I am on the mailing list for regular statements issued by Donald Trump.
One recently hit my feed, containing the following message: “If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24.”
I support Trump on most things. I wrote an entire book, “Trumped-Up Charges,” debunking many of the falsehoods widely said about him. I strongly defended him — and continue to do so — regarding his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol invasion. While I think he exhibited too much sympathy and not enough outrage regarding the invaders, he is most certainly not responsible for the attack, and his impeachment for “inciting an insurrection” was a sham.
When it comes to whether the 2020 election was stolen, I’m all in favor of continuing audits, because elections have been fraught with irregularities for decades; it wasn’t just this past November.
I agree with Trump that elections should be conducted the old-fashioned way: voters showing up in person and only on Election Day. Emerging technology should not replace everything we do in society, so we shouldn’t even toy with the idea of, say, voting by smartphone. Just like we can’t print our own money at home, we shouldn’t be able to vote from there either.
But if Trump’s supporters listen to him and abstain from voting until the “Presidential Election Fraud of 2020” is solved, that would be a mistake of gargantuan proportions that probably will lead to decades of longstanding damage.
We can debate what was wrong with the 2020 election — was it just making voting more accessible predominantly in Democratic neighborhoods, or were votes physically changed from Trump to Biden? — until the cows come home, but making it even easier for the Democrats to win next time doesn’t do any good.
Other than ensuring Democratic landslide after landslide, what would boycotting elections accomplish? Would there be election reform?
Who would come up with such an initiative — the Democrats, who would be in power? Why on earth would they lift a finger to make things harder for themselves?
Or would it be the Republicans, from their imaginary Capitol Hill perches? Because they certainly won’t actually be sitting in Congress if the voters who typically put them there stay home on Election Day.
Via a combination of catastrophic policies and inept governance, the Democrats are committing political suicide faster than when they opposed the Emancipation Proclamation. After Lincoln’s proclamation, Republicans enjoyed a 50-year run of the White House with only one Democratic president, Grover Cleveland, elected during that time, and they controlled both houses of Congress during the vast majority of that stretch.
That’s because no one told Republican voters to stay home and not vote.
Tens of millions of Americans find it sickening that Joe Biden was elected. They deem him not a has-been, but a never-was.
Normally, badly aging politicians who never had much national appeal to begin with don’t get to be president. And when they get into office and wind up being worse than anyone even imagined, they surely don’t get another term. Unless the other side doesn’t show up to vote.
If you don’t like the way the game is being played, you can take your ball and go home. But the analogy doesn’t apply to elections, because going home doesn’t shield you from the madness created and perpetuated by those who are in power as a result of your abstinence. Unless, of course, you’re prepared to move to another country.
During those years between 1860 and 1912, when Americans essentially wrote them off en masse, the Democrats didn’t curl up and cower in the corner. They regrouped and rose again.
Since then, they’ve won more presidential elections than Republicans have, and controlled Congress more than twice as often. Pundits have written countless erudite obituaries for political parties, but they are rarely valid. The last major party to permanently disappear was the Whigs, over 150 years ago.
Likewise, the Republicans can come storming back, and they don’t have to wait 50 years. They’re poised to recapture both houses of Congress in 2022 and they have a far more impressive field of presidential hopefuls for 2024 than do the Democrats. Donald Trump is among them. He’s still very much in the public eye and saying some very wise things, but encouraging Republican voters to stay home isn’t one of them.
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