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The way the Big Lie poison continues to spread and just why it’s getting worse

Donald Trump’s Big Lie concerning the 2020 presidential election that is now supported by the majority of the Republican Party continues to spread across America.This infection of your brain, heart, brain, and spirit now inflicts tens of an incredible number of Americans.

The Big Lie is animated by one absurd but intractable assumption: America isn’t a “real” democracy unless the Republicans win. All the electoral and political outcomes are fraudulent, illegal or elsewhere illegitimate. When Republicans “win,” even though through blatant illegality and fraud, democracy is “working.” Once the Republican lose, they declare that democracy is critically damaged or broken and should be “protected” in accordance with their suggestions and rules.

Much like other fascist and authoritarian movements, democracy isn’t understood being an ideal and norm to be nurtured, maintained and protected. This is a means to a finish, a convenient tool for amassing just as much power as you possibly can with as few restrictions as you possibly can. Effectively, democracy is really a pathway to the destruction of democracy from within.

The Big Lie and the assault on American democracy can be racialized. The votes of Black people along with other nonwhite groups certainly are a priori to be suspect, inferior and illegitimate when compared to votes of white people more specifically, the votes of white “Christian” conservatives along with other “real Americans.”

However Joe Biden along with other pro-democracy leaders seek to massage the problem, there is absolutely no distinction between “MAGA Republicans” and any kind. In its embrace of the Big Lie and its own general contempt for democracy, civil rights, truth and empirical reality and anyshared norms of human decency, the Republican Party has fully surrendered toracial authoritarianism.

In a recently available group of posts on Twitter, David Atkins, a writer for Washington Monthly, offered the next observations on the Republican-fascists and their vision of America:

They see social and demographic changes as itself cheating them out of these birthright, in a way that any insurrection and fascism is really a justified response. They will have no birthright, none beyond exactly the same citizenship because the rest folks, and the essential rights most of us have as humans.

Nothing has been extracted from them, because none of it ever belonged in their mind to begin with. Insofar as equity feels as though oppression in their mind too bad. Their prior advantages existed & exist not by right but by theft. The truth that they will have lost the culture is their problem.

The truth that a lot of people reside in cities is their problem. The truth that everyone under 45 hates them is their problem. The truth that the pews are emptying is their problem. The truth that not corporate America or pro sports likes them anymore? Their problem.

What “Make America Great Again” means is “give us our hegemony back and hurt all of the people we fear and see as a threat.” Too bad. Most of us exist in this big country together. With equal rights, social protections and equity. They’re owed only ordinary people.

They see their fascist insurrection as a required counterreformation to re-establish their genetic, chromosomal and God-given birthright. They will have no genetic, chromosomal or God-given birthright to rule. They do not have. The notion deserves maximum scorn.

Where are we have now with the spreading poison of the Big Lie? CNN reports that 19 of the 35 U.S. Senate seats being contested this season feature Republican nominees who “have challenged the legitimacy of the 2020 election rejecting, raising doubts about or taking steps to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.” That list “includes five incumbent senators and 11 other candidates who’ve at least an acceptable potential for winning in November”:

The success of election deniers in Republican Senate primaries round the country from the southern border to the northern border; in swing states, conservative states and liberal states; among established officeholders and first-time candidates is yet more proof the broad support among party voters for former President Donald Trump’sliethat the election was stolen.

The 19 Republican Senate nominees with this set of election deniers and doubters join at the very least11 Republican nominees for state secretary of stateand at the very least22 Republican nominees for governor.

Last month, the Washington Post reported that the winners of the year’s state-level Republican primaries “fit a pattern: Over the battleground states that decided the 2020 vote, candidates who deny the legitimacy of this election have claimed nearly two-thirds of GOP nominations for state and federal offices with authority over elections”:

Had those candidates held power in 2020, they might experienced the electoral clout to use something that the existing officeholders refused: overturning the vote and denying Biden the presidency. …

If they may have succeeded used is really a matter of vigorous debate among scholars, who cite the prospect of court challenges along with other method of upholding the outcomes.

However the experts agree using one thing: A detailed presidential contest that boils down to the results in states where officials are prepared to make an effort to thwart the favorite will could throw the united states into chaos. It could potentially delay the effect, undermine confidence in the democratic system and sow the seeds of civil strife on a scale sustained than what the country saw on Jan. 6, 2021.

