In less than a month, Republicans will likely take over the House of Representatives. It’s possible that they will snag the Senate as well.
And then Joe Biden’s agenda—which, like the man himself, has been mildly successful—will probably ground to a halt. This means that in all likelihood, the United States has already implemented the most progressive ideas that are going to be fulfilled, for the next couple of years at least.
That’s disconcerting, because it’s not exactly a left-wing paradise around here.
In any case, even if Republicans don’t win, they’ll still win—that is, if the almost 300 GOP election deniers seeking House, Senate, and statewide offices have anything to say about it.
You see, the idea that U.S. elections are a big old fraud-a-palooza was never an actual thing within GOP circles until just two years ago, when a corrupt and incompetent bigot had to come up with some absurd excuse for why he lost by seven million votes.
Within that brief amount of time, over half of Republicans have become convinced that elections can’t be trusted, lengthening the impressive list of concepts that conservatives don’t believe in. That list now includes science, facts, data, the media, doctors, Democrats, immigrants, ethnic minorities, non-Christians, and women who don’t spend all their time telling suburban guys how great they are, among many more offenders.
The chief difference is that a conservative who distrusts vaccines endangers his own health, while a conservative running for office who distrusts elections endangers democracy.
By the way, democracy is another thing that conservatives don’t believe in.
Republicans take it as an article of faith that Democrats cheat, so the only way to defeat them is to cheat first and harder. It’s the same mindset that convinces them that, since Muslims are terrorists (according to them), non-Muslim Americans have to become terrorists to stop them—or that, since undocumented immigrants are invading America (again, their paranoid belief), U.S. officials have to traffic them around the country.
Yes, life gets easier when contradictions and logical fallacies are virtues and not flaws.
Conservatives also find it easier to function when they ditch every last principle and eliminate all pretenses of holding any. For example, if you’re a Republican who spent decades screaming how evil abortion is, and Roe vs. Wade gets overturned, it’s best to scrub your campaign website of all mentions of abortion and pretend it wasn’t you threatening to jail women who get necessary medical attention.
Hell, even if one of your pro-life candidates paid women to get abortions, it’s fine, because all that matters is winning power.
And believe me, the GOP is ready to win. Those 300 election-denying Republicans constitute the majority of the conservative nominees on the ballot this November. Most are predicted to win their races, and “all hold at least some degree of power overseeing future elections in the U.S.”
Now, it’s too melodramatic to describe the GOP attempt to sabotage the midterms as “a plot.” It’s more of a blueprint for thwarting democracy.
For example, GOP leaders are encouraging poll workers “to ignore local election rules.” Republican legislators “are moving a flurry of bills to change the rules for both voter access and election administration.” And the Supreme Court, now a right-wing bastion, is seriously contemplating making it perfectly legal for Republican legislatures to simply overrule voters.
So much for that “originalist” stance.
All this is despite the fact that Republicans, when pressed, will admit that the only time they cry fraud is when they lose. So this “concerted campaign to delegitimize political opponents—through falsehoods and without much of an attempt at logical argument—is an attempt not to win a democratic contest but to avoid one.”
Sure, many Americans refuse to believe that a major political party would attempt to undo an election. These are the same people who are afraid to call the January 6 riots a coup, even if it was exactly that.
Hell, even some Republicans are saying that the GOP will do its best “to steal the next election.”
When it comes to Republican malfeasance, “the question remaining isn’t whether it’ll happen; the question is whether it’ll succeed.”
Hey, in less than a month, we will find out.
Featured image by Big Dubya/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0