Donald Trump’s embrace of conspiracy theories is central to his worldview, and the president – who still thinks he would’ve won the popular vote were it not for non-existent fraud – is especially fond of conspiracy theories related to voting.
With this mind, Trump told a far-right website yesterday, “When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”
It’s tempting to say there’s “no evidence” to support such nonsense, but in this case, that won’t cut it. Even Republicans who peddle absurd voter-fraud claims don’t believe illegal ballots are being cast by people in disguises. For the president to say out loud that this is “what’s going on” is plainly bonkers, even by 2018 standards.
But it’s Trump’s remedy that stood out.
In another part of the Daily Caller interview, Trump made a case for a national voter ID law that would purportedly solve the problem of voter impersonation.
“If you buy a box of cereal – you have a voter ID,” he said. “They try to shame everybody by calling them racist, or calling them something, anything they can think of, when you say you want voter ID. But voter ID is a very important thing.”
Oh good, the president has made the transition from “serial liar” to “cereal liar.”
As anyone who’s ever bought cereal probably knows, the purchases do not require photo ID. It is, however, not the first time Trump has made this mistake.
At a rally in Florida in July, the Republican declared, “You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID.”
Not surprisingly, this generated a fair amount of mockery – and yet, here we are again.
As for Trump’s dismissal of claims that voter-ID laws are inherently racist, the president may find the evidence inconvenient, but the truth matters. As the Washington Post noted, “Voter ID laws disproportionately make it more difficult for people of color to vote. The laws are usually passed by Republican legislatures in part because they tamp down a voting base assumed to support Democrats. In the past, courts have explicitly called voter ID laws in Texas and North Carolina discriminatory.”