According to a report from the Guardian's Sam Levine, Republicans who have always dabbled in playing to the red meat crowd are now ramping up their efforts to use that voting bloc to remain in power by disrupting and questioning election results.
Faced with changing demographics and states -- - notably Arizona and Georgia --- that were once reliably Republican but are now sending Democrats to Congress, Republicans are looking for ways to stop the bleeding as their power melts away.
According to Levine, Donald Trump just gave them the roadmap by blatantly saying the election was stolen from him -- which has been well-received by more than just conservative extremists.
As his Guardian report notes, "... fanned repeatedly by Donald Trump throughout 2020, the myth of a stolen American election has shifted from a fringe idea to one being embraced by the Republican party. The so-called big lie – the idea that the election was stolen from Trump - has transformed from a tactical strategy to a guiding ideology."
According to UC Irvine law professor Richard Hasen, Republicans embracing Trump's "Big Lie" is a sign of an emerging trend that doesn't bode well for future elections.
"Voter suppression is not new, the battle lines have been drawn over that for quite some time. But this new concern about election subversion is really worrisome," he explained.
Edward Foley, a law professor at the Ohio State University, concurred, adding, "I do think it's a relatively new phenomenon, unfortunately, and disturbing. We've had disputed elections in the past, but we've never had the denial of the basic mathematical reality of counting votes."
With the Guardian's Levine noting polls show that a majority of Republicans still believe that Trump is the "true president," he spoke with a former GOP operative from Florida who made a very candid admission that Republicans are seeing their position of power wither away and are being forced to embrace Trump's tactics .
"In the past, party elders, party leaders … exploited the crazies in order to win elections and then largely ignored them after the elections," explained Mac Stipanovich. "What has happened since then is that Trump opened Pandora's box and let them out. He not only let them out, he affirmed them and provoked them. And so now they're running wild and they are legitimatizing these delusions."
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