Time Magazine claimed that Democrat and soon-to-be House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ refusal to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election as legitimate doesn’t count as “election denial” because he’s not a Trump-supporting Republican, in a tacit admission that “election denier” is a nonsense phrase that only exists to make Republicans look like “threats to democracy.”
In the Friday piece, Time staff writer Jasmine Aguilera admitted, “In tweets, news interviews, and House hearings, Jeffries called to question the legitimacy of Trump’s election.” She even embedded posts from the Republican National Committee with screenshots of Jeffries’ tweets saying Trump and his “buddies in the Kremlin” were “trying to steal the election” and that “history” would “never accept” Trump as a “legitimate president.” In another post, Jeffries said that “the more we learn about 2016 election the more ILLEGITIMATE it becomes. America deserves to know whether we have a FAKE President in the Oval Office.”
Despite including some of the very evidence showing Jeffries’ election skepticism, Aguilera insisted, “Calling Jeffries an ‘election denier’ is misleading and conflates different issues.” Why is it misleading? Because Time wants you to associate “election denialism” — a grammatically ridiculous phrase anyway, since no one is denying that an election happened — only with the right.
As a result, the magazine says, the smear exists to describe Republican Trump voters only.
The term ‘election denier’ has taken on a particular meaning, however, after Trump’s failed re-election campaign. The phrase has come to be associated with Republicans who claim the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, assert without evidence there was fraud in 2020 voting, and cast doubt on secure voting systems — claims that lead to the deadly January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Claims of a “stolen” election? Democrats like Jeffries did that in 2016. Accusations of fraud? Democrats only, you know, insisted that an entire foreign country rigged our election, based on a bogus dossier that was commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign. “Cast doubt on secure voting systems”? Yep.
The piece says Republicans exercising their freedom of speech to raise concerns about the unprecedented administration of the 2016 election would “lead to the deadly January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.” (Legacy media outlets love to describe the events of Jan. 6 as “deadly,” to evoke the mortality rates of events such as 9/11 or Pearl Harbor or the Civil War, all of which they’ve compared the Capitol riot to. In reality, of the five people who died, one died of a heart attack, another of a stroke, and another of an accidental drug overdose. A Capitol Police officer died of stroke-related “natural causes” the next day. The only participant killed by another person was a demonstrator shot to death by police.) Election protests-turned-violent are nothing new to Democrats, however; in 2016, nationwide demonstrations by “tens of thousands” over Trump’s election “resulted in at least 124 arrests and reports of damage, vandalism and injuries in several locations.”
Aguilera continued her attempt to differentiate Republican “election denial” from Democrats’ totally-above-board-and-not-at-all-the-same behavior:
[T]he actions taken by Trump and his supporters leading up to 2020 election and after were unprecedented. Trump stoked false conspiracies of voter fraud, filed more than 60 election-related lawsuits, and pressured officials to interfere with election results.
The now-debunked Russia collusion hoax sure seems to fit the “false conspiracies” description. Lawsuits? Democrats sued Trump and the GOP in four swing states in 2016 over trumped-up charges of a “coordinated campaign of vigilante voter intimidation.” Even two years later in 2018, the Democratic National Committee sued Trump, his son, his son-in-law, campaign officials, Russia, and WikiLeaks with accusations of “conspiring to disrupt the 2016 presidential election,” as CNBC reported. Democrat operatives such as lawyer Marc Elias (formerly of Perkins Coie, the law firm that hired Fusion GPS to come up with the Steele dossier for the Clinton campaign) file countless election-related lawsuits and get puff pieces in The Washington Post in return.
Pressuring officials to “interfere with election results”? Democrats don’t have to apply much pressure. In 2016, the FBI launched its “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the Trump campaign purportedly on the basis of the Steele dossier around the same time FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were discussing how Trump was “not ever going to become president” because “We’ll stop it.” In 2020, Big Tech companies interfered in the election by censoring stories like the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell, as well as throttling journalists and elected officials who dissented from the official narrative on Covid and other issues.
As far as Time is concerned, the real difference between Jeffries’ election skepticism and that of Trump voters in 2020 is the little letter next to the election winner’s name. If “election denier” doesn’t describe what Jeffries and other Democrats did in 2016, then it doesn’t mean anything at all. The phrase is just a nonsense smear invented to chill speech, silence challenges to the regime, and paint Republicans as unelectable. Time Magazine practically just admitted as much.