Trump’s election lie

I really liked this from Thomas Friedman as it really makes the case on how much election lies are about Trump’s election, and not Republicans just questioning election legitimacy in general (with a few exceptions).  It’s so good.

But wait — where was Trump last week?

Did you hear allegations by him or his lackeys that these midterm elections were stolen from his handpicked candidates? Other than some baseless claims by Trump here and there, including that the failed Arizona candidate for governor Kari Lake (a clownish Trump impersonator) was being cheated, there wasn’t much. Trump instead spent most of his energy denigrating some of his anointed candidates and blaming his wife and others for persuading him to endorse the bizarre collection of election-denying sycophants who became Team Trump in this election and lost almost every big race.

The fact that Trump is not today filing lawsuits on behalf of each one to try to prove election fraud speaks volumes. It’s Trump basically telling them all:

“Sorry, this lie about stolen elections only pertains to me. There is only room for one martyr in this party. You don’t get to use my lie in your state elections. I only backed unprincipled, ambitious people — like you, J.D. Vance and Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano and Adam Laxalt — to amplify my lie in order to prove I’m not a loser. I can never be seen as a loser. If you’re losers, it’s your fault.” [emphasis mine]

That also explains why most of the election deniers who lost, like Oz, simply conceded and did not claim fraud. Why not raise a ruckus, Mehmet? Hey, J.D., why aren’t you alleging that your Republican colleagues lost because their elections were “rigged,” the way you did for Trump? What about you, Doug? What was it you said on Sunday when you conceded losing the governor’s race in Pennsylvania: “Difficult to accept as the results are, there is no right course but to concede, which I do.”

What? Why is that the right course today, but it wasn’t the right course for Trump two years ago?

Because none of you ever believed Trump’s lie to begin with, so you never dared deploy it in your own elections!

You were just renting Trump’s lie on the belief that it was your golden ticket, your easy shortcut, to victory. You thought you could echo Trump’s lie, get elected with the votes of his supporters and then just drop it. Now that most of you have failed to get elected on election denialism, you want us to forget how you shamefully tried to exploit that lie to gain power, while you slink away.

No, no, a thousand times no.

Trump is just in it for Trump and his use of other politicians is entirely towards that end, not in their interests or the interests of the Republican Party.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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