The most disturbing and damaging aspect of the modern Republican Party is its intentional destruction of the public trust for political gain. We saw it here in Pat McCrory’s false accusations of voter fraud and voter irregularities prior to his concession yesterday. Republican election board members at both the county and state level found no evidence of fraud but, in his concession video, McCrory claimed “continued questions” about the voting process.
Over at NCGOP headquarters, Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said that people don’t trust the process. Nationally, President-elect Donald Trump claims “millions” of people voted illegally despite no evidence. They’re setting the stage to make voting more difficult and building public support by creating false doubt about our system.
We’ve seen similar tactics throughout their tenure. When Republicans first took power in North Carolina, they made sharp cuts to the Medicaid budget despite warnings that the cuts would harm the program. When those warnings came true, GOP legislators claimed Medicaid is broken and used it as an excuse to privatize the system, despite national acclaim for our Medicaid program.
Now, Donald Trump’s political advisor Corey Lewandowski says that the press shouldn’t have believed everything Trump said. He chastised the press for reporting what Trump said “so literally.” In other words, we’re entering into a post-fact presidency.
In an interview with Kellyanne Conway, CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked her if Trump using twitter to spread false information about voter fraud and to attack people was presidential. She replied since he’s President-elect, then it’s presidential behavior. They’re normalizing the spread of disinformation as a political tactic. At one time, those were the tactics of despots.
We’re at a time of great uncertainty. Technology and the global economy are changing our world by displacing workers and increasing migrations. We need leaders who can build trust, not destroy it. Trump and the GOP are exploiting fears and increasing distrust as means of pushing a political agenda.