The predilection among Republican primary voters toward candidates who deny the consequence of the final election extends well beyond Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona three states that together accounted for 47 electoral votes in 2020, plenty of to flip the final election to Donald Trump.

In the 41 states which have held nominating contests this season, over fifty percent the GOP winners up to now about 250 candidates in 469 contests have embraced Trump’s false claims about his defeat 2 yrs ago, in accordance with a Post analysis of each race for federal and statewide office with power over elections.

Furthermore, the proportion of “election-denying nominees” in the Post’s analysis is even higher in critical battleground states that decided the 2020 election,such as for example Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Want an everyday wrap-up of all news and commentary Salon provides? Sign up to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

In a fresh essay for the country, Chris Lehmann issues a real-time warning concerning the critical danger to American democracy this season, observing that FiveThirtyEight reports that “118 full-on election deniers” will probably win election to Congress this fall:

The website also reports that two gubernatorial candidates poised to win are election deniers, while four more are doubters; a small number of other hardcore deniers in swing states such as for example Pennsylvania and Arizona can not be eliminated of the running, either. Seven deniers are on the ballot in state attorney general and secretary of state races aswell elections thatFiveThirtyEightdoesn’t handicap. Some states such as for example traditional swing bastions Florida and Pennsylvania have their governors appoint secretaries of state, which brings the potential denier countaround 11in this cycle.

It’s safe to state that no significant swath of major candidates for office have denied the legitimacy of the American electoral system because the height of militant Confederate sentiment in the antebellum South. And it’s really not only the breadth of election-denying dogma on the proper that’s so worrisome; it is the down-ballot reach of the denialist field. This critical mass of election deniers bears testimony to the success of former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon’s “precinct by precinct” technique to consolidate grassroots power within the GOP also to lay the groundwork to sow dissent on the upshot of a Republican-averse 2024 presidential result.

Republicans and their allies are engaged in a full-spectrum assault on American democracy thatfundamentally undermines the principle of 1 person, one vote. This consists of threats of violence, voter intimidation and harassment, efforts to dominate or compromise local elections boards, legal action and legislation designed to suppress likely Democratic votes, especially among Black and brown people.

Sometimes that is entirely explicit.Doug Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Pennsylvania a Christian nationalist and fervent Trump supporter literally prayed for the finish of democracy throughout a Zoom call with other right-wing Christians only a week prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson reports:

“God I ask you that you help us roll in these dark times, that people fear not the darkness, that people will seize our Esther and Gideon moments,” [Mastriano] said, invoking a couple of Old Testament heroes who made themselves instruments of God’s vengeance. “We’re surrounded by wickedness and fear, and dithering, and inaction,” he added, “But that isn’t our problem. Our problem is following Your lead.” Looking forward to Jan 6, the person said: “I pray that we’ll seize the energy that people had directed at us by the Constitution, and the by You, providentially. I pray for the leaders also in the government, God, on the Sixth of January that they can rise with boldness.” …

As he spoke, Mastriano organized letters to Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy he said Trump personally asked him to create to the Republican leaders “outlining the fraud in Pennsylvania.” He implored that Congress “disregard” the certified election results for hawaii, “in Jesus’ name, amen.”

The prayer meeting among a number of nearly two dozen “Global Prayer for Election Integrity” calls organized between election day and Jan. 6 was organized by Jim Garlow, a prominent figure in the far-right New Apostolic Restoration movement. Garlow believes that U.S. government should operate in accordance with biblical principles, because, “He knows best how government would be to function.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer further reportsthat Mastriano “has promoted plans to suppress the vote in future elections,” including a ban on “no excuse” voting by mail and drop boxes, in addition to a intend to require all voters to re-register, likely a violation of federal law.

If elected governor, Mastriano boasted about how exactly he plans to hinder election outcomes if he doesn’t obtain the results he wants. Mastriano said he’d reach “appoint the secretary of state, who’s delegated from me the energy to help make the corrections to elections, the voting logs, and everything.” He added: “I possibly could decertify every machine in hawaii with the, you understand, with the stroke of a pen.”

