Earlier this year, the GOP and some reporters in the “liberal” mainstream media falsely blamed Democrats for the unrest in America’s cities following several instances of police misconduct. Joe Biden and other leading Democrats acted responsibly and were quick to condemn the rioters and looters.
The reality is that most of the mayhem last summer was committed by white supremacists and Trump followers. Police departments in Portland, Richmond and Minneapolis blamed groups like the Boogaloo Bois for the violence. What’s more, a teenage Trump supporter was charged with a double murder in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Trump and his followers failed to condemn this extreme right wing violence. Instead, Trump praised the teenager who was charged with murder in Kenosha and provided encouragement to the Proud Boys during the first debate with Biden.
The failure of Trump, Republican elected officials and their followers to condemn right wing violence has undoubtedly contributed to the wave of death threats leveled at election workers of both parties in the battleground states. Interestingly enough, there haven’t been any threats in states that Trump carried.
I will now summarize for you a (lengthy) and growing list of violence and threats of violence from Trump’s most unhinged followers from a variety of news sources:
“Election agencies in five states, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania, have received violent threats or “acute security risks” to officials tasked with counting ballots or certifying state election results.
Republican City Commissioner Al Schmidt told “60 Minutes” that Philadelphia election officials received death threats, including calls “reminding us that this is what the Second Amendment is for.”
Gabriel Sterling, a Republican election official in Georgia, called on Trump and Georgia’s GOP senators to stop pushing conspiracy theories about Biden’s win in Georgia and denounce horrific threats made against members of his staff. Sterling said “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for him to give the press conference was a 20-year-old election staffer being told he should be hanged for treason.
Georgia Republican Secretary of State Raffensperger said, that he and his wife, Tricia, have received death threats in recent days, including a text to him that read: “You better not botch this recount. Your life depends on it.”
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said she faced escalating threats of violence over the outcome of the presidential election, and blamed Trump for spreading misinformation to undermine trust in the results. Hobbs, called the threats directed toward her family and staff “utterly abhorrent.”
Joseph DiGenova — an attorney for the Trump campaign — issued a call for violence against Chris Krebbs, a former cybersecurity official who was fired by Donald Trump after he rejected Trump’s baseless claims of alleged voter fraud. DiGenova said: “Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity. That guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.”
The GOP majority leader of Pennsylvania’s State Senate suggested in an interview last week that she would be the victim of a violent attack if she indicated her opposition to efforts by Trump’s supporters to steal the state’s electoral votes from Biden.
State Senator Kim Ward (R) made the remark when asked if she would have signed a letter to the state’s congressional delegation urging them to “object, and vote to sustain such objection, to the Electoral College votes received from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” during the session of Congress certifying the Electoral College results next month. “If I would say to you, ‘I don’t want to do it,’ ” Ward told the NY Times, “I’d get my house bombed tonight.”
After Trump lost his frivolous lawsuit in the Supreme Court on December 11, the Texas State Republican Party called for secession from the United States. You can’t make this stuff up.
Just this last weekend, thousands of Proud Boys who believed that Trump won turned downtown Washington, D.C. into a war zone, vandalizing two church’s Black Lives Matter banners and then setting fire to it while attacking drivers caught up in the mayhem. The former TV reality star cheered them on with a tweet.
When the Michigan electors voted for Biden on December 14, the Michigan state capitol and state legislative offices were closed due to “credible threats of violence.” Notably, this was a “recommendation of law enforcement.”
Ron Brownstein of The Atlantic responded to these disturbing events in a tweet: “Trump’s America. Events inconceivable four years ago-from racist paramilitary rampaging through streets of DC to threats of violence forcing shutdown of Michigan Capitol-now accepted as routine by virtually all of his party.”
Trump’s angry followers are seeking to steal the election because they simply don’t accept the right of the Democrats to govern if they should win an election. Trump and his followers are rejecting the very idea of an obligation to accept electoral outcomes when they lose. Unfortunately, this is our future.
Former Romney adviser Stuart Stevens tweeted: “The greatest danger to America is the naive belief that there is something unique that guarantees America will remain a democratic civil society. Much of a major party has turned against democracy. It’s foolish to believe that doesn’t have consequences.”
Ben Sasse and Don Bacon have acknowledged Biden’s win but that’s not enough. Deb Fischer has said nothing. They all must speak out in opposition to this Trump inspired violence and threats. Silence is complicity in the lies and the death threats from Trump’s unhinged followers.
Unfortunately, Pete Ricketts, Bob Evnen, Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith have all endorsed Trump’s attempt to steal the election. Like many of their fellow Republicans, they simply don’t believe in democracy anymore. They are dangerous radicals.
Former Obama speech writer Jon Favreau said it best: “But what happens if Republicans win the House in 2022, which they’re currently favored to do? What happens if the pro-democracy forces in the Senate shrink in 2022? Is there any doubt that a Republican Congress will manufacture a reason to reject the 2024 winner if it’s a Democrat?
There are two paths out of this: 1) Win the Senate races in Georgia and pass democratic reforms that will reduce the chances of election theft 2) Focus all of our time, energy, and resources on making sure Democrats win the ’22 midterms, which loom as an existential election.”
Democracy will be on the ballot in every future election. The choice will be free and fair elections versus autocracy. In the event the GOP wins control of all three branches in a future election, they will re-write the rules to insure that they can never lose again. This would lead to a country with extreme gerrymandering, no Voting Rights Act and no restrictions on the ability of the wealthy to contribute to campaigns. These kinds of changes would produce a permanent GOP majority. There would still be elections and free speech but the GOP would always win.
We didn’t get in this predicament over night. It took years for the radicalized Nebraska GOP to win most of the major offices in the state with the assistance of vast amounts of special interest campaign cash and daily lies from the right wing media. All we can do as Democrats is roll up our sleeves and devote our time and money to good candidates. Now let’s get to work!