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Trumpists Have Made Alarming Advances in Their Quest to Control Elections

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In state after Republican state around the country, a push is underway to create legal pathways to subvert election results. This effort is buoyed by the fact that well over half of Republican voters believe that Donald Trump is the “true president.” And it will be further bolstered by Trump’s summer-of-hate tour, during which he plans to traverse the country to give stump speeches aimed at keeping himself in the political spotlight, putting pressure on any and all GOP officials and political leaders to continue to hew to his lies. Trump appears ready to actively campaign against any GOP political figure who supported his impeachment and opposes his ongoing claims to having won the election.

From the beginning of his presidency, Trump and Trumpism both appeared to be a cult and a deeply authoritarian political movement, one that tapped into some of the most violent impulses in U.S. political history. It was a combination of the demagoguery of McCarthyism and the conspiracism of the John Birch Society. It valued absolute loyalty tests — not to country or to the Constitution, but to the person of Donald J. Trump. And in demanding loyalty, it brooked no dissent, insisting that individuals and institutions bend repeatedly to its will.

In the weeks after the November election, when it was clear that Trump had massively lost the popular vote and had also lost the Electoral College vote, it was increasingly clear that Trump would attempt to hold onto power by any means necessary. Sure enough, there he was on January 6, goading on an enraged mob of Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, neo-Nazis, and other violent extremists whom he had invited to D.C. with the express purpose of making it impossible for Congress to certify the election result. The resulting bloodshed, as horrific as it was, ought to have surprised no one. Trump had, after all, been encouraging armed assaults against institutions of power for the better part of a year, calling on militias to “liberate” Michigan and other states from COVID-related public health restrictions and for his supporters to monitor the November 2020 polls. And GOP leaders, instead of distancing themselves from him, had essentially given him a free pass.

That the January 6 insurrection did not lead to greater bloodshed than it did was due more to luck than to lack of will. In the months since then, it’s........

© Truthout

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