Despite the media's reluctance to discuss the problem, it's been overwhelmingly clear for some time now that the American right wing is done with democracy. Now we have direct evidence that they would happily support the end of American elections in order to keep a grip on their stolen power.
Two researchers, Ariel Malka and Yphtach Lelkes, conducted a poll of Republican voters and asked these two questions:
- If Donald Trump were to say that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote, would you support or oppose postponing the election?
- What if both Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress were to say that the 2020 presidential election should be postponed until the country can make sure that only eligible American citizens can vote? Would you support or oppose postponing the election?
The automatic answer for anyone who believes in democracy is, of course, "absolutely not." Yet, Malka and Lelkes found that a disturbing 52% of Republicans would support suspending elections if Trump ordered it and an even more disturbing 56% would if both Trump and Republicans ordered it.
Do we even have to ask how they would respond if Obama and the Democrats had suggested the same thing? Can anyone honestly say Democratic voters would have even remotely this kind of support for something so deeply illegal and unconstitutional? No, this is uniquely a sickness of right wing politics. It's never been more clear that the right wants to be ruled instead of governed and this is the next best thing to Republicans standing on a roof bellowing "Long live the king!"
Remember, this is the same group of people that openly advocate for stripping millions of people of their right to vote, making voting harder for likely Democratic voters, arresting political opponents, shutting down the "liberal" media and ignoring the courts when they don't like their "liberal" rulings. The American right wing has been steadily marching towards crushing democracy in favor of authoritarian rule for decades and now they've started to sprint towards the finish line.
Trump is already aching to be crowned God Emperor of America and if he thinks he can have half of the electorate back his play, he won't hesitate to declare an "emergency" suspending the rule of law until he consolidates his power. The question is whether or not Trump will have corrupted enough of the government by then to pull it off. The original "Muslim Ban" was almost certainly a trial balloon to see if law enforcement would be willing to ignore the courts to enact illegal orders from the president. It wasn't, and that temporarily put the brakes on Trump's power grab, but the fact that the Republican Party and Republican voters vocally supported him is a bad sign.
Right now, the number of Republicans willing to admit that democracy is expendable stands at 52% and 56%. When (not "if", when) Trump declares that the 2020 (or even 2018) elections must be postponed "just until we figure out what's going on", expect those numbers to jump up to the 80s and 90s. Republicans are like lemmings, falling mindlessly in line when ordered to by Fox News, AM Hate Radio and right wing websites. Over the next three years, they will be working nonstop to delegitimize any election result that does not keep Republicans in power, just like they were doing until they unexpectedly won the 2016 contest.
If we can't take back the House and restore the checks and balances Republicans have willfully weakened, we may not have the chance to try again.
There are 453 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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