This week, the Arizona Republican Party sent a tweet asking supporters if they were willing to sacrifice their lives to support Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election. Until this moment, such a tweet would bring to mind suicide bombers in far-off countries, or citizens on the wrong side of democracy in a distant dictatorship. But now, an American political organization, an American political party, is implying that it would be an act of virtue for civilian Trump supporters to be willing to sacrifice their lives in support of Donald Trump’s self-serving obsession with overturning the certified results of an election.
On December 8, right wing activist Ali Alexander tweeted, “I am willing to give my life for this fight,” referring to his dedication to the “fight” to overturn the 2020 election results to favor Donald Trump. The Arizona Republican Party account retweeted the post, and added, “He is. Are you?”
This should terrify Republicans, but it doesn’t appear to. Donald Trump has spent more than four years working his supporters into a hysteria that has caused them to sever their relationships with rational thought.
Trump’s supporters have found him relatable (an “outsider,” just like them, who, they believe, has the same chips on his shoulder as they do). This has made them more than willing to hand Donald Trump the strings controlling their reality. They have heard and validated their own voices in his mocking of “coastal elites;” his fear mongering against immigrants (especially from “sh*thole countries”); his disdain for “others,” including non-white people, and those in the LGBTQ community. They see in him a green light for voicing the fears, the misogyny, the mistrust of the big “Them,” which includes anyone who hasn’t sworn fealty to Donald Trump. They are impressed by his bravado, and they either don’t notice, or don’t care, that the bravado is empty.
Even though Donald Trump has done very little for them, and in fact, one could argue that he has done quite a lot against them, he has convinced them that he has their backs. He has downplayed the coronavirus pandemic, knowingly put thousands of his supporters in danger by holding rallies, and discouraged safety measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and staying home to help prevent the virus’ spread. Yet, they credit him with ending the pandemic (if, of course, it was ever real, anyway).
Trump’s supporters are willing to believe any baseless conspiracy theory Donald Trump pitches in their direction. Their Trump hysteria has, bafflingly, created a lens through which they see Donald Trump’s corrupt actions as heroic acts to save the republic. There is evil everywhere (especially where Democrats tread), except along the trajectory of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump set them up perfectly to believe that the only reason he would not win re-election would be if the election were “stolen.” No one should be shocked, then, that Trump had only to tweet “I won” for his supporters to work themselves into a frenzied, but baseless, insistence that Trump actually did win the election.
Each recount verifying Biden’s victory, each rejected lawsuit (including two by the Supreme Court), each verification and certification of the results by even Republican officials who had voted for Trump, has only stoked the ire of the #StopTheSteal crowd, and somehow made them even more certain that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Now, some of them, at least, are willing to die for the cause of overturning the election results, and the Arizona Republican Party is suggesting that this is appropriate, and even virtuous. (Will the next step be a promise of rewards in heaven in exchange for a life?)
They have been saving up their 2nd Amendment rights for a time such as this (and such as the peaceful protests and the coronavirus lockdowns). This is another moment for them to confuse themselves with actual patriots who join the real military to help promote and defend actual democracy and integrity— not threaten the lives of good people and endanger others in order to fulfill the corrupt wishes of a delusional man with authoritarian dreams.
We should be angry that so many Americans (or any, really) have become literal fools for Donald Trump. But it’s also a little sad, pathetic, even, that these people whom Donald Trump wouldn’t invite to dinner, ride the bus with, or acknowledge in an elevator, let alone care whether they caught COVID-19 and died, are now, some of them, considering that they might be willing to sacrifice their lives for Donald Trump’s efforts to remain king.
Ariz. GOP Asks Followers if They Are Willing to Die for Election Fight |
The Choice [2020-12-09]
‘Die for something’: Arizona Republican Party deletes martyr tweet about election | 12News KPNX-TV [2020-12-08]