Like it or not, for the foreseeable future, Donald Trump is going to be a force to reckon with in nearly all things political. His lies and childlike attempts to keep his name in our faces has – and is – taking its toll on our way of life.
A new CNN poll of more than 2,000 citizens nationwide showed 56% believe our democracy is under attack. Further, 51% believe it’s “likely elected officials will successfully overturn the results of future elections if their party doesn’t win.”
Nearly all queried – 93% – believe our democracy “is being tested. Republicans expressing the worst fears were Trump voters. In that group, 79% say Trump should be the leader of the Republican Party.
Most in that GOP crowd believe there is “solid evidence” that Joe Biden lost the 2020 election – 78% so say. (Nobody was asked for evidence)
A narrow majority – 52% – lack confidence “future elections will accurately express the will of the people.” Maybe that’s because 58% say voting rule changes in GOP controlled states “were made to keep the Party in power.” Democrat responders – 53% – believe the same.
One other statistical note: 83% of polled Republicans believe election laws “aren’t strict enough” and 66% of Democrats say it’s already too hard to vote.
By way of evidence to support the opening comments about Trump, having an affect on our politics, again, the CNN poll shows 79% want Trump to be the leader of the GOP. Fact is, he is! Name one other Republican who could contest his occupying that spot right now. Or, in the next few years. I can’t think of one.
The polling also shows a majority of us feel under some sort of attack on our system of elections. Elections are the backbone of the country. If the words “free” and “fair” can’t be used to describe future elections, how will we electors have a voice in how the country is run?
Truly, the shadow of Trump hovers over just about everything political. It appears many GOP politicians believe they have to support Trump’s baseless claim he “won” in 2020 and “kiss the ring” in a display of obedience.
Look no further than the failed attempt to recall California’s governor. The loser started complaining the day BEFORE the polls opened that he was the victim of “a stolen election.” Pure Trump. Pure B.S..
Nearly all of us were raised in a time of political fairness, especially in national elections. Both Parties. In all who ran for one office or another. Belief in our election system was just taken for granted.
We know now, things aren’t “free and fair.” In my middle-of-the-road Republican family, the downfall of Richard Nixon killed my Father’s faith in politics and our traditional system of governance. His patriotism and lifelong belief in the honesty of the Presidency were crushed. It literally brought him to his knees. I was in the media at that time. Much of my reporting was about things political. But, Dad would never talk to me about politics again.
Now, we have Trump, whose lies and treachery have irreparably soiled much of our politics. Republicans running for nearly any office seem to have some sort of fealty to him. He sticks his nose into races up and down the ballot. Sometimes, he actively recruits candidates to run against some Republican he believes was disloyal to him.
Like it or not, his brand of politics is being emulated in many contests.
As in his California involvement, we’re seeing outright lies being effective at the polls. That’s how we got Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, and Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis and others of their ilk. Despoilers of truth and disdain for “free” and “fair.” They, and others, in Congress and state affairs have brazenly taken on Trump’s banners and are conducting themselves in his likeness.
Voters polled by CNN overwhelmingly believe our system of governance – our way of life – is under attack. The majority fear future elections may be invalidated by elected officials – especially Republican officials.
That polling shows many of us are unsettled, apprehensive about the future and are fearful our voices will be stilled by unscrupulous politicians. And, in many of the responses, the specter of Trump was revealed in their answers.
While I don’t question the veracity of the pollsters, I’d like to think most of us still believe in fairness and honesty – that we who cast ballots in elections will have our voices heard.
Yes, at the moment, Trump is an unwelcome player. But, I’d also like to think enough solid losses at the polls – like the California whipping – will eventually erase the stigma of his influence.
It’s up to us.