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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/5/21

How Trump's Attempted Coup Could Still Succeed

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From Robert Reich Blog

Donald Trump coup
Donald Trump coup
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  • The former president's attempted coup is not stopping. He still refuses to concede and continues to rile up supporters with his bogus claim that the 2020 election was stolen. Tens of millions of Americans believe him.

    Last Sunday, at a Republican event in Franklin, North Carolina, Congressman Madison Cawthorn, repeating Trump's big lie, called the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 "political hostages."

    Cawthorn also advised the crowd to begin stockpiling ammunition for what he said is likely to be American-versus-American "bloodshed" over unfavorable election results.

    "Much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs," he said, "there's nothing I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American."

    On Tuesday, Texas Republicans passed a strict voter law based on Trump's big lie -- imposing new ID requirements on people seeking to vote by mail and criminal penalties on election officials who send unsolicited mail-in ballot applications, empowering partisan poll watchers, and banning drive-through and 24-hour voting.

    This year, at least 18 other states have enacted 30 laws that will make it harder for Americans to vote, based on Trump's lie.

    On Thursday, at Trump's instigation, Pennsylvania Republicans launched an investigation soliciting sworn testimony on election "irregularities," scheduling the first hearing for next week.

    Arizona's Republican "audit" will report its results any day, but there's little question what they'll show. The CEO of the Cyber Ninjas, the firm hired to conduct it, has publicly questioned the election results, and the audit team consists of Trump supporters and is funded by a group led by Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

    The Republican chair of the Wisconsin state assembly's campaigns and elections committee has begun "a full, cyber-forensic audit" akin to Arizona's. Trump's first White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, says Wisconsin Republicans are prepared to spend $680,000 on it.

    These so-called audits won't alter the outcome of the 2020 election. Their point is to cast further doubt on its legitimacy and justify additional state measures to suppress votes and alter future elections.

    It's a vicious cycle. As Trump continues to stoke his base with his big lie that the election was stolen, Republican lawmakers -- out to advance their careers and entrench the GOP -- are adding fuel to the fire, pushing more Americans into Trump's paranoid nightmare.

    The three top candidates to succeed Richard Burr in North Carolina all denounced the senator's vote to convict Trump in his last impeachment trial. The four leading candidates to succeed Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania all embraced Trump's call for an "audit" of election results.

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    Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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