Trump supporters wave a Trump 2020 flag during the Capitol riot.

Conservatives Are Already Laying the Groundwork To Declare Democrats’ Midterm Wins Illegitimate

Setting the stage for another January 6.

We’re a week and a half out from the midterm elections and Fox News and other right-wing figures are already setting the stage for another January 6.

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On his show this week, Tucker Carlson told his audience of more than 3 million viewers that Democrats are poised to steal key elections and throw anyone who tries to stop them in jail.

Democrats, Carlson said, don’t care about individual candidates, only about amassing power. “It’s not about the person, it’s about the party,” he said, which is just absolutely laughable coming from the party currently backing some of the most embarrassing candidates to ever run for office.

In a vicious display of ableism, Carlson says the Democratic Party is running “mentally defective candidates who can barely speak,” while showing a picture of John Fetterman, who is still recovering from a recent stroke.

The party, Carlson says, “not only expect[s] them to”—insert nonsensical scare quotes—”‘win’ but expect you to accept the outcome, no matter how transparently absurd it is. On November 9th, they’ll be telling you that John Fetterman got 81 million votes in Pennsylvania and they’ll threaten to put you in jail if you don’t believe it. Why wouldn’t they do that? It worked with Joe Biden.”

Carlson is presumably referring to convicted participants in the Capitol riot, or perhaps any of the subjects of criminal investigations into serious attempts by Trump allies (including Rudy Giuliani) to overturn the results of the 2020 election. None of those are people being investigated or convicted for simply not “believing” election results. But Carlson is conflating the two in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a repeat of 2020.

And he’s not the only one. Ted Cruz announced to the entire internet that he still doesn’t understand how mail-in and early voting affects elections. “Why is it only Democrat blue cites that take ‘days’ to count their votes? The rest of the country manages to get it done on election night,” he wrote, retweeting an article about expected delays in Pennsylvania’s election results.

If Cruz had actually read the article he shared, he would know (not that he’d care) that there’s a state law dictating when mail-in ballots can start being counted. As we saw in 2020, states and areas with more registered Democrats have more mail-in ballots to count, thanks to Republican efforts to dissuade voters from using absentee voting options. (Also, someone should tell Cruz that Pennsylvania isn’t a city, and that it’s a pretty evenly divided swing state. So as always, Ted Cruz doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.)

Outside of mainstream conservative politics and media, there’s another insidious, extremely dangerous effort to delegitimize mail-in voting and terrorize voters who utilize it. Trump supporters are reportedly using Truth Social to coordinate “tailgate parties,” where they dress up in tactical gear and monitor ballot drop boxes. A clear intimidation tactic, they’re even going so far as to take pictures of voters and their cars and post them online—and then also question why those voters are taking steps to protect their identities, creating a full conspiracy ouroboros.

Buckle up, everybody. It’s going to be a rough few weeks.

(image: Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.