Trump’s Michigan con: His supporters are so blinded by racism they keep falling for it

Trump’s Michigan con: His supporters are so blinded by racism they keep falling for it

Ordinary GOP voters can’t even tell Trump is hustling them — their minds are clouded by bigotry and paranoia

If you want proof that Donald Trump is not an anomaly, but rather a symptom of the racism and anti-democratic yearning that define the modern Republican Party, look no further than what’s going on in Wayne County, Michigan. It’s the county that encompasses the majority-Black city of Detroit as well as many of its majority-white suburbs, and the normally staid process of certifying an election there has gone badly off the rails.

This situation starkly illustrates how Trump’s long-shot coup attempt — which is more a money-grabbing con job at this point — relies heavily on everyday Republicans being too blinded by their own racism and hatred for democracy to really grasp the ways Trump is using them, as he uses everyone. 

To recap what happened for those who didn’t get embroiled in the blow-by-blow drama of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers this week: On Tuesday, the board, which certifies local election results before sending them along to the state board, held a public meeting. By any reasonable measure, this should have been a quick vote to certify the results, as usually happens after such a clean and relatively smooth election. Instead, the two Republican members of the board — who are both white — refused to certify the vote count, angering and bewildering the two Democratic members, who are both Black. 

Their formal excuse for this refusal to was that the vote count apparently included a few minor mistakes and anomalies, of the sort that occur in any election, in the precinct counting reports. This would, at most, affect a few hundred votes in a county where Joe Biden won by 350,000 votes. 

The real reasons, of course, were racism and a desire to steal the election for Trump. The two Republicans, Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, were making a last-ditch attempt to keep the votes of Detroit, a city whose population is nearly 80% Black, out of the final Michigan vote count. It was a temper tantrum based on the longstanding, but usually better-concealed Republican belief that there’s something not quite right about letting Black people have the same right to vote as white people.

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