For months leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats sounded the alarm that there would be violence from Republicans on Election Day. But as the dust settles after the election, those who cried wolf must accept the fact that they were entirely wrong.
Let’s be clear: any threats of violence or acts of violence against the public servants and volunteers who run our elections are reprehensible and should be condemned by everyone. And where they have occurred, justice should be served. But the media and Democrats’ narrative and wild predictions of threats and violence during the 2022 midterm elections were based on their shameless assumption that all Republicans are violent, democracy-hating extremists, not actual threats or violence.
Just six days after the 2022 midterm election, Senator Schumer stood on the Senate floor and applauded voters who elected Democrats “despite the negativity and divisiveness, the threats of violence, and even the violence itself that occurred with MAGA Republicanism dominating the country.” There’s only one problem: there was not an inkling of violence like Democrats parroted there would be from Republicans.
Looking back on 2022 and leading up to the election, we can see the great lengths that Democrats went to in order to craft a deceptive narrative and convince voters that Republicans would violently act on Election Day.
Start with mainstream media, the primary outlet used by Democrats to cry wolf about impending Election Day violence. Article after article from every major news outlet––including the Washington Post, NPR, and Politico––peddled incessant allegations that Republicans were ready to strike with violence and wreak mayhem at the polls. Laughably, these articles fell leagues short of their predictions, each failing to highlight one instance of violence like they promised.
Democrats cried wolf even from the inner walls of Congress itself. In August, the Senate Judiciary Committee bought into the ruse and held a committee hearing discussing threats against election workers––“Protecting our Democracy’s Frontline Workers”––and how Republicans could not be trusted to participate freely and fairly in this election. Democratic members continuously maligned Republican voters, calling them violent criminals and associating all Republicans with January 6th, all the while turning a blind eye to record crime in Democrat-run cities and violent demonstrations performed by Democratic voters.
Days before the election, President Biden spoke from Union Station to accuse Republicans of having “emboldened violence” in elections. And let’s not forget the speech that President Biden gave in September where he labeled Republicans a threat to democracy––you remember, the one with a blood-red background, divisiveness, and his demagogic fists held high.
But it did not end there. Just one week before the election, a memo was circulated among the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, U.S. Capitol Police and the National Counterterrorism Center warning that “[f]ollowing the 2022 midterm election, perceptions of election-related fraud and dissatisfaction with electoral outcomes likely will result in heightened threats of violence against a broad range of targets―such as ideological opponents and election workers.” But all this did was chill the speech of Republican voters who did not want to be associated with violence and strike terror that Republican voters were dangerous in order to drive independent voters to Democrats.
This concerted effort had one objective: to villainize ordinary, law-abiding Republican voters as violent extremists that threaten the very lives of election officials.
But rather than the violent criminals Democrats painted them to be, Republican voters––and election observers for that matter––across the country participated in unified and peaceful expression as they cast their ballots. Not a single story of violence, no threats, just fair participation and democracy at its finest.
Democrats cried wolf, and they should own up to it. If they refuse to, the media should responsibly label the Democrats as perpetrators of election disinformation. Furthermore, the public should never forget that the self-proclaimed defenders of democracy baselessly smeared half of the country’s citizens in pursuit of their political goals, and when their smears proved false, conveniently forgot their consistent, months-long narrative as if it never existed.
Marc Ellinger is the president of the Republican National Lawyer’s Association.