The Republican voters who say ‘no way in hell’ Trump lost – Al Jazeera English

20November 2020

Brett Fryar is a middle-class Republican. A 50-year-old chiropractic practitioner in Sundown, Texas, he owns a small business. He has two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree, in natural chemistry. He participates in Southcrest Baptist Church in nearby Lubbock.

Fryar did not much like Donald Trump initially, throughout the US president's 2016 campaign. He chose Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Republican primaries.

Now, Fryar states he would go to war for Trump. He has joined the freshly formed South Plains Patriots, a group of a couple of hundred members that includes a “reactionary” force of about 3 dozen– including Fryar and his kid, Caleb– who conduct guns training.

Brett Fryar of Sundown, Texas, states he is prepared to'take up arms'in support of Trump
[Brad Brooks/Reuters] Nothing will persuade Fryar and lots of others in Sundown, Texas– consisting of the town's mayor, another Patriots member– that Democrat Joe Biden won the November 3 presidential election fairly. They believe Trump's stream of election-fraud accusations and say they are getting ready for the possibility of a “civil war” with the American political left.

“If President Trump comes out and states: ‘Guys, I have undeniable proof of fraud, the courts won't listen, and I'm now getting in touch with Americans to take up arms,' we would go,” stated Fryar, using a dress shirt, pushed slacks and a paisley tie during a recent interview at his office.

The unshakeable trust in Trump in this town of about 1,400 homeowners reflects a nationwide phenomenon among numerous Republicans, regardless of the absence of evidence in a barrage of post-election lawsuits by the president and his allies. About half of Republicans surveyed by Reuters/Ipsos said Trump “truly won” the election however had it stolen from him in systemic fraud favouring Biden, according to a study performed between November 13 and 17. Simply 29 percent of Republicans said Biden rightfully won. Other surveys since the election have actually reported that an even greater proportion– up to 80 percent– of Republicans trust Trump's unwarranted fraud story.

Trump's legal onslaught has actually up until now tumbled, with judges rapidly dismissing numerous cases and his lawyers dropping or withdrawing from others. None of the cases consist of allegations– much less proof– that are likely to invalidate enough votes to overturn the election, election experts say.

And yet the election theft claims are proving politically potent. All however a handful of Republican lawmakers have actually backed Trump's fraud claims or remained silent, effectively freezing the shift of power as the president declines to concede. Trump has actually succeeded in sowing additional public distrust in the media, which normally calls elections, and undermined citizens' faith in the state and regional election authorities who underpin American democracy.

In Reuters interviews with 50 Trump citizens, all stated they believed the election was rigged or in some method illegitimate. Of those, 20 stated they would consider accepting Biden as their president, but just because of evidence that the election was carried out relatively. A lot of repeated exposed conspiracy theories espoused by Trump, Republican officials and conservative media declaring that millions of votes were dishonestly changed to Biden in essential states by prejudiced poll workers and hacked voting devices.

Many citizens spoken with by Reuters stated they formed their viewpoints by viewing emergent conservative media outlets such as Newsmax and One America News Network that have actually magnified Trump's scams claims.

‘There's just no other way'

Media outlets declared Biden the election winner on November 7. As calls were settled in battlefield states, Biden's lead in the Electoral College that decides the presidency widened to 306 to 232.

Lots of Republican voters scoff at those outcomes, persuaded Trump was cheated. Raymond Fontaine, a hardware shopkeeper in Oakville, Connecticut, said Biden's vote total– the greatest of any presidential prospect in history– makes no sense because the 78-year-old Democrat made reasonably couple of project looks and seemed to be in mental decline.

“You are going to inform me 77 million Americans elected him? There is just no chance,” said Fontaine, 50.

The most recent popular vote total for Biden has actually grown to more than 79 million, compared to some 73 million for Trump.

Like many Trump advocates interviewed by Reuters, Fontaine was deeply suspicious of computerised voting devices. Trump and his allies have declared, without producing proof, a grand conspiracy to control votes through the software used in many battleground states.

In Grant County, West Virginia– a mountainous region where more than 88 percent of voters backed the president– trust in Trump runs deep. Janet Hedrick, co-owner of the Smoke Hole Caverns log cabin resort in the village of Cabins, stated she would never accept Biden as a genuine president.

“There's millions and countless Trump votes that were simply thrown away,” said Hedrick, 70, a retired teacher and curator. “That computer was tossing them out.”

Janet Hedrick, left, and her child, Janel Henritz, of Cabins, West Virginia, suspect that voter scams caused Joe Biden's success [Nathan Layne/Reuters] At the Sunset Restaurant in Moorefield, West Virginia– a restaurant including omelettes, hotcakes and waitresses who remember your order– a mention of the election sparked a perky discussion at one table. Gene See, a retired highway building inspector, and Bob Hyson, a semi-retired insurance coverage sales supervisor, stated Trump had actually been cheated, that Biden had dementia which Democrats planned all along to quickly change Biden with his more liberal running mate for vice president, Kamala Harris.

“I believe if they ever get to the bottom of it, they will find massive fraud,” stated another of the restaurants, Larry Kessel, a 67-year-old farmer.

Kessel's spouse, Jane, patted him on the arm, attempting to calm him, as he grew agitated while railing against anti-Trump media predisposition.

Larry Kessel discusses the governmental election at the Sunset Restaurant in Moorefield, West Virginia [Nathan Layne/Reuters]

‘No way in hell'

Some Trump advocates stated they would accept Biden as the winner if that is the last, official result. Janel Henritz, 36, echoed some others in saying that she believed the election consisted of scams, however perhaps inadequate to change the result. Henritz, who works along with her mother Janet Hedrick at their log cabin resort in West Virginia, said she would accept the result if Biden remains the winner after states and court challenges.

“Then he won fair and square,” she said.

In Sundown, Texas, Mayor Jonathan Strickland stated there's “no other way in hell” Biden won relatively. The only method he'll believe it, he said, is if Trump himself says so.

“Trump is the only one we've had the ability to trust for the last 4 years,” said Strickland, an oilfield production engineer. “As far as the civil war goes, I don't think it's off the table.”

Caleb Fryar of Lubbock, Texas, calls Trump ‘the best patriot that ever lived' [Brad Brooks/Reuters]
If it comes to a battle, Caleb Fryar is prepared. However the 26-year-old son of Brett Fryar, the chiropractor, said he hoped Trump's scams allegations would rather trigger a big mobilisation of Republican voters in future elections.

Asked whether Trump might be deceiving his fans, he stated it is difficult to fathom.

“If I'm being controlled by Trump … then he is the greatest conman that ever resided in America,” Caleb Fryar stated. “I think he's the greatest patriot that ever lived.”


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