NICOLLE WALLACE (HOST): "Elections don't work." And now, before you dismiss that as a silly opinion from a silly anchor on a silly network, it's a lot more than that. A lot of people watch them, a whole lot. Listen to how a scholar on authoritarian leaders and practices, Ruth Ben-Ghiat, responded to that clip we just showed you. She said this, "This is a national emergency. I have always said the endgame of election denialism is to persuade Americans elections are no longer desirable or necessary. Republican media and politicians actively urge violence as a solution to solving differences and dealing with political transitions." It's analysis that was underscored by reporting from Philip Bump in The Washington Post, who writes this, "Gutfeld's argument is seeing Joe Biden's victory not as part of America's lurching path forward, but as a rupture. Voting against Biden wouldn't work, his argument offers. Instead you need to 'force your opponents to surrender.'"
Which brings us back to a conversation we have on this program in this hour often: the foundations of American democracy under attack by the right. And those foundations will only be as strong as the beliefs in them remain. What happens when people stop believing that their voice or their vote matters? When those in power or those on television tell them that their voices and their votes do not count because elections don't work? We saw a frightening glimpse of what happens when that rhetoric seeps in, right? We saw on January 6th. We watched it. And with more comments like Greg Gutfeld's last night, what happens next?