Just this weekend, the lie of widespread voter fraud — which led to Trump supporters’ terrifying assault on Capitol Hill — defined Republican primary battles in Michigan and Georgia. It’s also at work across the country in other races, fueled by Trump’s determination to turn the midterms into a theater of revenge and a platform to win back power in 2024.
And the posts underscore how the most important divide in modern politics is not the age-old struggle between liberalism and conservatism — a legitimate ideological duel over the meaning and direction of America. Instead, the great struggle of the early 21st century is between those in the Republican Party who are willing to reject democracy and everyone else.
Text messages sent or received by Meadows between Election Day 2020 and Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021 were obtained and reported by CNN’s Jamie Gangel, Jeremy Herb and Elizabeth Stuart.
They show how Trump’s staunchest and most imbalanced supporters desperately sought to nullify a free and fair election, indulged in absurd fantasies about voter fraud that didn’t happen, and plotted to rob Biden of his position. presidency.
Meadows turned over the texts to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection before he ceased cooperating with the panel. Apart from anything else, they show a White House chief of staff facilitating an attack on democracy rather than acting according to a conventional and accepted definition of this critical government position.
She is one of many House Republicans who have denied the truth about the insurgency and tried to stymie efforts to uncover the truth. But on Jan. 6, according to the texts, Greene was among Republicans imploring Meadows to get Trump to calm his marauding supporters, who fought their way into the Capitol.
New questions for the January 6 committee
The texts also suggest that the committee’s final report, after public hearings expected to take place in a few weeks, will paint a devastating picture of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and cling to power.
But while they are amazing to read, they are unlikely to address the most vital emerging issue regarding the work of the House committee. As damning as the findings are, which will likely leave a precious legacy, will anyone really be responsible for the worst attack on American democracy in modern history?
For many Americans, battling high inflation that sent commodity and gasoline prices soaring, the question of pressing responsibility for the Jan. 6 insurrection may be retrospective more than a year later. And despite the lie about a stolen election dominating Republican primary duels, many elections in November could hinge primarily on whether Biden and Democrats fail to project a winning narrative, even if the economy improves in many ways.
But it is becoming increasingly clear that the lack of consequences for those who aided Trump in his pernicious attempt to steal a legitimate election is having a dangerous effect in emboldening further attacks on democracy. The fundamental national principle that the people have the right to choose their leaders – not a motley band of conspirators and power-hungry supporters of a strongman – seems more threatened than ever.
Several GOP primary campaigns are rooted in the lie that Trump won the 2020 election. The former president wields his considerable power within the party to promote candidates who deny the truth. And he’s also looking to take advantage of supporters who stoke the lie that there was massive fraud in 2020 in key state positions that administer elections.
“The 2020 election was rigged and stolen,” Perdue said in his opening statement on Sunday, hitting on a theme he returned to frequently.
It’s too early to tell whether such campaigns will electrify the conservative base at the expense of more moderate voters, which could backfire on the GOP. But it is already clear that the lying battle to steal power, which reverberates through the Meadows texts, still threatens the right of American voters to choose their own leaders.