Witness two new national polls released on Wednesday that suggest that a majority of self-identified Republicans simply do not believe that President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 race fair and square.
Which, wow. Because, as anyone who has followed the election on any mainstream media outlet knows, there is simply zero evidence of actual voter fraud or malicious machine malfunction anywhere in the country.
The problem is that lots and lots of Trump’s most loyal supporters don’t consume ANY news or information from ANY outlets that are not either the President’s own Twitter feed or TV networks he has wrapped around his finger — One America News Network, Newsmax and, to a slightly lesser extent, Fox News Channel.
Given that reality, it is incumbent upon Republican elected officials to speak up. To say that the outgoing President is simply not telling the truth. That there is absolutely zero evidence of any sort of widespread voter fraud in the just-concluded election. That this President is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts.
This laissez-faire attitude is no longer acceptable in the face of data that makes clear that Trump’s misinformation campaign is having its intended effect with Republican base voters. And without pushback from elected Republicans on the information streams that Trump voters watch, we are nearly certain to see a sizable chunk of the country believe that Biden cheated his way into the White House. And therefore that they don’t really need to listen to him or even recognize him as the duly elected president.
This amounts to a direct threat to the peaceful transition of power that all of these Republican elected officials have long touted as the root of our American democracy. Now is the time to put some action behind those words. Because there can’t be a single Republican elected official who can now claim with any credibility that this whole thing will resolve itself in the near future without active intervention on their part.
Trump is poisoning democracy with his baseless claims about the election. And the core of the Republican Party is believing the lies. It’s past time for Republican elected officials to get out of their defensive crouch and tell their base voters that enough is enough.
If they don’t, it’s not clear what the future of GOP will even be. A party that refuses to accept democratic elections that don’t go their way? That’s not how democracy works. Not at all.
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