Even if he doesn’t win, Donald Trump has still done untold damage to our country. His sexist rhetoric, xenophobic appeals to white nationalists and all-out embrace of the far-right fringe have mainstreamed a kind of hateful politics that will take a long time to get rid of. But one of the most damaging parts of the Trump campaign, at least in the long run, could end up being what he’s doing right now.
As his presidential prospects continue to fade, Donald Trump has resorted to spreading conspiracies theories about voter fraud. He now says at his rallies that the election will be “rigged.”
So-called responsible Republicans like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have, of course, tried to distance themselves from this kind of rhetoric. In a statement to Buzzfeed, his press secretary said that, “Our democracy relies on confidence in election results, and the speaker is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.”
This sounds nice, but it’s really a bunch of BS.
What Trump is saying right now about voter fraud is no different than what other Republicans have been saying for years — he’s just added his own Trumpian flair to it. And what’s dangerous about all this talking about rigged elections isn’t the fact that it undermines the confidence in election results, it’s the fact that it empowers the forces in our society who actually are trying to undermine our democracy, and yes, rig our elections.
I’m talking, of course, about Republicans.
Since the Koch-backed wave elections of 2010, the Republican Party — the party that Donald Trump will…