Two weeks ago Donald Trump released a bizarre and self-defeating statement regarding the likelihood of his obsession with non-existent voter fraud hampering voter turnout among disgruntled Republicans. He was right. When you relentlessly complain that elections are “rigged,” you are sending your supporters the message that it’s a waste of time to vote.

“If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented),” Trump whined, “Republicans will not be voting in ‘22 or ‘24.” Let’s set aside the ludicrous assertion that Trump has “conclusively documented” any fraud at all. Had he done so he is behaving strangely by not having presented any of it after nearly a year. More to the point, Trump’s griping can’t help but depress GOP voter turnout. So naturally, he’s doing it again (via his Twitter ban defying spokes-shill):

“The statement that I made a few weeks ago saying that Republicans will not vote if the Election Fraud of 2020 is not fixed, was in no way meant to imply that I would tell them not to vote, but rather that they may not have the incentive to vote if the election process is not fully remedied, and quickly. It was the Crime of the Century. We are working on solving that problem every day—it will be done! People do not want to spend their time and money to have a SCAM like that happen again. Regardless of anything or anyone, we must get out the Republican and SANE VOTE!”

Notice that Trump starts off by trying to deny the obvious. While he says that he never “meant to imply that I would tell them not to vote,” that is precisely what he is implying. Why should any of his cult disciples bother to “spend their time and money” on a “SCAM” of his own invention? And the condition that he stipulates for incentivizing voters is for the fake election fraud to be “fixed” and/or “fully remedied.” However, it isn’t possible to fix a problem that doesn’t exist anywhere but in the diseased imaginations of Trump and his dimwitted devotees.

The question is why would Trump revisit this hokum now after making the rhetorical blunder two weeks ago? It undoubtedly has something to do with the upcoming election for governor in Virginia, where his flunky, Glenn Youngkin, is in a tight race with Democrat Terry McAuliffe. In an apparent attempt to emulate his mentor, Youngkin is already alleging election fraud five days before the election. As for Trump, he doesn’t want the candidate he endorsed to lose. and even more important, he doesn’t want to be blamed for the loss. So he’s making a transparent and futile play to undo the damage he did previously.

Unfortunately for Trump, he’s making the very same mistake. He is still warning Republicans that they have no chance of victory if “the Election Fraud of 2020 is not fixed.” And since what isn’t broken cannot be fixed, Trump is signaling that they might as well opt out. It’s a ploy he’s used before. Back in July Trump fear mongered that, due to mail-in voting “There will never be a Republican elected to high office again.”

Technically, Trump isn’t telling people not to vote. However, he is telling them that that it won’t do any good if his conditions aren’t met. But since his conditions require overturning the 2020 presidential election and reinstating Trump (which 60% of delusional Republicans believe should happen), those conditions will remain unmet. And it doesn’t help that he is urging them to get out the “SANE” vote, because that would disqualify the majority of Republican voters.

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