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More trumpists than Trump: this is how the most extreme wing of the Republicans continues its crusade | International

Roger Stone often says that the day Joe Biden crossed the threshold of the White House as president, a “satanic door” was opened on the residence; a door that “only prayer will be able to close”. It’s hard to know if he really believes what he says, but it’s proven that he repeats it constantly, to applause, to those attending the rallies of the ReAwaken America tour, which was launched in April 2021 by a certain Clay Clark, Tulsa businessman ( Oklahoma) and coronavirus denier, after suffering a revelation in early 2020. He asked God for help, he says, “to end the quarantines, curfews, vaccine mandates and closures” that the pandemic brought, and got an answer: “Reawaken America.”

Photo: Only Mandel | Video: EPV

Stone is a veteran Republican strategist, who has worked on presidential campaigns since the days of Richard Nixon, and belongs to the most extreme wing of a party that seems hijacked by guys like him. Men and women who, devoid of masks and spurred on by the discomfort of a country torn in two, have launched their candidacies at all levels in the primaries of the elections next November with speeches more Trumpist than those of Trump himself and with the support , on many occasions, from the former president himself (and uneven fortune, that too). Stone, inventor of the slogan “Stop the Steal” (let’s stop electoral theft), is, moreover, one of the closest allies of the tycoon, who these days is plucking the daisy of whether he will be presented again in 2024.

So is Michael Flynn, the other big star of the American revival tour events, 17 to date, held, from California to Ohio, with sold-out tickets ($250 each). Flynn is a retired three-star general who was fired from the position of director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, was appointed National Security Adviser with Trump and had to resign in 2017 for his involvement in the Russian plot because he even lied too much. for the standards of that Administration. Today he is a benchmark in extreme right-wing QAnon conspiracy circles for his defense of outlandish theories, such as that the coronavirus was invented to inoculate the population with microchips designed to control it, that left-wing elites kidnap children to extract their blood and obtain a drug called adrenochrome with its supposed promise of immortality or that Italy used military satellites to favor the victory of President Joe Biden in 2020.

Flynn and Stone are also joined by another thing: both were pardoned by the one who was their chief of crimes related to lying in the throes of his term. It was more or less at the same time that they participated in the events that are now being investigated by the congressional committee on January 6.

Stone is linked to the radical Proud Boys militia (and especially to its leader, Enrique Tarrio, accused of seditious conspiracy for what he did during the insurrection), while Flynn is placed at the center of a meeting held on December 18 in the Oval Office, who seriously opts for the title of “the most unhinged in the it was Trump “. In it, he defended that “Venezuela, China and Iran” had interfered in the November 2020 elections or that “Nest brand thermostats connected to the Internet” had altered the ballots. That meeting, in which she almost ended up appointed special prosecutor to investigate accusations of electoral fraud, a sinister Flynn lawyer named Sidney Powell, starred in one of the most notorious sessions of the commission investigating the insurrection.

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In a profile of Flynn recently published by the magazine Atlantica text in which some of his old comrades in military life cast doubt on his mental health, Steve Bannon, the great Rasputin of American populism, declares: “I think Mike [Flynn] could well be on the 2024 vice-presidential shortlist. And if the president [Trump] is not running, I strongly believe that Mike will run.”

Bannon, sentenced last Friday for a misdemeanor for refusing to collaborate in the congressional investigation, prides himself on making the listeners of his program believe anything War Room (hybrid between podcast and low-budget television broadcast). From that pulpit, which he records in a Washington basement, the former Trump adviser promotes many of those candidates as part of a declared scheme to turn the country upside down by controlling believers in the wildest theories of the extreme right. the most basic levels of power in the United States, from election officials or secretaries of state to school boards or assistant attorney generals. All of this is part of something that Bannon has dubbed the Precint Strategy, and that encourages “committed citizens” to step up for their country and fight against radical Democrats and “Republicans hijacked by the system.”

Experts from analysis laboratories specializing in elections warn of the danger that control of the certification of the results ends up in the hands of believers in the theory that the Democrats subverted the 2020 appointment. As the sessions of January 6 have shown, the The sanction of that victory (legitimized in 61 of the 62 legal cases opened since then) was possible thanks to the resistance of a handful of officials who did not give in to pressure from Trump and his people. Despite this, two-thirds of the Republican electorate continue to believe today that something smacks of singe in the elections that brought Biden to the White House.

In a country where a majority of citizens believe the US government is corrupt and nearly a third say it will soon be necessary to take up arms against it, according to a poll released this week by the U.S. Policy Institute University of Chicago, turn on the rhetoric of some of those extremist candidates. Sometimes it does so even with the help of the Democratic Party, which is deploying an admittedly risky tactic (and bordering on foul play) in these primaries: financing the campaigns of its most insane Republican opponents to ensure that those who end up in the final race scare to moderate voters. This has been done, for example, in Missouri, Maryland or Illinois.

Donald Trump, during a speech in Washington, this Tuesday.Andrew Harnik (AP)

And the fact is that it could work: according to an analysis of The New York Times, there are 37 candidates for Congress who support theories close to QAnon. Of them, 26 have already been removed from the primaries. And among the remaining 11, eight have it raw, one is tied with his Democratic opponent, and two, Lauren Boebert (Colorado) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia), true celebrities of Trumpism (far) beyond Trump, carry the win in november According to Mike Rothschild, author of The Storm is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult and Conspiracy Theory of Everyting (The Storm Is Over Our Heads: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything) What its promoters have done so far is getting some of their ideas to sink in, like that the 2020 election was a robbery or that the Democrats are dangerously influencing children with their progressive sex education, that, in fact, makes them scapegoats for pedophiles.

For now, Trump and his allies do not seem uncomfortable with being accused of being radicals. They have even been able to turn one of the marches that Biden’s team wanted to use against him, when he said last May, after months of study in search of a favorable label, that his candidates were “ultra MAGA” ( stands for Make America Great Again, the former president’s favorite slogan, which adorns tens of thousands of red caps across the country). When Trump first heard it, he thought the best thing to do was to appropriate the seal. So in the emails he floods the inboxes of anyone who has peeked into his world, his propaganda team calls for everyone to join the “ultra MAGA movement.” Not only that: he entertains the most committed by calling them “ultra MAGA kings”.

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