Not surprisingly, the bogus claims of fraud are taking root in the United States, where it looks possible that some version of Trump’s mantra, if I don’t win, then there was fraud — a demagogue’s riddle if there ever was one — will become ever more common in some GOP circles. In this week’s California recall election, Republican front-runner Larry Elder, a far-right radio personality, has already proclaimed that “there might well be shenanigans” if Gov. Gavin Newsom emerges victorious. The polls show Newsom in a strong position, which appears to be the reason Elder is now raising the fraud weapon from his holster. In case anyone has doubts, he explains that by “shenanigans” he means what happened to Trump in 2020.
She could produce no credible evidence, and Castillo ultimately assumed the presidency by 44,263 votes. With tensions high, accusations that an election has been stolen have the potential to unleash violence, not to mention the possibility that they will ultimately succeed in actually stealing the election. With neither of those events taking place, the country has dodged a bullet.
What happened to Trump in 2020 is that he lost to Biden. What happened to the country is that Trump falsely claimed he won and his followers, now including the majority of the Republican Party, seem determined to embrace that lie. The technique is a deadly bacteria bacillus, one that first emerges in one corner of the world and is spreading far and wide, with consequences that could prove disastrous for hundreds of millions of people.
Maybe seeing himself imitated around the world makes the former guy proud. For the rest of us, it revives that old familiar mixture of frustration, sadness, anger, and profound worry.
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