While it appears that the coup attempt by Donald Trump and the Republican Party to subvert the 2020 outcome has little chance of success, it appears to be working for them in one way: firing the grassroots.
In Reuters interviews in recent days with 50 Trump voters in Texas, they all said they believed the election was rigged or in some way illegitimate. Of those, 20 said they would consider accepting Biden as their president, but only in light of the proof that the election was conducted fairly. Most of the conspiracy theories debunked repeated by Trump, Republican officials, and the conservative media claiming millions of votes were dishonestly shifted to Biden in key states by biased poll workers and hacked voting machines.
Many voters interviewed by Reuters said they formed their opinions by looking at emerging right-wing outlets like Newsmax and One American News Network that have amplified Trump’s claims of fraud. Some have boycotted Fox News out of anger that the network called Biden the winner of the election and because some of its news anchors, in contrast to the stars of its opinion shows, have been skeptical of Trump’s fraud accusations. .
The widespread rejection of the election result among Republicans reflects a dangerous new dynamic in American politics: the normalization of false and increasingly extreme conspiracy theories among tens of millions of mainstream voters, according to government scholars. analysts and some legislators from both sides of the country. political division. The trend has deeply troubling long-term implications for American political and civic institutions, said Paul Light, a veteran political scientist at New York University (NYU). “This is dystopian,” Light said. “America could fracture. *
Adam Kinzinger, a Republican member of the US House of Representatives, is one of the few members of the party to publicly acknowledge Biden’s victory. He called on the reluctance of his Republican colleagues to dismiss Trump’s conspiracies as a lack of political courage that threatens to undermine American democracy for years. If citizens lose faith in the integrity of the elections, that could lead to “really bad things,” including violence and social unrest, he said in an interview.
David Gergen, an adviser to four previous US presidents, two Democrats and two Republicans, said Trump is trying to “kick” the Biden administration before he takes office, noting that this is the first time that a US president Acting has tried to overthrow an electoral result.
It may not be the last time. Many Republicans see attacks on electoral integrity as a winning issue for future campaigns, including the upcoming presidential race, according to a Republican operative close to the Trump campaign. The party, the person said, is pushing for “much stricter oversight of voting procedures in 2024,” when the party’s candidate is likely to be Trump or his anointed successor.
Brett Fryar, a 50-year-old chiropractor, owns a small business in Texas. He has two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree in organic chemistry. He told Reuters: “If President Trump comes out and says, ‘Guys, I have irrefutable evidence of fraud, the courts will not listen, and now I’m asking Americans to take up arms,’ we would go.”
Nothing will convince Fryar that Biden won. And as CNN’s Jake Tapper points out, this is not the internet fringe that allows it, this is not just Trump and his supporters, this is the Republican party itself.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.