Historian reveals the disturbing reason why many right-wingers believe Biden’s presidency is illegitimate

Historian reveals the disturbing reason why many right-wingers believe Biden’s presidency is illegitimate
Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally. Far-right Oath Keepers patrol Emancipation Park. Credit: Anthony Crider https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A Georgetown University history professor is shedding light on the real reason why far-right Republicans still believe the unfounded claim that President Joe Biden's presidential win was illegitimate.

While its no secret that election conspiracy theories and false claims of widespread voter fraud have run rampant since former President Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election, there is a reason why Republicans "are convinced the outcome of the election was illegitimate regardless of whether or not there were specific procedural irregularities."

In an analysis published via The Guardian, Thomas Zimmer, a Georgetown University history professor with a concentration on the United States' democracy, referenced a controversial essay written from the perspective of a far-right conservative.

The essay, titled “ ‘Conservatism’ is No Longer Enough,” was penned by conservative writer Glenn Ellmers for The Claremont Institute's right-wing publication, American Mind. Zimmer notes:

"It is notable that Ellmers makes no claim that the 2020 election was 'stolen' – he doesn’t allege manipulation, voter fraud, or conspiracy, and in fact explicitly acknowledges that more people voted for Biden than for Trump. He does not peddle conspiracy theories. Yet Ellmers maintains that the outcome of the 2020 election is illegitimate and must not be accepted."

Zimmer then highlighted another key takeaway from Ellmer's piece:

"Ellmers is outraged precisely because he accepts the fact that a majority voted for Biden, that 'authentic Americans' have become the minority in a country which they are supposedly entitled to dominate. Here we have a striking glimpse of the depth of despair underlying the pervasive siege mentality on the right. What’s scandalous about the 2020 election, in this interpretation, is not that it was “stolen”, but that “un-American” forces straightforwardly won."

Zimmer's analysis also delved into the disturbing ideology behind the majority of Republican voters' thinking in regard to Biden being an illegitimate president.

"What is most alarming is the underlying ideology that leads so many on the right to consider Democratic victories invalid – even if they concede there was nothing technically wrong with how the election was conducted," Zimmer wrote. "It has become a core tenet of the Republican worldview to consider the Democratic party as not simply a political opponent, but an enemy pursuing an 'un-American' project of turning what is supposed to be a white Christian patriarchal nation into a land of godless multiracial pluralism."

Zimmer added, "Conversely, Republicans see themselves as the sole proponents of 'real' America, defending the country from the forces of radical leftism, liberalism, and wokeism."

He went on to explain Republcians' beliefs of the Democratic Party. "Even if they don’t subscribe to the more outlandish conspiracies propagated by Trumpists, many Republicans agree that the Democratic party is a fundamentally illegitimate political faction — and that any election outcome that would lead to Democratic governance must be rejected as illegitimate as well."

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