NBC News recently reported on a big study of the Jan. 6 attackers by Harvard researchers, which discovered that the most frequent motivations for joining in the insurrection were “centered on former President Donald Trump and his lies concerning the election”:

The report increases evidence from a large number of court papers in the a lot more than 840 cases brought forward up to now that many of these who stormed the U.S. Capitol and committed violent acts were motivated by their support for Trump and their belief in lies concerning the 2020 election.

A plurality of rioters cited either their support for Trump (20.6%) or Trump’s false belief that the election have been stolen (also 20.6%) as their primary motivation because of their actions that resulted in charges on Jan. 6.

The 3rd most regularly listed reason defendants gave to police for entering the Capitol was their belief they were taking part in “revolution, civil war, or secession.”

A comparable amount of defendants in the analysis claimed these were at the Capitol to “peacefully protest” (7%) as those that claimed these were there due to a “general fascination with violence” (6.2%).

The Big Lie is central to the Republican-fascists’ intend to end American democracy. Its supporters are suffering from a consistent group of talking points made to legitimate their plan and its own ultimate goal as somehow “patriotic” and operating to “democracy” as opposed to the exact opposite. The reality, needless to say, are that there is no significant “election fraud” in 2020 or any recent election. The illegal and anti-democratic behavior was entirely by Republicans especially the Jan. 6 attack and the nationwide plot to nullify Joe Biden’s legitimate victory.

The Republican slogan “election integrity” is thinly veiled code for voter nullification and voter suppression. When Republicans claim they need “free, fair and transparent” elections, they’re attempting to develop a problem that will not exist to allow them to impose their favored “solution” used, rigging elections to make sure that they always win.

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post recently offered this summary of the way the Big Lie propaganda model works used:

Of all lies that Donald Trump loyalists have told this cycle, possibly the most disgusting one is this: Their designs on our election system are motivated by only pure, angelic concerns about “election integrity.” …

These Republicans aren’t just urging rule-breaking at the polls. They’re also justifying it by claiming beforehand that Democrats will be the real cheaters, per CNN, thus prefabricating a phony rationale for his or her own chicanery.

This self-justifying ruse Democrats will inevitably cheat, so virtually anything would go to set things right is completely foundational to right-wing efforts to corrupt democracy over the board, including laying the groundwork to steal future elections. …

[O]ne of the ways Trump-backing, MAGA-minded conspiracy theorists are intervening in the election process in the united states, sometimes encouraging poll workers or volunteer observers to violate election rules hoping of finding evidence that Democrats may be doing exactly the same. …

The 2020 results were confirmed by a large number of court cases and numerous audits. But regardless of: The myth of a fraud-riddled 2020 will forever continue justifying whatever means Republicans decide are essential at any given point.

Republicans are simply attempting to restore the integrity of our elections, you see.

Generally, the mainstream press and the pundit class have didn’t seem sensible of age Trump and the escalating threat from the Republican-fascist movement. Asan institution, the media remains wedded to obsolescent norms and means of understanding politics and society, especially to horserace coverage, opinion polls and a dangerous commitment to “fairness” and “balance.”

Reporting on the Big Lie along with other assaults on democracy is basically driven by an assumption that when enough people result in vote, the higher angels and common sense of the American people will block out the chance. Or by the blatantly ludicrous assertionthat more and better information will eventually persuade the Republican fascists to come back to “reality” also to the realm of “normal” politics.

Which has repeatedly shown false.The Big Lie should be understood because the manifestation of an authoritarian, dystopian vision of society and in addition as the method of forcing it into being. The Republican fascists see themselves as waginga political and religious battle to remake American society within their own image.

In a recently available interview with Democracy Now!, reporter Luke Mogelson, who was simply at the Capitol on Jan. 6, said that Trump’s supporters understood their fight as “nothing significantly less than a battle between light and dark, the godly and the godless…. [T]hat’show most of the participants in the insurrection viewed their actions, much less a political act but as something occurring in a far more timeless, sort of cosmic, spiritual framework.”

There is absolutely no solution to defeat the Republican-fascist movement without knowing that framework and discarding obsolete habits and disproven assumptions. Republicans believe themselves to be waging a divine battle to defeat American multiracial democracy, that they perceive as godless, destructive and evil. There is absolutely no solution to reason with that sort of thinking.

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