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Opinion: GOP claiming elections rigged when results don’t go their way

Oct 05, 2021


Have you noticed the Republican election strategy lately? It’s pretty transparent. If they lose, they state, without any evidence, that the election was rigged.

We are even seeing these sore losers use this talking point before an election day, as if they are laying the groundwork for investigations and questions if and when the results don’t go in their favor. If the outcome is split and some races do go their way, they still yell foul on the ones they lost… even when the races are on the same ballot.

How can that be?

This approach is not only disruptive for our democracy, it can even undermine America’s place on the world stage.

It should not come as a surprise to you if you’ve been paying attention to American politics, really since the 2016 election, but in particular, since 2020, that the new Republican strategy for the foreseeable future seems to be any election they don’t win was rigged and needs to be investigated. And its implications are very, very dangerous. I’m going to show you a couple of examples that relate to the recent California gubernatorial recall.

In early August, before Democrats were really paying attention, the polling was very tight between recall Newsom and keep Gavin Newsom. Eventually that started to spread and ultimately Gavin Newsom over-performed even the most liberal polls about how easily he was going to survive recall. But even before the actual election, both former president Donald Trump, as well as the primary Republican candidate, Larry Elder, started saying, “It’s rigged, it’s rigged, it’s rigged. It’s rigged.”

Let’s look at a couple of clips. Here’s Larry elder. The day before the election, listen to this,

ANNOUNCER: “Larry Elder, the leading Republican candidate would not commit to accepting the results of the election.”

REPORTER: “Again, whether or not you win or lose, will you accept the result of the election tomorrow?”

ELDER: “I think we all ought to be looking at election integrity, no matter whether you’re a Democrat and independent or a Republican, let’s all make sure that the election is a fair election. So let’s all work together, no matter what the results are, to make sure that the results are valid and legitimate and everybody who voted.”

Now, as I’ve said before, the question I would love to see asked in these situations is, do you have any actual evidence that would make us question whether the results are fair, but this was even before the election.

ELDER: “Let’s all do that together.”

REPORTER “ Is that a commitment to accept all the results of the election?”

ELDER: “Let’s all do that together.  Let’s all work together on both sides of the aisle to make sure that the election is a fair election. Yeah.”

So not committing to accepting the results, although ultimately he did. And then even a week before that here is former President Donald Trump also saying it’s already rigged guys. It’s already been rigged by the Democrats.

ANCHOR: “We’ve got the recall election coming up in less than a week. It’s actually happening as we speak, the polls appear to show Newsom looks safer at this point, Larry Elder is the man that could take it from him. What do you think happens in California?”

TRUMP: “Well, it’s probably rigged. They’re sending out all ballots. It’s all, the, the ballots, you know, mail-out, mail-in ballots. In fact, I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot.”

Yeah. Crayon just make it on construction paper. Sure

TRUMP: “When that happens nobody’s going to win except, these Democrats. So, you know, look there. They’re very good. The one thing they’re good at is rigging elections.”

Yeah. So completely without evidence now, is it surprising that Republicans are going in this direction? No, they’ve completely abandoned policy as a way to win the hearts and minds of voters. 

They’re going voter suppression, make it as difficult as possible for people to vote and just claim that you won.  Claim it was rigged.

If a Republican wins an election, it’s fine. If a Democrat wins an election, it’s rigged. And the incredible hypocrisy of that, as I pointed out after the 2020 election is you had Senate races and Trump versus Biden on the same ballots. And you had Trump and other Republicans saying the results for Trump versus Biden, those are fake. Those are rigged. Those can’t be trusted, but the Senate results on the same ballot, if a Republican won, those are fine, which of course is completely incongruous. And doesn’t make any sense.

This will be their m.o. from here on out. And this is very, very dangerous.  The elections are mostly trustworthy. So it’s not a good thing for the country for people to falsely believe that democracy isn’t working. It’s not good for national security either. And this is why “Russia collusion”.  It wasn’t Putin and Trump planning things. It was Russia realizing if American democracy looks like it’s not working, if it looks like a joke, it makes other countries look better. And Russia is a country that would love to look better. So it’s  destabilizing,

So this is extraordinarily dangerous and we have to do everything. We can, you know, Republicans have mostly fallen for it. The majority of the country has not and still rightly believes that elections are basically fair and reliable. We have to continue reminding people of the evidence that that’s the case.

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