GOP Gamifies Hunt for Nonexistent Voter Fraud

Republicans are literally going hunting for illegal voters, gamifying their obsession with nonexistent voter fraud.

This election year has added a new season to our country’s calendar: The silly season.

Not silly as in fun — but as in asinine, stupid and pernicious. Forget any notion that America’s periodic plebiscite should be about lofty ideals, important issues and real ideas. Instead, right-wing screwballs have turned the GOP into the Goofy Old Party, running campaigns based on frat-boy stunts, horror movie scaremongering and moronic games of hate-your-neighbor.

In that last category, the GOP reached a new level of political degradation this year by literally gamifying its obsession with nonexistent voter fraud. Party honchos have repeatedly been humiliated by screeching long and loud that Democrats are running a massive illegal voting operation across America — yet, golly, they can’t actually produce any proof of this electoral horror. So, they’ve turned their snipe hunt into a national game.

Using several social media platforms, online posses of GOP voter fraud vigilantes compete to find and out illegal voters. Post the name of an unqualified person supposedly scheming to cast a ballot, and you get two points. Name a group planning to bus illegal voters to the polls — Bingo! — you get 50 points. There are also bonus points if you report someone trying to vote by using the name of their pet or a dead person. Isn’t this fun?

But the funnest part of this “sport” is that you score simply by posting names — no need for any evidence that it’s a real person, much less an illegal voter. What’s the prize? If you get enough points, you get to be called a “master.” Wow, this isn’t just silly… it’s pathetic.

Far worse, though, given the screwball fantasies of today’s right-wing extremists, this “game” is deadly dangerous. Some of the GOP’s vigilantes say they’ll personally go door to door to get proof of fraudulent voting. What could possibly go wrong with promoting such unhinged confrontational zealotry? Ask Paul Pelosi.

After years of failed Republican efforts to uncover any proof of widespread voter fraud by Democrats, Republican Gov. Ron “Tough Guy” DeSantis of Florida has found not one, but 20 ineligible people casting ballots!

Like former President Donald Trump and a gaggle of other GOP governors, DeSantis has used the phony bugaboo of an illegal voting epidemic as a political ploy to keep true believers believing. They spend millions of taxpayer dollars on partisan wild goose chases, and DeSantis even created a new police bureaucracy, the “Office of Election Crimes,” to snoop on voters. It was all just silly political nastiness, but then — aha! — Ron’s dragnet scooped up 20 of the diabolical culprits. Vindication!

Who were they? All are former convicts who had previously been stripped of their right to vote, but each one unwittingly cast a ballot in 2020, wrongly believing that their rights had been restored after serving their time. Who cares what they thought, bellowed the bullish governor? He trashed them as “election criminals” (conveniently ignoring their constitutional right to be presumed innocent unless convicted by a jury).

Well, gosh, why did all 20 think they could vote? Because each one had properly submitted voter registration applications that went to DeSantis’ own state agency responsible for determining eligibility. But — oops — Ron’s own administration boo-booed, erroneously authorizing all 20 to get official voter ID cards. In short, the governor himself effectively told them they could vote — then he had them arrested and publicly condemned for doing so!

This self-serving political thug now wants to be our next president, even claiming in a PR video this month that God has chosen him to rule because he’s “a fighter.” But — hello — Saint Ron fights the people, rather than fighting for them. He’s a bully — and there’s nothing godly about that. Nothing presidential, either.

Jim Hightower