Do GOP voters really believe Trump’s big lie about “rigged” elections? They don’t act like they do

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The craziest thing about Donald Trump’s Big Lie is that his own supporters don’t really believe it.

Ah, they to say they do it to any pollster who asks them. A recent Morning Consult poll, like so many before it, shows that nearly “7 in 10 GOP voters do not believe the 2020 elections were free and fair and / or have little or no confidence in the US electoral system, while 49% doubt that next year’s mid-sessions will be free and fair. “

But when pollsters dug a little deeper, they found that Republican voters don’t to behave like people who think the elections are rigged. On the contrary, Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to act like people who believe both they will have an opportunity to vote and that their vote will be fairly counted.

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“A total of 92% of self-identified Republican voters said they planned to vote in the 2022 election, with just 4% saying they did not intend to vote,” explains Meredith McGraw at Politico. “In contrast, only 70% of self-identified Democrats said they planned to vote, and 29% said they did not.”

People who think their vote doesn’t matter don’t get excited to vote. So democratic demoralization, for example, is perfectly explainable in light of both the widespread suppression of voters and the rapidly declining possibility that President Joe Biden’s bold economic promises will one day come true. Feeling like your vote doesn’t make a difference is not unreasonable for Democratic voters, and therefore they are less enthusiastic about voting.


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Republicans, on the other hand, act like people who believe their vote counts. Indeed, as the poll reports, GOP voters who espouse the faith in the big lie are Following likely to believe their vote has power.

Which give? How can people both “believe” that the election is rigged against them, but behave like people who have complete confidence in the system?

The most likely answer is also the simplest: they are lying.

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Like their hero, Donald Trump, Trump voters know full well that the 2020 election was not stolen. They just repeat the lie like a bunch of trolls. It is a useful cover for their real agenda, which is to take power in 2022 and 2024 by any means necessary, even if it requires cheating.

Like Greg Sargent of the Washington Post noted on Twitter Thursday morning, “Their collective agreement to claim that the lies about 1/6 and 2020 are true is best understood as a collective liberation of themselves from any obligation to respect future election losses – the precondition to overthrow them by any means are necessary. “

Sargent was responding to reports that Fox News’ Tucker Carlson plans to do a “special” to amplify conspiracy theories that the January 6 insurgency was a “false flag” operation. As with claims that the 2020 election was “rigged,” it’s important to understand that not only Carlson doesn’t believe it, but neither does his viewers – even as they eat and repeat these conspiracy theories.

We know this for a very simple reason: the same people who claim January 6 was a “false flag” will, depending on the situation, turn around and contradictly claim that the insurgents were patriots and martyrs. That is why Carlson will pretend for a minute that QAnon is a myth liberals made up to smear conservatives, then the next minute defend the very real QAnon as a group of free thinkers resisting liberal hegemony. This is how MyPillow CEO turned fascist propagandist Mike Lindell can keep pushing forward the date of Trump’s miraculous relocation to the White House without most of his supporters starting to wonder why his predictions come true. never. That’s why Republicans are not shaken by the absence of real incidents of “voter fraud” for Biden. It wasn’t something they initially believed.

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Contradictions don’t bother right-wingers for the same reason they don’t change their minds when faced with the facts: the truth doesn’t matter. All that matters is power. Dragging through lies and contradictory claims is seen as a crucial weapon in gaining power.

Admittedly, there is absolutely nothing new in this observation. On the contrary, it’s pretty clear that Trumpism is just fascism by another name, and the rhetorical game of the fascists is a subject that has come under scrutiny. Semiotician Umberto Eco wrote in his 1995 analysis of fascist rhetoric, fascism is “a hive of contradictions” because it is about destroying rational discourse. To the fascists, Eco writes: “Thinking is a form of emasculation” and should be rejected in favor of a crude will to power. And, of course, there is the popular quote from the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre on how the fascists “Know that their remarks are frivolous” and they “have fun, because it is their adversary who is obliged to use the words in a responsible way, since he believes in the words”.


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This is why conservatives are so impervious to the facts and become even more so as the GOP slips further and further down the fascist path. The facts are only convincing to people who believe that truth and empiricism matter. For the authoritarian right, however, the facts are understood as drawbacks and obstacles. With that in mind, it makes sense that they take so much pleasure in dismissing the facts and driving the Liberals crazy by doing so. It’s a show of power, to savor how reality itself cannot defeat them.

Like many on the left, I was amused to watch GOP troll rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia panic that her robotic Big Lie rehearsal may in fact lead her followers to to believe and choose not to vote. And certainly, there is a small percentage of crazy heads in the GOP coalition who do not realize that everything is a big con artist and might choose not to participate in the elections because of it. In close elections, that extremely small percentage of Republicans who don’t participate in the joke can matter. But that 92% of Republicans feel confident and excited to vote in future elections shows that faith in the Big Lie is, for the vast majority of them, an act done for the cameras, not a sincere belief. .

Republican voters are not misled by Trump’s big lie. They are empowered by the opportunity to join us. If there is any chance of pushing back the rising fascist movement in America, it starts with understanding this crucial difference.



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