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Why I’m a single-issue voter now

In a few weeks, Virginia will hold an election, and I will have to make a decision. In the past, it would have been no contest. I’d have voted Republican. But now, though Terry McAuliffe leaves me cold, I will vote for him. I guess that makes me a single-issue voter.

What is that issue? Take a quick tour with me of the current Republican Party.

In the past 12 months, we’ve witnessed true integrity and more than a little courage on the part of some Republicans. Aaron Van Langevelde was an obscure, 40-year-old lawyer who was serving on the Michigan state board of canvassers in November 2020. The board has four members, two from each party. Facing pressure from MAGA world, the other Republican on the board withheld certification of Michigan’s vote. Van Langevelde stood his ground, saying: “As John Adams once said, we are a government of laws, not men. This board needs to adhere to that principle here today. This board must do its part to uphold the rule of law and comply with our legal duty to certify this election.”

Van Langevelde should have been hailed as a hero. Instead, he was booted from his post on the board of canvassers by the Michigan Republican Party. He and his family received death threats and had to request police protection.

Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, should also have become a GOP pin-up. Though harassed and “lightly threatened,” as Rep. Madison Cawthorn might say, by the president of the United States, he refused to lie and cheat.

Raffensperger and his family were forced to move out of their home for a week in November and have continued to receive the ugliest kind of threats and harassment even months after the election. One warned that “you and your family will be killed very slowly.”

Did the Georgia delegation rise up in disgust? Did they rally to Raffensperger’s defense? No. I wish I could say that they were merely silent — though that would have been incriminating enough. But no, both Republican senators at the time, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, called on Raffensperger to resign.

Loeffler and Perdue were involuntarily retired in January — who could have guessed that alleging vote rigging isn’t the greatest way to goose turnout?– but they better represent the spirit of the GOP than Raffensperger. At the state party convention in June, Raffensperger was formally censured, and Gov. Brian Kemp was roundly booed. A few months later, Donald Trump found a willing lickspittle to challenge Raffensperger for reelection, Rep. Jody Hice. Trump is also supporting two other secretary of state candidates in swing states that could determine the outcome of the 2024 election. All Trump-endorsed candidates recite the lie that the 2020 election was fraudulent, that Democrats always cheat and that Trump deserves to be sitting in the Oval Office today.

It’s the same around the nation. In Washington state, nobody’s idea of a Republican stronghold, the local GOP, jazzed by a pillow huckster and inspired by right-wing talk, are looking to mimic Maricopa County’s embarrassing “forensic audit” spectacle.

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