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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

More trumpets than Trump: This is how the most extreme wing of the Republicans continues their crusade

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Roger Stone often says that the day Joe Biden crossed the threshold of the White House as President, a “satanic door” to the residence opened; a door that “only prayer can close”. It’s hard to say if he really believes what he’s saying, but it’s proven that he keeps repeating it to applause to participants in the ReAwaken America Tour rallies, which in April 2021 were led by a certain Clay Clark, a Tulsa businessman , launched ( Oklahoma) and coronavirus denier after suffering an epiphany in early 2020. He asked God for help, he says, “to end the quarantines, lockdowns, vaccination requirements, and closures” brought on by the pandemic, and received an answer: “Reawaken America. ”

Photo: Almond Ngan | Video: EPV

Stone is a veteran Republican strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns since the days of Richard Nixon and belongs to the most extreme wing of a party that seems to be hijacked by guys like him. Men and women who, without masks and spurred on by the uneasiness of a country torn in two, launched their candidacies at all levels in the primaries of next November’s elections with more Trumpist speeches than Trump himself and with support. on many occasions by the former president himself (and that of uneven fortune too). Stone, inventor of the slogan “Stop the Steal,” is also one of the tycoon’s closest allies, who these days is daisy-picking whether he’ll be featured again in 2024.

So has Michael Flynn, the other big star of the US revival’s 17 tour events to date, which have spanned from California to Ohio with sold-out tickets ($250 each). Flynn is a three-star retired general who was fired from the position of director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, was appointed national security adviser with Trump, and had to resign in 2017 over his involvement in the Russian conspiracy, even lying too much would have . for the standards of this administration. Today, he is a benchmark in far-right QAnon conspiracy circles for his defense of outlandish theories, such as that the coronavirus was invented to microchip the population designed to control left-wing elites kidnapping children in order to taking blood from them and receiving a drug called adrenochrome with supposed promises of immortality, or that Italy used military satellites to facilitate President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020.

Joining Flynn and Stone is something else: Both have been pardoned by whoever was their chief of crimes related to lying during his tenure. More or less simultaneously, on January 6, they participated in the events now being investigated by the Congressional Committee.

Stone is linked to the radical Proud Boys militia (and in particular to their leader Enrique Tarrio, who has been accused of seditious conspiracy over his actions during the riot), while Flynn will be the focus of a meeting to be held at the Oval on December 18 Office is held, who earnestly settles for the title of “world’s clumsiest”. it was Trump.” In it, he defended that “Venezuela, China and Iran” interfered in the November 2020 elections or that “Internet-connected Nest-branded thermostats” altered ballots. That meeting, at which a sinister Flynn attorney named Sidney Powell was almost appointed special prosecutor to investigate allegations of voter fraud, starred in one of the most infamous sessions of the commission investigating the riot.

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In a recent profile of Flynn published by the magazine AtlanticIn a text in which some of his old comrades in military life cast doubt on his mental health, Steve Bannon, the great Rasputin of American populism, declares: “I think Mike [Flynn] could well be on the 2024 vice presidential shortlist. And if the President [Trump] If I don’t run, I firmly believe that Mike will run.”

Bannon, who was convicted of a misdemeanor last Friday for refusing to cooperate in the congressional investigation, is proud to have listeners to his program believe it war room (mixture between podcast and low-budget TV shows). From this pulpit, which he records in a Washington basement, the former Trump adviser promotes many of these candidates as part of a stated plan to turn the country upside down by turning adherents of the far-right’s wildest theories to the most basic Levels of power control in the United States, from election officials or secretaries of state to school boards or assistant attorneys general. All of this is part of something Bannon has dubbed the Precint Strategy, which encourages “engaged citizens” to stand up for their country and fight against radical Democrats and “system-hijacked Republicans.”

Experts at election analysis laboratories warn of the risk of control over the results’ certification slipping into the hands of supporters of the theory that the Democrats subverted the 2020 nomination that victory (legitimized in 61 of the 62 court cases opened since then) was possible thanks to the resistance of a handful of officials who refused to give in to pressure from Trump and his people. Still, even today, two-thirds of Republican voters believe there’s something smelly about scorching in the election that put Biden in the White House.

In a country where a majority of its citizens believe the US government is corrupt, and nearly a third say it will soon be necessary to take up arms against them, according to a poll released this week by the US Policy Institute University of Chicago turn on the rhetoric of some of these extremist candidates. Sometimes it even does so with the help of the Democratic Party, which employs an admittedly risky tactic (bordering on foul play) in these primary elections: funding the campaigns of its craziest Republican opponents to ensure those who end up in the finals racially fear moderate voters . This has been done, for example, in Missouri, Maryland or Illinois.

And the fact is, it could work: According to an analysis by New York Times, there are 37 candidates for Congress supporting theories close to QAnon. 26 of them have already been removed from the primaries. And of the remaining 11, eight have it raw, one is level with his Democratic opponent, and two, Lauren Boebert (Colorado) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia), true celebrities of Trumpism (far) beyond Trump, carry the win in November According to Mike Rothschild, author of The Storm Is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, a Cult, and a Conspiracy Theory of It All (The Storm Is Over Our Heads: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything) What its proponents have done so far is let some of their ideas seep through, such as that the 2020 election was a robbery or that the Democrats are influencing children in dangerous ways with their progressive sex education that de facto, makes them scapegoats for pedophiles.

For now, Trump and his allies don’t seem uncomfortable with being accused of being radicals. They were even able to reverse one of the marches Biden’s team wanted to use against him when, last May, after months of study looking for a cheap label, he said his candidates were “ultra MAGA” (which stands for Make America). Great Again, the former president’s favorite slogan, which adorns tens of thousands of red hats nationwide). When Trump first heard it, he thought the best thing would be to appropriate the seal. So he floods the inboxes of everyone who’s peeked into his world with emails, his propaganda team urging everyone to join the “Ultra MAGA Movement”. Not only that, he entertains the most dedicated by calling them “Ultra MAGA Kings”.

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