The Democratic Party has spent much of its existence posing as the defender of the poor and helpless — “the forgotten man at the bottom” — against would-be oligarchs seeking to suppress them. Although the Democratic Party has long since transformed into the party of the rich and powerful, it has maintained its rhetorical position as a populist force aiding the underdog.
Democrats and “progressives” increasingly warn that the American system itself teeters in the balance, and the greatest threat to “Our Democracy”™ are often elections. (They seem particularly concerned about the threat to “democracy” posed by their party’s impending shellacking in the 2022 midterm elections.) The juxtaposition seems so ironic that only reading their harried, hair-on-fire warnings can establish that they have actually made this argument. Here are a few examples:
1. Rep. Eric Swalwell warns 2022 could be ‘the last election’
While savvy, sophisticated politicians might subtly imply that their defeat would topple the U.S. system, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) said the soft part loud.
“I’m worried that if Republicans win in the midterm elections, that voting as we know it in this country will be gone,” Swalwell told MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” on January 3. “This is not only the most important election, if we don’t get it right, it could be the last election.”
Of course, Congressman Swalwell had an unfortunate experience with elections during the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, which he exited seven months before the Iowa caucuses after failing to garner 1% support in most polls.
2. Defeat Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, because ‘American democracy is at stake’
Next to President Donald Trump, few people fill the Left with bile as much as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). His opponent has accused DeSantis of seeking to destroy democracy. “American democracy is at stake in this year’s elections. Ron DeSantis does not want your vote to count–we’ve got to band together and stop him,” Charlie Crist — the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat seeking the Democratic nomination for governor this year — tweeted on January 4.
American democracy is at stake in this year’s elections. Ron DeSantis does not want your vote to count–we’ve got to band together and stop him.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) January 5, 2022
Crist, too, has reason to believe elections threaten his future. “He lost two times to Republican Marco Rubio during the election- first in the primary, and again, after he re-entered the race as an independent candidate in the general election,” noted Ballotpedia. Crist then lost the 2014 Florida governor’s race to Republican Rick Scott. He previously lost the 1998 U.S. Senate race to incumbent Democrat Bob Graham by 25%, and nearly 1 million votes.
3. A Republican victory in the 2022 midterms would render the 2024 election ‘illegitimate’
While many have singled out specific politicians, some have claimed that any Republican victory would not only undermine fair elections but render future elections “illegitimate.” One of these is analyst Ian Bremmer, founder of the Eurasia Group, who told CBS News on January 4:
This is the most important midterm election in American history. We have January 6 coming in just a day. And as you know from the profoundly challenged election of 2020, no lessons have been learned at all in the United States. The country is much more divided. … The United States has an election process that is increasingly broken and increasingly delegitimized. And the midterm elections especially, if you have a significant win for a Trump-led Republican Party, means that 2024 will be seen as illegitimate and potentially a constitutional crisis. In the world’s most powerful country, it is hard not to rank that high on your list.
The party that controls the White House historically loses seats in Congress during the midterm elections as part of the cycle of voters expressing their displeasure with the incumbent. Bremmer did not elaborate on how the anticipated Republican victory in the 2022 would render the next presidential election “illegitimate,” nor did CBS News ask him to do so.
CBS Morning’s guest Ian Bremmer says “2024 is going to be seen as illegitimate and potentially a constitutional crisis” if there is a “significant win for a Trump-led Republican party” in the 2022 midterms. pic.twitter.com/oQO2mA6ign
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 4, 2022
4. NBC News ties school board elections to January 6
NBC News reporter Brandy Zadrozny artificed an investigative journalism piece attempting to tie school board elections to January 6. “After their failed attempt to overturn a presidential election perceived as stolen, domestic extremists retreated to their backyards,” she wrote. “On popular QAnon forums, influencers urged followers to get involved with school committees and boards and run for election at any level.” As proof Zadrozny reported that, in three months, people she describes as extremists attended two meetings in the nation’s 13,800 school districts. The message is clear: Candidates seeking to change unpopular policies in school
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