elections this year have been accurately described as among the most important in generations. President Biden is among those who have noted that “an overwhelming majority of Americans believe our democracy is at risk … that democracy is on the ballot.”
The Republican Party, however, is adamant that elections are riddled with fraud, despite having no evidence whatsoever to support that claim. They are simply determined to deny the legitimacy of any election that they lose. And they will concoct whatever crackpot conspiracy they need to in order to peddle their lies to their cult followers. That strategy is one that emanates from the top, as Donald Trump remains the chief promulgator of the “Big Lie.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, host Dana Bash interviewed the Chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel. During the segment Bash played a video clip of Wisconsin’s GOP Sen. Ron Johnson being asked if he would accept the election results if he loses. Johnson refused to state flatly that he would do so, instead implying – without any basis whatsoever – that Democrats were planning to engage in some sort of fraudulent activity. Which led to the following exchange between Bash and McDaniel (video below)…
Bash: Simple yes or no. Should Republican candidates, Ron Johnson – all of them – accept election results?
McDaniel: Well, I would say the same to Stacy Abrams, right? Or Hillary Clinton who’s already saying in 2024 we’re gonna rig the elections. That’s not helpful. Listen, you should have a recount, you should have a canvas, and then go to the courts, and then everybody should accept the results. That’s what it should be.”
WHUT? Stacy Abrams and Hillary Clinton both accepted the results of their respective election losses. They may have also spoken about incidents that had documented impacts on the results, such as gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics, but they never sought to decertify the elections or engaged in unlawful – and even violent – measures to overturn them, as Republicans have done. And anything Clinton said about “rigging” the 2024 election was nothing more than quoting what Republicans have promised to do themselves.
What’s more, McDaniel’s suggestion that “everybody should accept the results” after a recount, a canvas, and court judgments, is wholly dishonest. All of those things took place after the 2020 election many times. And in every case the results were affirmed as fair and accurate. Even Trump’s own administration officials praised the election as “the most secure in American history.”
However, none of that has stopped Trump and his GOP confederates, including Fox News, from persisting with their election denialism. McDaniel went on to say that…
“I’m also not gonna say that if there’s problems, that we shouldn’t be able to address that. If there’s real problems everyone should be able to address that. […] I’ll give you an example. In Virginia they wouldn’t let people vote if you weren’t wearing a mask. That’s not the state statute. So there were people actually being denied voting because they didn’t have a mask on.”
Of course anyone should be able to address a real problem. Unfortunately for McDaniel and the GOP, they haven’t been able to locate a single “real” problem yet, after two years and more than sixty court cases.
The example McDaniel gives in her reply is actually an example of the GOP’s dishonesty. There was never a prohibition of people from voting in Virginia for not wearing a mask, and not a single person was denied a vote. Masks were encouraged, but not mandatory Remember, the coronavirus pandemic was killing thousands of people a day in November of 2020. As reported at the time by the Virginia Mercury…
“Virginia voters who show up on Election Day without a mask or visibly sick will be asked to put a mask on or cast their ballot outside the polling place, but they won’t be denied access if they refuse, according to state election officials.”
The crusade to undermine the faith of the American people in democracy is proceeding at a rapid pace. That’s because Republicans have a fundamental aversion to the concept of government by the people. It’s what drives their campaigns to suppress voting, to grant corporations the rights of persons, and to refuse to accept any outcome that isn’t in their favor.
All of that is what makes this election so critical to the future of democracy in America. So it is imperative that we all vote and persuade as many other democracy-loving patriots to vote as well. This isn’t a drill.
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