Cognoscenti Cognoscenti

Support the news

Trump Will Try To Subvert The Election. We Must Be Prepared

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, July 20, 2020, in Washington. (Evan Vucci/AP)
President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., in the Oval Office of the White House, Monday, July 20, 2020, in Washington. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Three and a half years exhausting years into his failed regime, most Americans recognize Donald Trump for what he is: a loser.

The latest polls shows him trailing Joe Biden by 15 points, with a lowly 36 percent approval rating. There are even indications that he’s starting to lose the cult members who applauded his idiotic wall, his sadistic family separation policy, his massive tax cut for corporations and his pathetic obedience to Vladimir Putin.

The entire basis of his re-election campaign — hyping the vibrant economy Barack Obama built — has been blown to bits by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is ripping through American cities at a horrifying rate.

Rather than overseeing a federal response based on science and public health, Trump peddled quack cures and happy talk. The virus revealed him to be a snake oil salesman who tweets because he cannot govern, and cares only about his political interests.

His response to the protest movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd has been predictably racist, authoritarian, and out of step with the majority of Americans, who believe Black lives matter, and that racial justice is long overdue.

Trump is so desperate to gin up a culture war that he recently sent federal law enforcement officials wearing camouflage but no visible insignia into Portland, Oregon to round up protestors in unmarked vans. Because nothing says “law and order!” like siccing a secret police squad on American citizens.

Various academics and Constitutional experts are busily outlining scenarios in which Trump refuses to leave office, despite losing the election.

Anyone familiar with Trump’s career could have predicted this turn of events. He bankrupts everything he touches: businesses, casinos, marriages, even charitable foundations. If we’re not vigilant, that list will soon include our democracy.

Because Trump isn’t just America’s biggest loser. He’s our biggest cheater. Now that he knows he can’t win a free and fair election — even with Electoral College and GOP-led voter suppression efforts rigging the process in his favor — you can be sure Trump will seek to subvert the election.

Various academics and Constitutional experts are busily outlining scenarios in which Trump refuses to leave office, despite losing the election. These assessments are both chilling and plausible enough that you should read them in their entirety. But the gist is this:

*Joe Biden wins the election, but only by a narrow margin in a few swing states.

*Trump disputes these results, claiming voter fraud, and demands a federal investigation by the Justice Department.

*Attorney General William Barr complies.

*The Supreme Court eventually intervenes — as they did in the 2000 election — on Trump’s behalf.

*Alternatively, because of the disputed state results, neither candidate has the required 270 electoral votes to claim the presidency, meaning that the election would be decided by a vote of the 50 congressional delegations, which currently favors Republicans, 26-24.

There’s also the possibility that Trump — sensing his impending loss — will seek to exploit the dangers of COVID-19 to disrupt the election, with the aid of his toady Barr, and key allies in swing states.

The only sure way to prevent a scenario of this sort is for the election to be so decisive that even Trump’s GOP enablers won’t support his ploys. The worse Biden beats Trump in the Electoral College and popular vote, the more treasonous Trump’s efforts will appear.

The idea that we should anticipate cheating of this sort is utterly depressing. Then again, just a few months ago Trump attempted to extort a foreign leader to dig up dirt on Biden and only one Republican senator mustered the courage to vote to remove him from office.

As cruel and inept as he has been, Trump doesn’t have to win the election on November 3 to remain in office. He simply has to find enough ways to cheat the system, and enough quislings to help him.

It’s vital that the Biden campaign recognize the peril that lies ahead, and start taking measures immediately. His decision to organize hundreds of lawyers to combat electoral chicanery is a good start. But he and his campaign should be talking to reporters every day about Trump’s corrupt intentions and actions.

As citizens of good faith, we would all like America to be great again. But at this point, we’d settle for stable, competently governed, and on the path to recovery.

Journalists of good faith mustn’t make the same mistakes they did in 2016, when they amplified Trump’s misinformation on a daily basis. Whatever schemes Trump cooks up mustn’t be presented as some kind of October Surprise, and mindlessly hyped to make the race appear close.

As citizens of good faith, we would all like America to be great again. But at this point, we’d settle for stable, competently governed, and on the path to recovery.

That can only happen if Trump and his enablers lose big.

We must treat the worst president in American history like the virus he never bothered to understand: as a clear and present danger to be reviled, repudiated, then stamped out, one vote at a time.

Follow Cognoscenti on Facebook and Twitter.

Related:

Steve Almond Twitter Cognoscenti contributor
Steve Almond's new book, "Bad Stories: What the Hell Just Happened to Our Country," is now available. He hosts the Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news