Features Australia

The orange man cometh

Trump tightens his grip on the GOP

Kerry Wakefield

[Getty Images]

Kerry Wakefield

13 August 2022

9:00 AM

Wailing, gnashing of teeth and near-foaming at the mouth broke out among US media pundits last week as a new horror reared over the land – the dastardly ‘election-denier’. The elites’ pundit Joe Scarborough thundered against this new ‘threat to American democracy’: ‘Election deniers, insurrectionists, weirdos, freaks… the most extreme slate of candidates in American history’. His MSNBC co-anchor and wife, Mika Brzezinski spat: ‘Pushing lies, pushing conspiracy theories, hurting people, just loving hurting people. It is repulsive.’

The cause of this on-air breakdown was the Arizona GOP primary, in which Trump’s candidates swept the field, promising election integrity, strict borders and other America First policies. Top of the ticket was rising star and ex-TV anchor Kari Lake, running for governor, who memorably schooled 60 Minutes Australia reporter Liam Bartlett in an interview recently. She hasn’t taken a backward step in the face of media antagonism on AZ election fraud claims, and right on cue, the state-run primaries were stuffed up so clearly that the Pinal County elections boss resigned the day after the poll. Lake carried all 15 counties in what temporarily became ‘Karizona’.

It is an article of faith in the US that a decaying cellar dweller won the 2020 election, and that all proper-thinking people know that Trump’s vociferous election fraud claims are the ‘big lie’. Yet polls regularly say around 50 per cent of Americans think the election was dodgy, and nearly four out of five Republicans. Since Trump’s loss a slew of reports and evidence has come out showcasing what actually happened in swing states, and movies such as 2000 Mules and Rigged have spread the word – even if most Australians haven’t heard it.

Where we go wrong is in assuming that Americans hold their institutions in the same regard as we do ours; Americans are, in fact, far more jaundiced. A 2022 Gallup poll reported all-time lows in overall trust in US institutions, and record lows in media trust, with a mere 16 per cent reporting a lot of faith in newspapers, and 11 per cent in TV news. Hoaxes such as Trump Russian collusion, with the ludicrous Steele dossier, the drinking bleach and Charlottesville fine people hoaxes, the mislabelling of Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation, cancel culture and much more have fed this disillusion.

In this environment, the AZ poll became a key test of strength for the election integrity push, because AZ was the tip of the spear in vote auditing, running the ground-breaking Maricopa County Forensic Election Audit in 2021. Its work led the AZ Attorney-General Mark Brnovich to conclude, in an interim report, that ‘the 2020 election in Maricopa County revealed serious vulnerabilities that must be addressed and raises questions about the 2020 election in Arizona’. Alas, Brnovich then failed to act, and lost his race to a dastardly denier. And audit strongman Mark Finchem, who wants paper ballots, election day voting and counting, became the new GOP candidate for the role overseeing elections, Secretary of State. The GOP primaries are continuing but Trump has won enough races to crow about his influence, with media reluctantly agreeing.

With the legacy media busily trying to whitewash US elections, it was downright inconvenient for the Department of Justice US Attorney’s office in eastern Pennsylvania to recently release details of ex-Democrat congressman Michael Myers pleading guilty to election fraud, namely:

conspiracy to deprive voters of civil rights, bribery, obstruction of justice, falsification of voting records, and conspiring to illegally vote in a federal election for orchestrating schemes to fraudulently stuff the ballot boxes for specific Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Pennsylvania elections.

The detail is fascinating. For sums ranging from $300 to $5000 per poll, Myers could get votes added on to voting machines, and arrange false certification. Phone hook-ups would occur on the day with an election boss reporting ‘legit vote’ tallies to Myers, and subsequently fixing votes as agreed. Further, the election boss would later adjust voter numbers to accord with voter rolls, to avoid detection.

Veteran strategist and former Clinton advisor Dick Morris predicts Trump will win in 2024 despite such election shenanigans, citing the potentially far-reaching upcoming Supreme Court case Moore v. Harper, on a doctrine which holds that only state legislatures can determine election processes. At the moment state courts, governors, election commissioners, and officials can change election processes, notably in the 2020 election, with the proliferation of drop boxes, mail-in voting measures, signature verification changes and more. The relevant constitutional clause says:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations.

Morris believes that this SCOTUS will deliver a ruling tying the hands of state actors, other than the legislature, to change state election procedures. Tellingly, three conservative justices endorsed this doctrine in a previous 2020 case.

Democrats are not letting their opponents make all the running. The Biden administration has ordered all 600 federal agencies to ‘expand citizens’ opportunities to register to vote… and participate in, the electoral process’. In other words, federal agencies will be used as a voter turnout machine. Some Democrats are cock-a-hoop that the GOP has bound itself to ‘extreme’ candidates. In Michigan, former Trump official John Gibbs was elected over a sitting GOP congressman with the help of Democrat-funded ads.

Nevertheless, the bogeyman looms large. The J6 committee fulminates nightly over his villainy, inadvertently keeping Trump the most relevant figure in US politics and making election rigging a nightly conversation. Trump’s grip on the GOP cannot be denied; and may yet catapult him back into the presidency.

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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