– written by Ky Henderson at Rollingstone –
John Oliver wasted no time in getting to his main story on Last Week Tonight, which makes sense considering how frightening that story is: Tuesday’s midterms, election subversion, and how absolutely off the rails America is likely about to go.
For starters, most Republican candidates for federal and statewide offices either believe the 2020 election is illegitimate, question its legitimacy, or say they do because they’re sociopaths who believe it will get them elected. This includes people who may very well be running elections two years from now.
“Over half the country has an election denier running to oversee their elections,” Oliver explained, “and many of them are expected to win.”
As Oliver made clear, he wasn’t talking about the s*** like voter ID laws, felon disenfranchisement, and early voting restrictions that Republicans are pulling all over the country in order to prevent people who don’t vote for them from voting at all. That stuff happens before votes are cast; Oliver’s story was a warning about what will happen after people vote — election subversion, or the refusal to acknowledge legitimate results.
“One of the big clues that these conspiracy theories are b******* is that so many of them are predicated on the belief that the Democratic Party is well organized,” Oliver said. “Who on Earth is stupid enough to buy that b*******?”
There are legal guardrails to prevent individuals from rigging elections, but they largely depend on judges, state legislatures, and even the Supreme Court doing their jobs based on law, not on politics and the ravings of lunatics. Thing is, those three entities have in large part been captured by Republicans.
“Everything that we’ve talked about tonight has the capacity to overwhelm our system, making it harder to certify elections quickly, leading to confusion, which sows doubt in the process, and in turn causes absolute chaos,” Oliver said. “Which is very worrying given that we’ve all seen what confused but motivated people are capable of doing when they think the process is broken.”