AZ Primaries leave little hope for future

Abby Mills, Design Chief

The main objective for Republican candidates in the recent Arizona primary election was: deny, deny, deny. Candidates appeased the GOP hand that fed them. They fervently alienated themselves, pleaded that the 2020 election was stolen; reduced the political dialogue to a level dishearteningly low, based on a lie a majority of Americans knew not to be true. As local leaders competed to be the most radical, the primaries on Aug. 2nd shed light on the severity of the state’s future.

The Republican party is having a midlife crisis. This fact is evident from expensive proxy wars in the primaries. The social and political reactions to Jan. 6th have torn the party apart. The GOP does not know what type of voter it wants. It cannot toe between the line of the far right and the conservative everyman anymore. They are unable to make both groups happy. This primary election decided which response was victorious. 

Even with Donald Trump out of the oval office, his presence haunts and controls politics. Electoral integrity was at the forefront of these elections, whether or not candidates believed the validity of the 2020 election snagged them the win. Despite Karrin Taylor Robson’s extensive self-funding and support from former vice president Mike Pence and Gov. Doug Ducey, it still was not enough to win. The former news anchor, Kari Lake, centered her campaign around the 2020 election results in an obvious ploy to be supported by Trump and his staunch supporters. It worked. 

Lake’s existence in politics is inherently contradictory. She is a former member of the media who tells her voters not to trust anything they say. When the initial votes for the gubernatorial race flooded in, Karrin Taylor Robson was in the lead. Kari Lake and her supporters cried about election fraud in the race hours before she won it. After this political gaffe, she explained that she won in spite of election fraud. In lieu of one of the most consequential governor races in recent history, it is depressing that this woman may be able to run the state. 

Embedded deep inside American culture, along with football and processed food, is the refusal to lose. Americans do not accept defeat. The refusal to accept a loss in an election is the new normal. This blatant manipulation tactic is designed to cause resentment and anger to attract target voters. Alleged voter fraud has the same mass appeal as a bank heist, sensational enough to grab and hold the country’s attention, but is almost impossible to get away with.

With Kari Lake, what you see is what you get—unlike with Blake Masters. He is the republican nominated to go against Mark Kelly for a senate seat, also Trump endorsed. During the primaries, he marketed himself to voters who wanted to privatize social security and embraced a national abortion ban. Just weeks after Masters won the primaries, his thought process dramatically evolved. Now he supports Arizona’s 15-week abortion ban and called for an increase in social security payments. Blake Masters has changed opinions as a snake sheds its skin.

With abortion now being up to state law, local elections have never been more important. Arizona’s future has never looked bleaker, full of self-aggrandizing political candidates who care more about winning than public policy; who cried election fraud every chance they got; who throughout the primaries, constantly competed to be the most extreme; who desperately tried to appease a former president. The states primaries showed there is little to no light at the end of the tunnel for Arizona.