At the top of her show tonight, Rachel Maddow documented how Arizona Republicans are commissioning a study aimed at taking one more swing at convincing Trump supporters that the 2020 election was rigged against them. Maddow did a strong job of documenting just how preposterous the entire thing is. But here’s the thing.
There’s an aspect to this that no one is talking about. If you’re honestly convinced that the election is going to be so thoroughly rigged that your guy can’t win no matter how many votes he gets, you’re going to be a lot less likely to bother voting. Sure, the die-hards might turn out and vote out of spite. But if the average Republican voter becomes convinced that the other side is going to rig the election no matter what, then that voter is going to be less likely to carve out time on election day to actually go vote. After all, it won’t count for anything, right?
So the Republicans are welcome to keep trying to convince their own voters that their votes won’t count, because all it’ll do is drive down Republican turnout next time. The only reason they’re doing this is to try to make Trump feel better about his humiliating loss. In the process, they’re handing us a huge gift.
A lot of liberal activists have an unfortunate tendency to sit back and lament about how awful it is that the Republicans are promoting these lies. This is understandable, but it doesn’t accomplish anything. Instead, our job as activists is to seize upon the Republicans’ mistakes when they make them. If right wingers want to keep convincing themselves that their votes won’t count, let them. It’ll make it easier for us to defeat them in upcoming elections.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report