Aiexpress – On January 15, as voters in Iowa gathered for caucuses, the Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, expressed his concerns about potential political “dirty tricks” through social media.
“Watch out for sneaky tactics,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. He emphasized that the Iowa Caucus is definitely taking place on Monday night, January 15th and advised not to trust any dishonest RINOS or Globalists who claim otherwise. During a rally on January 14, Trump urged elderly voters to brave the snowstorm and cast their votes, emphasizing that they shouldn’t stay home. He even mentioned that even if they were sick, it would still be worth it to vote, even if it meant risking their lives or passing away.
Trump supporters, including his former Housing Secretary, Ben Carson, have also raised concerns about false reports affecting campaigns. Carson shared his own experience from eight years ago, where he claimed that false rumors of him dropping out of the race hindered his campaign in Iowa.
Critics argued that this was just another instance of “Trump’s mirror,” where he accuses others of doing what he himself is guilty of. A prime example of this is when Trump accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign of colluding with Russia and Ukraine in 2016, only for his own campaign to later face accusations of the same, backed by substantial evidence.
Political analysts argue that the use of artificial intelligence and the spread of “fake news” on platforms like Newsmax and HuffPost have led to a rise in political dirty tricks. False reports by campaigns and their supporters are becoming more prevalent, indicating the need for increased regulation of media platforms and social media forums. Additionally, some experts suggest that media literacy should be taught in schools to address this issue. This discussion took place during a recent panel hosted by Columbia University.
Continued claims have been made that Democrats “stole” the 2020 election through fraud, but Republicans have failed to provide any real evidence in court to support this allegation. Unfortunately, these false claims have had serious consequences. On January 6, 2021, violence erupted as Trump supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol, resulting in the injury of around 140 police officers and causing over $2 million in damage. It is crucial to address disinformation and prevent such harmful incidents in the future.
According to recent polls, over 60 percent of Republicans in 2024 still hold the belief that the 2020 election was stolen. However, it’s important to note that this percentage is significantly lower when considering the overall respondents, which stands at less than 40 percent. In a Facebook post in January 2024, Steve Cortes, a GOP consultant who initially supported Ron DeSantis before switching to Trump, urged people not to be swayed by the messaging of the Corporate Media, asserting that “The 2020 election was stolen.”
According to Ed Krassenstein, an entrepreneur and social media personality known for favoring Democratic candidates, a recount in Virginia revealed that Joe Biden received 1,648 fewer votes than he should have, while Donald Trump obtained 2,327 excess votes. Krassenstein pointed out that Trump has lost multiple court cases and even his own lawyers have acknowledged that the claims of widespread election fraud were false. Despite knowing that he lost, Trump continues to perpetuate this falsehood.
According to retired Oregon radio broadcaster Martin Doerfler, if Democrats had the ability to steal elections, then Hillary Clinton would currently be serving her second term as president, while Donald Trump would be trying to secure a spot on the popular show “Dancing with the Stars.”
Biden and his supporters are also capable of spreading false information, such as a statement in 2023 where the president purportedly claimed that more police officers were killed during domestic violence calls compared to other situations. PolitiFact, a project by the Poynter Institute, aims to debunk such false claims.
In 2023, Trump supporter Nick Adams made a comical fraudulent statement, claiming that Major League Baseball scouts believed Trump would have surpassed Babe Ruth. However, this claim was countered by reports stating that Trump’s high school batting average was only .138. Similarly, Biden also claimed to be a football star in high school, but this claim was questioned too.
Dirty Tricks ‘R’ Us
Political campaigns have always incorporated dirty tricks as a tactic to gain an advantage.
In 1968, former President Richard Nixon actively undermined peace negotiations between the Lyndon Johnson administration and Vietnamese officials. He employed the help of Anna Chennault, a Republican fundraiser and journalist, to carry out his plan. Similarly, in 1980, William Casey, the campaign manager for former President Ronald Reagan, reportedly made a trip to Europe a few months before Election Day. His purpose was to persuade Iranian officials not to release the 52 American diplomats and citizens they were holding until after the election.
In 1960, a precinct in Angelina County in Texas reported that only 86 people voted, but the final tally showed 147–24 in favor of Democrat John F. Kennedy. This kind of chicanery is not exclusive to Republicans. Additionally, a special prosecutor named Morris Wexler discovered “substantial” miscounts in Chicago, Illinois, caused by voting machine errors and unqualified voters. There were allegations that the elder Kennedy had brokered a deal with Sam Giancana and other Chicago mobsters to secure thousands of votes.
In the lead-up to the 2000 election, new information emerged about former President George W. Bush’s past. A Democratic operative in Maine made public the revelation that Bush had been arrested for drunk driving in 1976.
In 2016, Cameron Harris, a GOP aide to former Maryland Del. David Vogt, gained significant attention when he published a fabricated story on a website. The story falsely claimed that thousands of fraudulent ballots for Clinton had been discovered in an Ohio warehouse. This article garnered millions of readers and had a substantial impact on the election results.
In 2020, Republican operatives in South Carolina and other states encouraged supporters to vote for Democrat Bernie Sanders instead of Biden, in a campaign called “Operation Chaos.” The goal was to prolong the Democratic primaries and create obstacles for Biden. Similar strategies are still being employed by both Democrats and Republicans in 2024, with some Democrats changing their party affiliation before the January 23 New Hampshire primary.
In July 2023, a group known as Advancing Our Values distributed flyers in Iowa expressing gratitude to Trump for his support of LGBTQ rights. They hailed him as a “transgender trailblazer” for allowing a transgender woman to participate in a Miss Universe pageant back in 2012.
There were speculations about the group’s connection with Florida Governor DeSantis, who came in second place to Trump in Iowa. Governor DeSantis has been highlighting Trump’s commitment to “protect our LGBTQ citizens” from 2016, while simultaneously promoting his state’s recent anti-LGBTQ legislations.
Official dirty tricks
Abortion rights advocates in Arizona have encountered obstacles in their efforts to introduce a measure on the November 2024 ballot. Amy Fitch-Heacock from Arizonans for Reproductive Freedom revealed that they have faced underhanded tactics, with the assistance of government officials. Fitch-Heacock personally witnessed anti-abortion activists signing a petition under a false name and intentionally writing outside of the lines, leading to the disqualification of that page of signatures by the state. It is worth noting that in Arizona, if even a single signature on a page of 15 is deemed invalid, the entire page is discarded.
In Arkansas, the Republican state Attorney General, Tim Griffin, faced criticism for rejecting two versions of an abortion proposal. Critics argued that his reasons for rejection were deceptive. Griffin claimed that words like “access” and “health” were confusing, and he also expressed concern over the partisan coloring of the ballot’s title. Meanwhile, in Missouri, GOP officials attempted to reframe a ballot measure by labeling abortions as “dangerous and unregulated.” However, this partisan approach was rejected by a court.
Republicans argue that Democrats are resorting to underhanded tactics by filing criminal charges against Trump and declaring him ineligible for the 2024 elections in specific states. Trump has faced four indictments, and this strategy has proven successful in Colorado and Maine, with the Trump campaign currently appealing these decisions.
Supporters of Biden argue that the Republican campaign to impeach him in the U.S. House is nothing more than an official dirty trick.