Madness is not a Unifying Strategy
[A shorter version of this blog post first appeared on the Flip 2020 website]
The administration, which continues to assert that Mexico will pay for the border wall, may be finding the limitations of madness as a political strategy.
Trump spoke to a good-sized crowd at a tiny airport in Georgia near the Florida border. The purpose of the rally was to support the two Republican senators running to save their seats in the January 5th run-off election.
Valdosta, GA airport with an estimated 10K person crowd
Trump spent much of his speech complaining about how the election had been stolen from him and how Gov Kemp had refused to overturn the election in Georgia for him. He played OANN tapes of detailed “vote stealing” activities in various states including Georgia. He notably did not condemn the Republican operatives who were encouraging people not to vote in the runoff, calling them “his friends.”
Trump spoke for almost 2 hours. He let the candidate speak for 2 minutes, while they were on the stage together, during which the crowd shouted “Fight for Trump” in the same cadence as their previous favorite “Lock her up.” The fans message is clear, take Georgia’s electoral votes for Trump, or suffer the consequences.
“You know, you’re angry because so many votes were stolen. It was taken away. And you say, ‘Well, we’re not going to do it.’ We can’t do that. We have to actually do just the opposite,” Trump said.
The Oxford Dictionary defines Orwells term Doublethink as “the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination.”
If you attended this rally, you left with two messages. The senators are not doing enough for Trump. These senators deserve your vote.
Some Trump followers who believe these claims of massive voter fraud are advocating for boycotting the Georgia Senate runoffs. Because this race is within just a couple of points – without Trump actively unifying his base, even a tiny boycott could sink the GOPs chances to hold either seat.
This is a photo of the Sidney Powell and Lin Wood “Stop the Steal” rally in Georgia where Republican participants were encouraged to boycott the upcoming runoff elections, unless they overturn the states electoral votes going to Biden. Here the message from Trump’s friends is unequivocal “Don’t vote” and from the size of the crowd, if I were a GOP operative working in Georgia I would be worried. And in case you have not seen the clips you should know this was an enthusiastic crowd.
This rally creates an impossible situation for Loeffler and Perdue. If they demand the election results be overturned they spark a civil war inside the party where “conventional” Republicans like the Secretary of State Raphenperger and Gabriel Sterling (who famously demanded Trump to control the threats of his supporters) are disenfranchised. Or they stop short of these demands and the enraged Trump supporters follow the advice of Wood and Powell and boycott the election because they have not earned their vote. Either way, because of the razor tight margins the way incumbents are likely to lose. Trump held this rally not to support these candidates, but to threaten them to do more for him or risk losing his full support. For in the end this narcissist in chief cares only about his own king making capacity and not about who controls the Senate or anything else.
The Flip Georgia project is the legitimate daughter of the Flip 2020 project which operated in Maine through the general election. Out of state activists, organizers and street performers are working with locals groups to register voters, canvass door to door and raise voter awareness of the critical runoff election on Jan 5th.
We still need financial assistance to do this timely work. Please support us as you can.