Michael Flynn is still at war

Raiklin proceeded with what Maddox described as “a wild, contortionist explanation of how they would reverse Biden’s election,” involving...


Raiklin proceeded with what Maddox described as “a wild, contortionist explanation of how they would reverse Biden’s election,” involving a succession of state audits. First Arizona, then Georgia, then Wisconsin and then other state legislatures would overturn the 2020 election results, he envisioned, until Biden’s margin of victory evaporated. Maddox told Raiklin he was skeptical. “But he said he was sure it was going to happen,” Maddox told me. “And he kept referring to Mike Flynn as that linchpin and that cog.”

“General Flynn is at the center of it all,” Raiklin also said in New Hampshire when I spoke to him briefly after his speech. He declined to elaborate, so exactly what that meant was hard to say. In the feverish activity that now accompanies the 2020 election on the right, it can be difficult to distinguish conspiracy from conspiracy, especially in Flynn’s own statements. In an interview at the end of January Along with the right-wing conspiracy website Infowars, Flynn accused George Soros, Bill Gates and others of creating the coronavirus so they could “steal an election” and “rule the world”. In another interview, he started the rumor that “they” might “put the vaccine in a dressing.”

But the Capitol riot demonstrated how quickly such a plot could turn into action. The belief that the 2020 election was stolen reigns in the Republican Party as much today as it did then: according to a YouGov poll in December, 71% of all Republicans believe Biden was not legitimately elected. The stolen election myth has coalesced with a host of other right-wing concerns — coronavirus vaccines, critical race theory, border security — into a single crisis narrative, of which Flynn is both The Provider and Protagonist: The Deep State is intent on smashing America as it attempted to smash Flynn and the man he had the audacity to serve, Donald Trump.

Wake American event in Phoenix, I visited an art peddling booth by a man named Michael Marrone. Along with the usual hagiographic portrayals of Trump in Revolutionary War gear, Marrone had several of Flynn and other hallowed figures in the initial effort to overturn the election, such as Lin Wood and Sidney Powell. One featured the general seated next to Powell, both in colonial dress, signing the Declaration of Independence. In another, Flynn stood with a protruding jaw and eagle eyes, brandishing a musket. A third, the representative alongside Trump on a battlefield, bore Flynn’s autograph, alongside the QAnon slogan WWG1WGA (“where we go one, we all go”).

In real life, the bonds between this group had begun to fray. Wood and Flynn endorsed various Republican candidates for governor of Georgia, a state that has become the focus of right-wing efforts to overturn the 2020 results and assert partisan control over future elections. Their estrangement deepened and eventually became public when Wood posted text messages and snippets of a phone conversation on social media app Telegram. In one, Flynn expressed his belief that Trump had “abandoned” America.

When I spoke with Wood in December, he told me he had begun to reassess the general. For so long Flynn’s partner in the conspiracy, he had recently begun to wonder if Flynn himself was not what he seemed. He told me about attending a Bikers for Trump rally in South Carolina last May, where Flynn led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance, to silence momentarily during the line “and to the Republic for which he represents “. At the time, “I tried to defend him,” Wood said. “Now I don’t know. Who forgets the oath of allegiance? Draw your own conclusions. It’s embarassing.

It occurred to me that this, one way or another, was probably Flynn’s life for the foreseeable future: the prospect of a normal retirement was long gone, he now belonged to a MAGA storybook world of heroes and villains and nothing in between. This world “is filled with strong personalities, which is a complication in any movement,” said JD Rucker, a conservative podcaster who knows and admires Flynn. “When you fight for a cause, you are also fighting to be highlighted within that cause. The left is less sensitive to this – whether because it has a more collectivist view or because isn’t as capitalist, I don’t know.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Michael Flynn is still at war
Michael Flynn is still at war
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