Can a lie rally voter to support the candidate?
Last week, former President Donald Trump started to insinuate that he is running for president in 2024! As I See It, he is doing it with a campaign platform of lies and deception discrediting the result of the 2020 presidential elections and the January 6 failed insurrection.
According to Elaine Godfrey of the Atlantic, the former president’s message at his Arizona rally last week was clear as it was dishonest. He didn’t lose to Joe Biden in 2020, and he’ll spend next year working to elect Republicans who agree with him.
Godfrey wrote: Tonight, deep in the Arizona desert, thousands of people chanted for Donald Trump. They had braved the wind for hours—some waited the entire day—just to get a glimpse of the defeated former president.
And when he finally appeared on stage, as Lee Greenwood played from the loudspeakers, the crowd roared as though Trump were still the commander in chief. To many of them, he is.
Since July, the Arizona rally was Trump’s first public appearance. So, the event was meant as his response to the anniversary of January 6, as well as an unofficial kickoff for his efforts to support Republicans in the midterm elections. But the event also served as the soft launch of Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign. Although he didn’t say the words, the former president seems poised to run in two years— “Make America great again … again,” he joked to the crowd.
For sure, Trump chose Arizona to echo his political comeback for a reason. In this state, the Big Lie thrives. If we have to recall, Trump lost Arizona by only 10,000 votes in 2020, giving him and his supporters the alibi, apparently, to allege that the close outcome was the result of massive fraud, cheating, the result of ballot stuffing and interference, among other false claims.
But…state lawmakers, who spent the past year reviewing the ballots, ultimately found zero evidence of fraud and election mischief. These, however, didn’t matter to Trump’s supporters and to Trump himself. GOP politicians across Arizona adopted Trump’s lies just the same.
The GOP candidates running for various positions in Arizona who repeatedly echoed Trump’s false allegations of election mischief are Kari Lake, the former TVnews reporter running to replace Governor Doug Ducey; Secretary-of-State candidate Mark Finchem, who was at the Capitol last January 6; Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, and Debbie Lesko, three Trump-loving members of Congress who voted against certifying Biden’s win in 2020; and Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward, who has embraced numerous conspiracy theories.
All of them ae being endorsed by Trump – “You endorse the lie; he endorses you!”
Godfrey said: “Nearly everyone I interviewed at the rally vowed to follow Trump’s lead and support only GOP candidates who endorse the false idea that he won the election.
Then, Trump turned his attention to January 6 — the storming of the Capitol is an excuse for Democrats to arrest people and abuse them in jail. He also suggested that the FBI planted people in the crowd outside the Capitol to incite the mob.
Miles Parks, who covers voting for NPR, said: “More than a dozen Trump-aligned Republicans, who doubt President Biden won in 2020, are running to control the election process in their states. Over the past two years, former President Trump’s misinformation about voting has been converted into actual voting policy in the U.S.
For instance, more than a dozen states enacted laws last year making it harder for people to vote.
And now, a new NPR analysis shows more and more people who believe Trump’s election lies are now running for offices that control the voting process.”
Parks, responding to questions, said: “To be frank, I found a lot of election-deniers running for positions of power in voting. So, this year, 27 states will hold elections for their state’s secretary of state position.
And in basically half of those races, there’s at least one Republican running who either questions the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s win in 2020 or outright says the election was stolen from Donald Trump.
Parks said There’s been no evidence to support those claims… and courts and audits across the country have confirmed the election results.
But it’s still happening because former-President Trump is encouraging it. He still talks about the importance of getting people in these local offices at his rallies, and he’s endorsed three of these candidates so far in Michigan, Arizona and Georgia, all swing states he lost in the election by narrow margins.”
During the January 6 failed insurrection, Trump’s supporters broke through barricades and rioted in the Capitol building forcing members of Congress to evacuate as they were certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory and in regular session.
Five people died in events related to the attack and more than 700 people have been charged with federal crimes. As of late December, at least 165 defendants had pleaded guilty, most to misdemeanor offenses punishable by a maximum of six months imprisonment.
Prosecutors have said some of the hundreds of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol were prepared for battle, wearing helmets and tactical gear. Several were seen on video or in photos carrying baseball bats and other weapons.
The riot left the halls of Congress with broken windows, vandalized walls and ransacked offices.
The House established a select committee made up of Democrats and two Republicans last July to investigate the attack. The panel is chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and has subpoenaed a growing list of Trump allies and former Trump officials.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a vocal critic of Trump and the vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, said Monday that Trump would repeat his efforts to subvert the election if elected president again.
“Trump uses language he knows caused the Jan 6 violence; suggests he’d pardon the Jan 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy; threatens prosecutors; and admits he was attempting to overturn the election,” she tweeted. “He’d do it all again if given the chance.”
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, one of the seven GOP senators who joined Democrats in voting to convict Trump, said Sunday it is “unlikely” that she would support him if he ran in 2024.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Trump’s suggestion of pardons for Jan. 6 defendants “inappropriate.”
“No, I don’t want to send any signal that it was okay to defile the Capitol,” Graham said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” adding that, “There are other groups with causes that may want to go down to the violent path that these people get pardoned.”
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire also said he doesn’t think Jan. 6 defendants should be pardoned. “Folks that were part of the riots and frankly the assault on the U.S. Capitol have to be held accountable. There is a rule of law,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Trump is facing a series of complex legal investigations and the probes in various jurisdictions consider everything from potential fraud and election interference to the role he played in the January 6 insurrection.
The committee investigating the violent insurrection has interviewed hundreds of witnesses, issued dozens of subpoenas and obtained tens of thousands of pages of records, including texts, emails, and phone records from people close to Trump, as well as thousands of pages of White House records that Trump fought to shield from public view.
It seems that Trump is running under the campaign of lies and is working… for now… with most of his supporters. Can he sustain his campaign and augment more voters to join him and support his 2024 candidacy?
Between now and the mid-term and general elections in November, there will be many developments that will happen that may severely affect his campaign. The most crucial of which is the January 6 sub-committee investigation which is showing that this early, he was at the helm of the failed coup, actually running the event at the White House.
Will his lies work for him? Will the voters like it? America, do you?
(ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at email@example.com.)