Steve Bannon, former President Donald Trump’s onetime chief strategist, appeared on a World Prayer Network prayer call last Wednesday, where he declared that “every congregation in the nation” must mobilize to ensure that Christians control the polling places in the upcoming midterm elections in order to prevent Democrats from “stealing” the election.
Bannon spent most of 2020 fearmongering about election fraud and supporting former President Donald Trump’s baseless stolen-election conspiracy theories. He revealed Trump’s plan to prematurely declared victory to right-wing activists just days before Election Day, reveling in the chaos it would cause, according to leaked audio reported by Mother Jones. Now, as we go into the 2022 midterm elections, it appears Bannon is eager to cause more chaos.
On the prayer call, Bannon repeatedly cited Glenn Youngkin’s election as governor in Virginia in 2021. He said the role that the religious-right organization “Faith Wins” played in mobilizing churchgoers to serve as poll watchers and election workers is a model that needs to be implemented across the country.
Asked how confident he is that “we’re going to have full and fair elections in November,” Bannon replied, “I’m not.”
“We’re going to have to outvote the fraud, and we’re gonna have to outvote the money and we’re gonna have to outvote their stealing,” Bannon said. “Everybody in your congregation, should besides going to precinct strategy meetings and getting involved in the Republican Party as a precinct committeeman, every one [in] your congregation should in addition also sign up to be a poll worker or a judge. If we get in the room and start fighting over the count, that’s where we’re going to win it.”
“Let me be blunt: The Democrats cannot win if they don’t cheat,” Bannon continued. “If we want to win, your congregations are going to have to be in the counting rooms and prepared to have those knife fights … making sure that only legitimate chain of custody legal votes count.”
“You have poll watchers, which we need, but what we really need is poll workers,” Bannon added. “You need to be inside the room, and you need to be an election judge, and there’s still time to do that. We need people of faith. Every congregation in the nation can be all over this. We have to make Virginia a model.”
“If Democrats can’t cheat, they cannot win,” Bannon declared. “They’re going to try to cheat at every level, and that’s why people of faith should be all over being an election judge. We’ve got to get people of faith inside the room for the knife fight.”
By declaring that “Democrats cannot win if they don’t cheat,” Bannon is clearly trying to preemptively undermine the legitimacy of any election won by a Democratic candidate as part of his long-term strategy to create political chaos as a way to set the stage for the implementation of far-right authoritarianism.
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