In CNN Special on 'Donald Trump's Conspiracy Theories,' Zakaria Pushes Conspiracy Theory of Voter Suppression

Ryan Foley | July 25, 2020
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In an hour-long CNN special titled "Donald Trump's Conspiracy Theories," host Fareed Zakaria ironically dabbled in a few conspiracy theories himself. Zakaria used claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election as an excuse to dismiss the "voter fraud conspiracy theory." According to Zakaria, "voter fraud is virtually nonexistent because it doesn't make sense for people to risk it. It's unlikely to swing an election and penalties are severe." Leaving the debate about voter fraud aside, Zakaria seemed to subscribe to a conspiracy theory of his own. Zakaria seemed to agree wholeheartedly with one of the people he interviewed, who said "Certain Republican elites came to believe that the Republican Party had an interest in depressing turnout and that's when they invented the friction of voter fraud." It became clear that the rest of the segment would peddle the conspiracy that requiring voter IDs was a form of voter suppression. Zakaria called the push for voter IDs a "shameful echo" of "the Jim Crow south." The CNN host argued that "these measures had a real impact," making the case that Trump would not have won the election without voter suppression. He specifically pointed to Wisconsin and how "Trump won the state by less than 23,000 ballots." One of his guests proclaimed that "voter fraud doesn't change an election result, voter suppression does." Zakaria and others on the left fail to acknowledge that in spite of alleged "voter suppression" in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, minority turnout surged.