Election Deniers: Their Own Worst Enemies

I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

By spreading endless Conspiracy Theories that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, and thereby continually sowing the seeds of doubt, Trump and his fellow election deniers have become their own worst enemies. There is no better example than what happened in Arizona.[i] Whether Republicans will learn from it remains to be seen.

Because of malfunctions, voting machines in Maricopa County rejected thousands of proper ballots. As a result, Voters were instructed to place their ballots in a secure box by the name of Box 3. However, primed by Trump, the State’s most Conservative voters warned others not to use the boxes, thereby boosting false claims that they were suspicious. Even though Republican candidate for Governor Kari Lake later declared that Box 3 was safe, the damage was already done. It reinforced already considerable doubts to the legitimacy of elections thereby further suppressing turnout among Conservatives. It was a case in point of the effects of rampant Misinformation.

At the same time, candidates who got Trump’s blessing fared poorly nationwide thus casting considerable doubt as to his continued viability as the leader of the Republican Party and his candidacy for President[ii]. Nevertheless, as Thomas Freidman noted, “Sure, most of Trump’s cult followers still embrace his lie, because openly abandoning it in front of family, friends or co-workers is just too embarrassing. But the G.O.P. establishment is going to have to choose — keep losing with Trump or vote him off the island for DeSantis. Welcome to ‘Survivor: Florida.’”[iii]

Indeed, how many more elections will the Republican Party have to lose before his base finally wakes up and abandons him for good?

Even then, the enormous damage that Trump and the Republican Party have done to Democracy will take many years to cure if that.

[i] Jim Rutenberg and Nick Corasaniti, “Election Denial Limits Turnout For the G.O.P.” The New York Times, Wednesday, November 16, 2022, PP A1 and A15.

[ii] Bret Stephens, “Trump Is Finally Finished,” The New York Times, Wednesday, November, 16, 2022, P A23.

[iii] Thomas L. Friedman, “The Big Liar and His Losing Little Liars,” The New York Times, Wednesday, November, 16, 2022, P A22.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash



Professor Emeritus USC

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