September 24, 2021
The 2020 election was not stolen. The 2024 election may be.
We’re learning more about January 6 and what led up to it. One aspect was Trump’s mental illness. Narcissism so deranged he couldn’t psychologically accept defeat. Needing to somehow convince himself it didn’t happen. Thus the “stolen election” lie.
Trumpsters long salivated over the Arizona election “audit,” by “Cyber Ninja” clowns. Now it’s actually wound up finding more Biden votes! Will that stop the “stolen election” nonsense? Of course not. Defying reality twice over: first, no evidence, and second, blindness to all the reasons a majority did vote against Trump.
Meantime, there was an attempt to steal the election. By Trump. Details have emerged about how far this went. Vice President Pence was lauded for refusing Trump’s demand to somehow derail electoral vote counting. Actually Pence was fool enough to seriously consider it. He’s still in the lap of the man who sent a mob that nearly killed him on January 6. That was Trump’s last-ditch ploy to overthrow the election (and our democracy).
The Electoral Count Act was enacted to clarify procedures after the 1876 disputed election. But the ECA itself is clear as mud, open to the sort of January 6 shenanigans Trump promoted — with Republican support. Remember that a majority of GOP legislators, even after the mob attack, voted to overturn the election results.
Maybe it’s an excuse that they knew they’d be outvoted. Maybe. And what if they’re not in the minority next time? Will they desist from a repetition?
Republicans no longer believe in democracy (or reality). Rather than trying to convince opposing voters, Republicans make it harder for them to vote. Deeming somehow illegitimate any votes not going their way. We used to have “the divine right of kings” — anointed by God to rule. Many Republicans similarly believe they’re on a holy mission, so little obstacles, like citizens’ votes, can’t be countenanced to thwart them. So unhinged with terror of the other side, they’ll do anything — anything — to prevail. Ends justifying means.
Many Republicans (even Kevin McCarthy) initially denounced the January 6 insurrection, and even Trump’s culpability. But they quickly changed their tune in the cold sober light of morning, instead lashing themselves, like Captain Ahab, to their white whale.
Falsely crying fraud is now a key page of the Republican playbook — nihilistic bomb throwing into the heart of democracy. While they themselves gear up to steal the 2024 election. Not just by blocking Democrats from voting, but also shifting responsibility for vote counting from non-partisan to partisan hands. In 2020, Georgia’s secretary of state refused Trump’s demand to “find” 11,780 more votes. In 2024 that official won’t have that authority. Instead it will be political operatives, empowered to report whatever vote counts they see fit. Regardless of actual votes. Elsewhere, Republican-controlled state legislatures talk about certifying Trump electoral votes even if he loses. Simply falsifying election results is how many autocrat regimes hold power.
Reversing the 2020 outcome would have required flipping at least three states. Never conceivable. And still, look what tumult we went through — the nonsense lies still plaguing us — over that election result. Just an appetizer for 2024. Especially if it’s at all close. Can our democracy survive even worse election-related conflict than in 2020?