As we count down to the American 2022 Midterm Elections, one of the less discussed games being played by Republicans is a round of classic whataboutism. At first glance, this particular trend seemed somewhat random. Whenever someone on social media points out to a MAGA Republican that Trump is still claiming he won the elections some two years after the 2020 election, the MAGA person claims that Democratic candidates have done the same thing in the past. They would then give a list of “examples” supposedly backing up their claim that Democrats have been practicing “election deniers” for decades.
To be clear, an election denier is someone who tries to deny the winner of an election the position they have won by claiming the person didn’t win. MAGA Republicans are trying to suggest that the Democrats are as guilty as the Republicans when it comes to attempting this by conflating the Democrats’ election complaints with MAGA GOPers’ election denials. Here’s an FYI for the GOP: They are not the same thing.
Complaint: 1. expression of grief, pain, or dissatisfaction. 2. something that is the cause or subject of protest or outcry
Denial: refusal to satisfy a request or desire 2. refusal to admit the truth or reality of something
Yes, Democrats have complained about past elections. What they have not done is try taking the law into their own hands to deny a GOP winner the seat that a GOP candidate has won. Yet, to hear a MAGA Republican tell it, their election deniers are doing something that Democrats have always done. The reason for this bait-n-switch logic? It is to make it seem that what MAGA Republicans are doing is politics as usual and not the attempt to topple U.S. democracy that it is.
This false comparison that has been swirling around in social media is (surprise!) anything but random. At first, it seemed to be coming from far-right media outlets. However, all of those outlets got the talking points directly from the Republican National Committee (RNC).