Why Does ‘Election Denier’ Apply Solely to 2020?

There are various insights to be gained, classes to be realized, and tales to be advised concerning the 2022 midterm elections. One, nevertheless, has not a single factor to do with any candidate or coverage. It has to do with phrases.

Everyone knows that phrases matter. For this reason in any dialogue, management of the language is essential. Thus, as a substitute of speaking about abortion, we speak when it comes to “alternative” and “life,” and we’ve “local weather change” as a substitute of “international warming.”

Such was the case through the midterms. Two phrases had been centrally featured within the run-up to the election, all through the day itself, proper by means of to the post-mortems:  “election denier.”

In case you watched any protection of Election Day, you heard that time period repeatedly. It turned a synonym for crackpot, right-wing, mega-MAGA candidates. The media fell over themselves highlighting simply what number of of those crazies had been working on GOP tickets. CBS Information set the quantity at 308; The Washington Publish claimed 291; The New York Instances, apparently much less diligent in its analysis, might solely discover “greater than” 220. (The Brookings Institute claimed there have been as many as 345 of those deviants on the poll.)

With a selection like that, it’d lead one to surprise: What precisely is an election denier? Whereas a good query, that is oftentimes the toughest a part of any investigation into language. What a phrase means, it appears, is usually subjective. Simply as usually, it’s unclear on objective, as shut scrutiny may undermine its worth.

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So, it was considerably shocking to see that not less than one media outlet really had the honesty to outline, on election evening, what it meant by the time period. Per CBS Information, it means exactly this:

1) Saying the 2020 election was stolen.

2) Repeating disproven claims relating to voter fraud in 2020.

3) Supporting an audit of the 2020 election.

4) Signing onto the Texas lawsuit relating to the 2020 election.

5) Objecting to the certification of the Electoral School ends in 2020.

6) Or being “unclear” as as to if Joe Biden was legitimately elected in 2020.

The legal professionals studying this can know that the “or” on the finish signifies that you solely want to fulfill a type of standards to fulfill the take a look at. So, one remark that the election was stolen, and you’re an “election denier.” And CBS, once more, to its credit score, confirmed that on air.

The repetition of the limiting “in 2020” or “Biden” can be instructive. We’ve had elections for a very long time, it appears. Fairly usually, in reality. And once we are coping with one thing as elementary to the functioning of our Republic as questioning the end result of the democratic course of, there doesn’t appear to be a very good purpose to restrict these elements to simply the final 24 months.

Apparently, if that “within the 2020 election” goes away, the listing of culprits modifications dramatically. With the limitation, you seize such towering nationwide figures as Mark Fincham and Kristina Karamo. However when you drop it, the listing of loopy misfits appears much more acquainted:

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Barack Obama. Jimmy Carter. Invoice Clinton. Joe Biden. Hillary Clinton. Kamala Harris. Bernie Sanders. Jesse Jackson. Nancy Pelosi. Ted Kennedy. Harry Reid. Dianne Feinstein. Sherrod Brown. Dick Durbin. Debbie Stabenow. Cory Booker. John Lewis. Jerry Nadler. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Alcee Hastings. Lacy Clay. Marcia Fudge. Ted Lieu. Maxine Waters. Jamie Raskin. Raúl Grijalva. Sheila Jackson Lee. Terry McAuliffe. Howard Dean. Stacey Abrams.

Making use of the CBS standards to elections apart from 2020, all of them, each single one, is an election denier. Certainly, a few of them, a number of occasions over. Carter appeared to make a passion of it, questioning the legitimacy of the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections. Or, extra concisely, each Republican presidential victory this century.

Which, in fact, is most of what this complete “election denier” mania is all about: discovering yet one more strategy to undermine Republican candidates for public workplace. Certainly, one is left to surprise if the media shouldn’t simply drop the façade of claiming there are too many election deniers on the GOP ticket, and simply get to the guts of their grievance: There are too many Republicans on the Republican ticket.

Jan. 6 was a travesty, and the Republican Social gathering shall be working for years to undo the harm it did to this nation, and to take away that stain by itself repute. And with out query, unsubstantiated and debunked claims of a stolen election contributed on to what occurred that day. However to claim that one celebration, and one celebration alone, is answerable for the undermining of confidence within the integrity of elections is to revise historical past. And to abuse the language.

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In some unspecified time in the future we might begin to acknowledge that each events are accountable in some measure for the challenges we face in our polity. And sooner or later we would start to deal with these challenges. However we gained’t be capable of do this if we can’t even agree on what phrases imply.

This text was initially printed by RealClearPolitics and distributed by RealClearWire.

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