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Democrats are big believers in their own 'big lie'

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/23/2022 Washington Examiner
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As shorthand for former President Donald Trump's unwillingness to accept his 2020 election loss, Democrats strangely chose the phrase "the big lie." Hitler had once used this phrase to describe supposed Jewish mendacity; his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, had used it to describe British claims during World War II.

But as they make their weird foray into using Nazi nomenclature, the Democrats should be forced to deal with their own election denialism.

Trump is not the first person to deny an election outcome or even to try to overturn a majority presidential victory based on lies and conspiracy theories. For example, in 2004, Democrats challenged George W. Bush's decisive electoral and popular vote victory using false and baseless conspiracy theories about voting machines. Honestly, it sounds very Trumpian in hindsight, except that he is the one who learned from them.

At this point, 2004 is ancient history. But Democrats are still championing and building up their own election denialists — even nominating them for office. They still defend Hillary Clinton's refusal to accept her loss in 2016 based on a conspiracy theory her campaign created and spread about Russians stealing the election. Former President Jimmy Carter went so far as to claim that Trump had lost but "was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf." At one point, two-thirds of Democratic voters said they believed the false claim that Russia had tampered with state vote counts.

The most prominent election denialist running for office this year is Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia. By her own reckoning, Abrams is actually the rightful incumbent since 2018, as she never acknowledged that she lost the race for the same position that year. She denied the result because of what she claimed was a massive behind-the-scenes conspiracy to prevent black voters from voting. When confronted today, she is full of excuses for her conduct and attempts to distinguish her denialism from Trump's.

“I will never ever say that it is OK to claim fraudulent outcomes as a way to give yourself power,” Abrams told the 19th. She also said, "My point was that the access to the election was flawed, and I refuse to concede a system that permits citizens to be denied access. That is very different than someone claiming fraudulent outcome.”

But this is a distinction without a difference. Abrams's mass disenfranchisement conspiracy that supposedly changed an election outcome is not substantially different from a mass illegal-voting conspiracy that supposedly changed an election outcome. Abrams, like Trump, has repeatedly claimed to be the rightful 2018 winner, and she has repeatedly refused to concede her defeat, even though her claims are just as meritless as his.

Indeed, Trump's claim that Georgia was stolen from him, though baseless, is numerically less absurd than Abrams's claims — she lost by four times as many votes.

Abrams's claims of mass voter disenfranchisement in Georgia's 2018 election were never anything more than baseless conspiracy theories, bolstered entirely by sketchy anecdotes that are easily explained or were debunked at the time by local media.

But Abrams cynically took advantage of the fact that the media will often repeat whatever Democrats say and that her opponent, Brian Kemp, was secretary of state at the time, which meant he could be falsely but plausibly blamed for just about any election-related mishap. So she blamed him, for example, when black Democratic officials chose (often over Kemp's objection) to consolidate certain polling places in heavily black Democratic precincts. Abrams and her allies built up pernicious conspiracy theories around various mishaps that occur in nearly every election. For example, some incompetent election workers forgot power cords for four battery-powered voting machines, causing a delay at a precinct in Gwinnett County. The cords were eventually retrieved — they weren't in Kemp's office, in case you're wondering.

Abrams had two reasons for delegitimizing the 2018 outcome before voting had even started. First, she was creating an excuse in advance for her loss to protect her path to another statewide Democratic nomination in the future. Second and more importantly, she was using what has become the Democrats' most effective get-out-the-vote technique — to convince their base that someone is taking away their right to vote. These allegations are not intended to be true or even plausible — they are just supposed to scare less-motivated Democrats into voting.

In the end, Georgia's 2018 election had a record turnout — up 56% from the previous midterm election. Abrams's lies were exposed by that alone. Yet the national media and Democrats have been building her up and enabling her election denialism ever since.

This is not to say that Abrams's misconduct somehow justifies Trump's or that of Republicans who give lip service to similar conspiracy theories. But it does show that Democrats' concern over election denialism and "our democracy" is entirely feigned — an insincere, convenient excuse to oppose candidates they would oppose anyway, no matter what. Why believe a word they say about their "big lie" when they don't even believe a word of it themselves?

 

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Tags: Editorials, 2020 Elections, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, Georgia, Voter Fraud

Original Author: Washington Examiner

Original Location: Democrats are big believers in their own 'big lie'

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