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Everyone Needs to Be More Furious Right Now

Trump and gangster Republicans are now very openly trying to steal a presidential election.

The Repub­li­can Par­ty is, in aggre­gate, a den of gang­sters cur­rent­ly try­ing to aid and abet the utter­ly cor­rupt theft of a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion by one of the worst peo­ple in the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/ AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

The Repub­li­can Par­ty is, in aggre­gate, a den of gang­sters cur­rent­ly try­ing to aid and abet the utter­ly cor­rupt theft of a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion by one of the worst peo­ple in the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. (Photo: SAUL LOEB/ AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

I wish I had an old-timey ear horn, so I could stand atop the high­est moun­tain and yell, ​“This is me strain­ing to hear all of the respectable Repub­li­can offi­cials in Amer­i­ca con­demn­ing a Unit­ed States pres­i­dent who is false­ly declar­ing that he won an elec­tion while ask­ing to shut down an ongo­ing vote count.” Then I would hold the horn to my ear and stand silent­ly, lis­ten­ing to the sounds of silence.

These are the elo­quent, his­toric pres­i­den­tial words that may mark the fatal turn­ing point in the Amer­i­can demo­c­ra­t­ic exper­i­ment: ​“We won states. And all of a sud­den I said, ​‘what’s hap­pened to the elec­tion?’ It’s off. And we have all these announc­ers say­ing ​‘What hap­pened?’ And then they said, ​‘Oooo.’ Because you know what hap­pened? They knew they couldn’t win. So they said, ​‘Let’s go to court.’ And did I pre­dict this, Newt? Did I say this? I’ve been say­ing this from the day I heard they were gonna send out tens of mil­lions of bal­lots. I said exact­ly — because either they were gonna win, or if they didn’t win, they’ll take us to court… This is a fraud on the Amer­i­can pub­lic. This is an embar­rass­ment to our coun­try. We were get­ting ready to win this elec­tion, and frankly, we did win this elec­tion.” The new Get­tys­burg Address, ladies and gen­tle­men. How can the oppo­si­tion par­ty be expect­ed to match such pow­er­ful dex­ter­i­ty of lan­guage and character? 

What­ev­er the out­come of this elec­tion is, when it’s over, I would like to stop treat­ing gang­sters as hon­or­able par­tic­i­pants in civ­il soci­ety.

The Repub­li­can Par­ty is, in aggre­gate, a den of gang­sters cur­rent­ly try­ing to aid and abet the utter­ly cor­rupt theft of a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion by one of the worst peo­ple in the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. That is sim­ply a descrip­tion of what’s hap­pen­ing. I know that many of us have had our heads deep in the weeds, obsessed with coun­ty-wide polling aver­ages and what­not, but it’s time to look at the big pic­ture. We do not know how this elec­tion will turn out yet — all I’m ask­ing for is that we dis­cuss it hon­est­ly. If you think that a sin­gle Repub­li­can politi­cian has a gen­uine con­cern about ​“vot­er fraud” not moti­vat­ed by pure self-inter­est and dis­re­gard of pub­lic will, I invite you to bang your head against a wall until you fall down, because your intel­li­gence will not be affect­ed. I do not expect any­thing bet­ter from the Repub­li­can Par­ty, of course, but I do expect every­one who is not part of the Repub­li­can Par­ty to stop pre­tend­ing that some­thing oth­er than this is hap­pen­ing, out of a mis­placed desire to believe in hap­py fairy tales. 

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This is worse than cyn­i­cal oper­a­tors rid­ing the coat­tails of a dem­a­gogue in a sin­gle elec­tion. Repub­li­cans are a minor­i­ty par­ty. They can­not win pow­er in a sys­tem with free and fair elec­tions and high vot­er turnout. The state leg­is­la­ture in Flori­da last year enact­ed a de fac­to poll tax that effec­tive­ly kneecapped a bal­lot mea­sure passed in 2018 to restore vot­ing rights to 1.4 mil­lion felons. That sin­gle act of vot­er sup­pres­sion could have pro­vid­ed the mar­gin by which Don­ald Trump just won Flori­da. Vot­er sup­pres­sion, ger­ry­man­der­ing, and out­right lies are now stan­dard parts of the play­book, dis­cussed by pun­dits as if they are just anoth­er shrewd tac­tic. They’re not. They are cor­rup­tion. They are gang­ster behav­ior. This gang­ster ass minor­i­ty par­ty now con­trols the bulk of the courts, and the White House, and is now try­ing quite open­ly to use those courts to steal back con­trol of the White House again, hop­ing to stop count­ing votes that might prove incon­ve­nient. If Trump was real­ly such an out­lier, every Repub­li­can in Con­gress would be lin­ing up to decry this out­rage against democ­ra­cy. They’re not. Remem­ber that. 

We are liv­ing through a use­ful demon­stra­tion of how pre­pos­ter­ous­ly large the gap between pro­pa­gan­da and real­i­ty can get before the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion snaps. Last night, as every­thing hung in the bal­ance, I saw James Carville on MSNBC, dis­miss­ing everyone’s anx­i­ety and jok­ing about the expen­sive whiskey he would be drink­ing very soon when every­thing came in for Biden. I note this anec­do­tal­ly to make the point — like many impor­tant points, one that we already knew, but must be remind­ed of in the most painful way again and again until we fix it — that the class of peo­ple who make up the estab­lish­ment pow­ers of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty are pathet­i­cal­ly unpre­pared for the extrem­i­ty of the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment we’re liv­ing through. That is why they have been get­ting their ass­es kicked for most of the past five years. (Not lit­er­al­ly — they leave that to the demon­stra­tors in the streets, who they lat­er mock for hav­ing unre­al­is­tic demands, like ​“we would like to live.”) 

Democ­rats and many pun­dits seem to believe that we are all still play­ing chess. Mean­while, Repub­li­cans long ago flipped over the board and start­ed smash­ing it with a sledge­ham­mer. What­ev­er the out­come of this elec­tion is, when it’s over, I would like to stop treat­ing gang­sters as hon­or­able par­tic­i­pants in civ­il soci­ety.

Hamilton Nolan

Hamilton Nolan is a labor reporting fellow at In These Times. He has spent the past decade writing about labor and politics for Gawker, Splinter, The Guardian, and elsewhere. You can reach him at Hamilton@InTheseTimes.com.

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