“I don’t care who people vote for. What worries me extraordinarily, however, is this: who is going to count the votes? “
You could always count on Joseph Stalin to put it bluntly. Its Minister of Justice had once confirmed that the constitution of the USSR did indeed protect “freedom of expression”. But, he added, it did not protect “freedom after expression”. Rich nuance.
At the game of realpolitik, supporters of Donald Trump’s return to the presidency in 2024 are therefore on safe ground by focusing their efforts on controlling those who count and validate the votes. Broadly speaking, the goal of the ongoing multifaceted offensive is this: If Joe Biden were to get exactly as many votes next time as in 2020, election officials will invalidate his victory in key states. That’s why many new laws now give state lawmakers the right to invalidate elections (in addition to making voting more difficult for traditionally Democratic voters). Never before has the elective post of Secretary of State attracted attention. However, it is the one who validates the results. Republicans are on the offensive to elect candidates in 2022 who believe the “big lie” that Biden’s election is illegitimate. Trump personally supports the actors of the future coup and helps finance their campaigns. There is also a record influx of Trumpist activists into local election observers. Functions formerly reserved for nice retirees, but now vested, in certain States, with increased powers of control.
For the coup to succeed, it is critical that Congress be Republican-controlled in the 2022 election. Since Democrats only have a nine-seat majority, it only takes five to swing to the right to make it happen. One useful technique is to redraw the electoral map to create more secure ridings. Since Republicans in the States control twice as many redistributions as Democrats, the deal is ketchup. If the 2020 vote recurs, the redistribution already automatically gives them six more seats, according to a tally from the New York Times, while the process has not even started yet in Florida and Georgia, where the harvest is promising to be good. “The floor for Republicans is higher than before,” boasts the Republican campaign chairman.
The Republican majority must, moreover, be pure Trumpist and accept electoral cheating as true. The purge of the handful of Republican representatives who still have a Democratic backbone is well underway. Liz Cheney, for example, was stripped of her affiliation by the Republican Party in her state of Wyoming. The others will be defeated during their investiture. This is essential because, if there is a deadlock on the outcome, the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the right to appoint the new president.
There is the mechanics of the blow, but there is also the state of mind. Trumpist madness must percolate into all party consciousness. A moderate conservative, David Brooks, returned from a recent Republican elite conference convinced that this transition had already taken place. Democrats are no longer presented as political adversaries with mistaken ideas, as Ronald Reagan or John McCain thought. They are now enemies. “We are grappling with a systematic effort to dismantle our society, our traditions, our economy and our way of life,” said Senator Marco Rubio, for example, once a critic of Trumpist exaggerations. Brooks was struck by the loud applause that greeted these words from the director of one of the main think tanks on the right, Rachel Bovard: “The elites wokes – who now dominate the left – do not want what we want. They want to destroy us. Not only will they use any leverage at their disposal to get there ”, but they are already doing it by“ dominating every cultural, intellectual and political institution ”. You should also know that in this apocalyptic vision of the world, the democratic enemies are both the rioters from the Black Lives Matter movement and the billionaires who control Wall Street.
Combined with this demonization of the adversary is the normalization of political violence. In recent days, young Kyle Rittenhouse has become the darling of the right. His achievement: to have been found not guilty of murder. He had shown up as a minor with an assault weapon in a demonstration for black rights. Taken to task, he left two dead and one injured. At best, the case is tragic for all. For the right, Rittenhouse is a hero, a role model. At the same time, all the Republican representatives defended the right of one of their own to stage himself, in a cartoon, assassinating a known Democrat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This is where we are.
All of these preparations may be unnecessary. Such is Joe Biden’s fall in popularity that the most recent polls show Republicans winning the 2022 election, even without cheating. Even asked to choose between Biden and Trump for president, the electorate is now equally divided. But why take a risk? If in 2024 Trump wins, he wins. If he loses, he wins too.
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