President Donald Trump is doing all he can to concoct a dire fantasy about a rigged election, a big fat lie that will aid him in challenging an Electoral College win by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. His goal: hold on to power by any means.
For months, the president has been casting doubt on the integrity of America’s voting system, in particular mail-in ballots that, in this time of pandemic, are the best way for citizens to stay safe when they cast their ballots. Trump claims, without a shred of evidence, that ballots sent through the mail are easily corrupted and that, in fact, Democrats are planning to falsify millions of those ballots. He has not only engaged in this rhetorical assault on the mail-in system, he has had his postmaster general take steps to significantly impair postal delivery, especially in Democratic-leaning areas.
Trump is preparing the ground for a post-election battle that will have both legal and propagandistic dimensions. If he loses, everything will be done to challenge and discredit the result. One tactic Trump and his minions envision is getting Republican-led state legislatures to come up with alternative groups of electors in states where Biden wins by a close vote. Another is to bring lawsuits that push the decision to the Supreme Court, where conservative justices are in the majority, a majority that could be strengthened by the rushed appointment of his nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Trump has no interest in a fair fight that he might lose. He is emulating his autocratic pals around the globe, like the ruthless leaders of Russia and Turkey. His plan is to stay in the White House, even if a majority of Americans reject him, no matter how great the damage to our republic. He doesn’t want to be Lincoln; he wants to be Caesar.
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