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 company. He has 2 bachelor's degrees and a master's degree, in natural chemistry. He attends Southcrest Baptist Church in close-by Lubbock.

Fryar did not much like Donald Trump in the beginning, during 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 signed up with the newly formed South Plains Patriots, a group of a couple of hundred members that includes a “reactionary” force of about 3 dozen– consisting of Fryar and his kid, Caleb– who carry out firearms training.

Brett Fryar of Sundown, Texas, states he is ready to'take up arms'in assistance of Trump
[Brad Brooks/Reuters] Nothing will encourage Fryar and lots of others in Sundown, Texas– including 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 allegations and say they are preparing for the possibility of a “civil war” with the American political left.

“If President Trump comes out and says: ‘Guys, I have irrefutable proof of scams, the courts will not listen, and I'm now calling on Americans to use up arms,' we would go,” stated Fryar, using a button-down 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 shows a nationwide phenomenon amongst lots of Republicans, despite the absence of proof in a barrage of post-election lawsuits by the president and his allies. About half of Republicans surveyed by Reuters/Ipsos said Trump “rightfully won” the election but had it stolen from him in systemic fraud favouring Biden, according to a study carried out in between November 13 and 17. Simply 29 percent of Republicans said Biden rightfully won. Other surveys because the election have actually reported that an even higher proportion– up to 80 percent– of Republicans trust Trump's unwarranted fraud story.

Trump's legal onslaught has up until now tumbled, with judges rapidly dismissing many cases and his legal representatives dropping or withdrawing from others. None of the cases consist of claims– much less proof– that are likely to revoke enough votes to reverse the election, election experts state.

And yet the election theft claims are showing politically potent. All but a handful of Republican lawmakers have actually backed Trump's scams claims or remained quiet, successfully freezing the shift of power as the president declines to concede. Trump has been successful in sowing more public mistrust in the media, which typically calls elections, and undermined citizens' faith in the state and regional election officials who underpin American democracy.

In Reuters interviews with 50 Trump citizens, all said they believed the election was rigged or in some way illegitimate. Of those, 20 said they would consider accepting Biden as their president, but only because of evidence that the election was performed fairly. A lot of repeated exposed conspiracy theories upheld by Trump, Republican officials and conservative media declaring that countless votes were dishonestly switched to Biden in crucial states by biased poll employees and hacked ballot makers.

Lots of voters spoken with by Reuters stated they formed their viewpoints by enjoying emerging right-wing media outlets such as Newsmax and One America News Network that have magnified Trump's fraud claims.

‘There's simply no chance'

Media outlets stated Biden the election winner on November 7. As calls were finalised in battlefield states, Biden's lead in the Electoral College that chooses the presidency expanded to 306 to 232.

Lots of Republican citizens scoff at those results, persuaded Trump was cheated. Raymond Fontaine, a hardware shopkeeper in Oakville, Connecticut, stated Biden's vote overall– the greatest of any presidential candidate in history– makes no sense since the 78-year-old Democrat made relatively couple of campaign looks and seemed to be in psychological decrease.

“You are going to tell me 77 million Americans elected him? There is simply no way,” said Fontaine, 50.

The latest popular vote overall for Biden has actually grown to more than 79 million, compared with some 73 million for Trump.

Like many Trump fans talked to by Reuters, Fontaine was deeply suspicious of computerised voting devices. Trump and his allies have actually declared, without producing evidence, a grand conspiracy to control votes through the software application utilized in many battleground states.

In Grant County, West Virginia– a mountainous area where more than 88 percent of citizens 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, said she would never accept Biden as a legitimate president.

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

Janet Hedrick, left, and her child, Janel Henritz, of Cabins, West Virginia, believe that voter fraud resulted in Joe Biden's triumph [Nathan Layne/Reuters] At the Sunset Restaurant in Moorefield, West Virginia– a diner including omelettes, hotcakes and waitresses who remember your order– a reference of the election triggered a spirited conversation at one table. Gene See, a retired highway construction inspector, and Bob Hyson, a semi-retired insurance sales manager, stated Trump had actually been cheated, that Biden had dementia and that Democrats planned all along to rapidly 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 enormous scams,” stated another of the restaurants, Larry Kessel, a 67-year-old farmer.

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

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

‘No method in hell'

Some Trump supporters said they would accept Biden as the winner if that is the last, main result. Janel Henritz, 36, echoed some others in saying that she thought the election included fraud, but maybe insufficient to alter the outcome. 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 stays the winner after recounts and court challenges.

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

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

“Trump is the just one we've had the ability to trust for the last 4 years,” stated Strickland, an oilfield production engineer. “As far as the civil war goes, I do not believe it's off the table.”

Caleb Fryar of Lubbock, Texas, calls Trump ‘the greatest patriot that ever lived' [Brad Brooks/Reuters]
If it pertains to a battle, Caleb Fryar is all set. But the 26-year-old boy of Brett Fryar, the chiropractic doctor, said he hoped Trump's fraud allegations would rather stimulate a large mobilisation of Republican citizens in future elections.

Asked whether Trump might be deceiving his fans, he said it is tough to fathom.

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


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