Our purported state representative, Ron Hanks, is now whining about being labeled a conspiracy theorist because he, well, is pushing conspiracy theories.

Recently, he supported five GOP sponsored bills attacking democracy and Colorado’s Gold Standard election infrastructure which were, thankfully, killed in the Colorado House of Representatives. 

What Hanks is doing is not new. The GOP has a long, well-documented history of working diligently to prevent American citizens from voting because, as GOP leadership has publically acknowledged many times, if all eligible Americans did vote, the GOP would have a hard time getting its candidates elected in many jurisdictions. 

So now, the GOP has introduced a tidal wave of voter suppression bills (360 at last count) in state legislatures, designed to deny American citizens the right to vote.

Since the GOP is often stymied by the popular vote they are continuing to engage in their persistent and pervasive power grab of preventing Democrat leaning voters, often people of color, from voting.

The GOP has long been the home of racists, anti-Semites, xenophobes, conspiracy theorists and far right anti-American insurrectionists.

Of course Republicans have traditionally objected to the public acknowledgement of this fact, but now it’s undeniable because Trump made them his core followers and now these once-fringe factions are in control of the GOP.

Unfortunately, many core mainstream Republicans have been pulled along with this far right, and often delusional tide.

 What has been dubbed the Big Lie, that Trump actually won the 2020 election, is being used as fuel to push the longstanding GOP fantasy that our election system is rife with widespread fraud.

This delusion has been continuously debunked by all studies and commissions including those conducted by Trump’s own administration and his Election Integrity Commission. And yet it persists despite the fact that there is absolutely no credible evidence of widespread election fraud.

This current iteration of the GOP’s attack on democracy grows out of Trump’s grotesquely bloated ego which prevents him from admitting failure.

Instead of being a grownup, he chose a predictably childish approach of stamping his feet, throwing a tantrum and denying his obvious loss, choosing instead to try to take down our entire democratic system by accusing the opposition of cheating, because in Trump World the only way he can lose in anything is if the other side cheated.

This is simply a reflection of the fact that the only way Trump wins in many situations is by cheating so he assumes that everyone else uses these same under handed tactics. The reality is that he simply lost, fair and square.

The challenge for Ron Hanks and for the GOP is to wake up, stop being the party of lies and conspiracy theories and to participate in our great democracy on a fair and equitable basis.

Though demographics are not in the GOP’s favor, the GOP still has opportunities to broaden its base by exiting the rabbit hole of Trump’s wacky world. Hopefully they will.

Eric Simons

Buena Vista

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