As Pennsylvanians prepare to vote for their next governor, it’s no exaggeration to say that the future of American democracy is at stake.
Retired Army Colonel Doug Mastriano, who fanatically indulges in Donald Trump’s fantasies that the 2020 presidential election has been stolen, is the Republican nominee. If he wins, he plans to unregister all 8.7 million voters in Pennsylvania. In future elections, Mastriano will choose who will or will not certify state election results.
Pennsylvania was one of the few states to battle it out in presidential elections, giving Mastriano virtually the power to decide who would be the next president.But in the midterm election season defined by Republican Mastriano, who seems to be anti-democracy, is a retired army colonel, and there’s some evidence that he might be too fringe for the Republican Party as well.
Mastriano is radical in most respects.
As a Pennsylvania senator, women who violated the proposed six-week abortion ban should be charged with murder. Mastriano frequently attacks transgender people, Said Same-sex marriage should be illegal and same-sex couples should not be allowed to adopt children.
and event this summersponsored by pair “We have the power of God,” Mastriano, one of the self-proclaimed prophets, told supporters. He added that Jesus Christ “guides and directs our steps.”While working at his college, Army War, an academy for military personnel, Mastriano posed for a photo of the faculty wearing an allied uniform.
And as a key figure in Trump’s plot to overturn the presidential election, Mastriano spent thousands of dollars I chartered a bus to Washington DC on January 6th. close to violence When Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.
This did not stop the Trump-backed Mastriano. victory Republican gubernatorial nomination for May.
He won by appealing to the far-right Trump Republicans who have come to define the modern Republican party. Gender people have too many rights and are asked to cover their faces.Mastriano also received support from Democrats. ran an ad that endorsed RepublicansI hope he will be easier to beat in November.
It’s not yet known, but one thing is certain: If anyone thought Mastriano would soften his various stances if he won the nomination, they were wrong. At a public rally, Mastriano opposed the bogus list Democrats allegedly claimed and promised that things would change under him.
“It was day one and all the masking and jabs on the job requirements were over forever. Day one I woke up and was broke. It’s over,” he told a crowd of about 150 in Butler County.
“From day one, critical race theory is banned from our schools. No more graphic porn, I saw it too.
“On the first day, there were no boys on the women’s team.”
There were no details about how Mastriano would tackle income inequality or crime, with his claims “nearly doubling” in five and a half years.
Instead, there was a soundbite, and the one about his plan to disenfranchise transgender people got the biggest cheers. was to mention.
Beyond his appeal to Trump Republicans, his obsession with these identity issues probably comes as no surprise to the man who has embraced Christian nationalism – The idea that America was founded as a Christian nation and should be.
Mastriano, whose campaign did not respond to requests for comment, also claimed Islam is “incompatible” with the U.S. Constitution, and his faith has a lot of appeal at his meetings.
“He’s an honest, ideal family man,” said a straw hat-wearing woman named “Trump.”
“I also admire the fact that you can see how strong a Christian he is. When he speaks, you can just say he’s a good guy. [Christians are] A good example for everyone. They are leaders and believe in what is best for their people. They put their hearts into everything and get things done,” said Mary.
The Guardian noted that Joe Biden is a famous Christian.
“Well,” said Mary. “There are weak Christians and strong Christians. [Biden] He is a weak Christian and I believe he is a constant liar. “
But some find his religion appealing, while others disagree with Mastriano’s positions on elections and democracy, which are deeply troubled, as is his stance on minority rights.
In the weeks following the November election, Mastriano used his position as state senator to promote conspiracy theories We talked about election fraud and introduced a bill to deny ballot authentication in Pennsylvania.
Based on his own unsubstantiated allegations that Democrats conspired to steal the election, Mastriano directed Kathy Bookver, who was responsible for overseeing the state’s election process as Secretary of State of Pennsylvania, to resignationWhen exhaustion $3,000 of his campaign fund bussed protesters to places where riots broke out in DC.Mastriano earlier this year as a result of his actions summoned by the commission investigating the riot.
As governor, Mastriano nominated the next secretary of state for Pennsylvania. Given his track record, it seems unlikely that his appointment will commit to protecting votes, but his electoral denial has enough appeal.
Alan Book, a Mastriano supporter, told the Butler County Guardian newspaper, “I have no doubt they stole it.”
“when [Trump is] You get close to a million votes and then lose the advantage at 3 or 4 in the morning, I don’t believe it. When Trump got 100,000 votes instead of 1. “
In Pennsylvania, Trump was leading before mail-in ballots were counted. A majority of mail-in ballots favored Biden, who ultimately led the state. 80,000 votes or morebut numerous conspiracy theories Spread – and debunked – in relation to the count.
If Mastriano’s determination to undermine the results of both previous and future presidential elections is a cue against democracy, so is his approach to press freedom.
At the Butler County event, held in a medium-sized aircraft hangar, journalists were confined to a small press area separated by a white chain fence on the back wall. Reporters were not allowed to approach attendees before the event and had no opportunity to interview Mastriano.
The next night, a rally in Springdale, 15 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, saw even more restrictions. Guardians were assigned Minders, his volunteers in Mastriano’s campaign. Security guards were taking their role very seriously even after they were out when this journalist went to make a call. Inside, Guardians were forbidden to leave the “press area”, which was equivalent to a collapsible table.
As Mastriano’s supporters lined up in front of the table to pose for a picture with the candidate, a strange event of silence occurred, with Mastriano’s campaign volunteers lining up and speaking to every individual. . It’s impossible to know what the volunteer was saying, but while she was talking to the supporters, they watched the Guardians, and as they passed the press area, they saw all the individuals hushed up and talk. I refused.
Hostility to the media is something Mastriano seems to have copied from Trump, and like the former president, Mastriano has little to do with the truth.
At both events, Mastriano claimed that Shapiro refused to discuss him. This was astonishing to anyone who followed the events as they actually happened. It was actually Mastriano who refused to participate in a debate hosted by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce.He has hosted debates for decades – he Dissatisfied with proposed moderator.
Mastriano also refused to participate in a “fireside chat” arranged by the Chamber in lieu of a debate.
But before Mastriano criticized the Democrats for “calling our names” and described Shapiro as a “wimp,” a “bigot,” and a “failure,” he showed courtesy between campaigns. In Springdale, who sued, it didn’t matter.
During a theoretical discussion, Mastriano said of Shapiro: I smoke him like a bad cigar. “
At his campaign events, Mastriano appeared to have adopted Trump’s tactic of outright lying. I borrowed words.
In Springdale he touted the good news. trafalgar poll what you lost that day. There was a “dead heat” with Shapiro in polls, Mastriano said.but in reality polls showed Shapiro won 52.8% and Mastriano 43.5%.
that’s right, all recent votes If Shapiro is leading, the Democrats seem likely to win on November 8th.
If that reassures Americans who believe in the value of their vote, there is also a caveat.
An extremist, conspiracy theorist, and democracy saboteur, Mastriano managed to reach one of the most important positions in the country. Even if he loses, his feelings won’t disappear.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/24/doug-mastriano-pennsylvania-republicans-trump-governor Doug Mastriano: Are Trump Election Deniers Too Extreme to Win? | | Pennsylvania