Showing no remorse about the deadly insurrection he incited with his lies about a stolen election in his uprising against the US Congress, former president Donald Trump delivered a lie-ridden speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Orlando, Florida intended to perpetuate the big lie about his loss to President Joe Biden.
Trump’s lies have always been a threat to US democracy, but an even bigger threat emerged at the conservative event as the ex-president put the Republican Party on notice on Sunday that he intends to use his hold on its conservative base to try to force GOP lawmakers to pass legislation to suppress the vote heading into the presidential election in 2024, in which he hinted he might run.
Trump, who tried to force officials in Georgia to steal the election for him, called on the GOP legislators to outlaw mail-in and early voting and made racially motivated insinuations about irregularities in Detroit and Philadelphia. He demanded citizen tests for ballot access, said voting should only take place on Election Day and called for independent judges to be barred from adjudicating election disputes.
“The Republicans have to do something about it. They better do something about it,” he said in his first public remarks since leaving the White House in disgrace.
Trump also dangerously lashed out at Supreme Court justices for failing to intervene to throw him the election he clearly lost to President Joe Biden.
“They should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to our country … the Supreme Court didn’t have the guts or the courage to do anything about it,” Trump fumed in his authoritarian speech, referring to false fraud claims thrown out by multiple judges.
Trump’s remarks could be so damaging because he is effectively making his support for GOP candidates in the 2022 midterms contingent on them backing his false claims of a corrupt election in 2020. And in the shorter term, he is seeding even more suspicion about his exit from the White House with conservative voters, while providing more potential motivation for extremist groups who support him.
In such a way, Trump’s corrupting influence could harm faith in the fairness of US elections, the bedrock of US democracy for months or years into the future.