In his first MAGA campaign-style rally since leaving the White House, Donald Trump vented his election grievances and touted his baseless claims of voter fraud in front of thousands of red-hat-wearing supporters in Ohio over last weekend. 

The rally was built as a “revenge tour” as Trump vowed to “takedown” the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach him after the January 6 riot at the Capitol. The former president was also there to throw his support behind congressional candidate and his former aide, Max Miller, who is opposing GOP Representative Anthony Gonzales. 

However, Trump spent more time venting and bashing than he did endorsing Miller. For over an hour, the former president ranted about President Joe Biden and his administration’s immigration policy, Hillary Clinton, Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent overseas trip, and the 2020 election he lost eight months ago.

“Joe Biden is squandering all of this hard-earned respect that we have or had, bowing down to America’s enemies, and embarrassing our country on the world stage,” he said.

The rally was similar in style to those he did when he was in office. Those were often filled with lies and outrageous claims, Saturday was no different. He bashed the media, which prompted chants of “CNN sucks” from the crowd, and blamed the coronavirus pandemic for his loss.

“The subject matter is somewhat depressing because what happened in November should have never have happened,” Trump said. “They used Covid to steal the election.”

And that is what makes Trump’s influence so scary, folks. He’s exposed a part of America that is truly dangerous. Despite the overwhelming evidence of no voter fraud taking place during the 2020 election, there are many Republicans who believe that fraud took place. 

According to a recent Ipso/Reuters poll, Trump’s hold over the Republican Party is stronger than ever. The poll finds that 56% of Republicans believe Trump lost the election due to rigging or voter fraud claims and 53% believe he is still the actual President, not Joe Biden. Furthermore, 63% of Republicans think Trump should make another run for office in 2024.

Currently, the Republican Party is standing by Trump. They are backing up his baseless claims and lies, only giving more red meat to his base, gaining their support for the midterm elections in 2022. This is not about the country but more about staying in power and holding on to it.

This all is very dangerous for the future when you sit down to think about it. Trump supporters attacked the Capitol in January all due to his baseless claims of the election being rigged and there’s a real possibility it could happen again. At Saturday’s rally, Trump fans were interviewed and their answers revealed just how bedazzled they are by the former president. 

“Honestly, I think he won,” Anita Lee, a 45-year-old Trump supporter said to BuzzFeed News, “he’s our true president and I don’t think he’s eligible in 2024.”

“I know he won,” 65-year-old Pam Niner told Buzzfeed News, “there’s so much evidence out there it was stolen. Jesus Christ would have to come down and tell me that Biden won before I would ever believe it.”

Trump knows he has his supporters in the palm of his hand and he is playing into it, hard. At the rally, he teased another run in 2024 after claiming he won the election twice. 

“We won the election twice,” Trump said to the crowd. “And it’s possible we’ll have to win it a third time.”

The former President also praised the states of Texas, Florida, and Georgia for putting stricter voting regulations in place. It is no mistake that those are all Republican-led states. Biden put forth the For The People Act, which would give more Americans an easier way to vote, but it was blocked by Senate Republicans last week and Biden made a statement, saying the fight is not over. 

“Senate Republicans opposed even a debate—even considering—legislation to protect the right to vote and our democracy,” he said. “I’ll have more to say on this next week. But let me be clear. This fight is far from over—far from over.”

Let’s be clear about one thing: just because Joe Biden is now the president does not mean Trump or his supporters are going away. With the majority of the Republican Party still devoted to Trump, feeding his ego, and promoting his lies, things are actually getting worse for democracy in America. 

It is time for the GOP to let Trump go and for Trump himself to let go of an election he lost fair and square eight months ago. If not, America is going to be in a dark place in 2022 and 2024 after those elections. And the result could be worse than what the world witnessed on January 6, 2021.

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