The Trump administration is not prepared for a free and fair election. The incumbent president is an unmitigated disaster by every imaginable criterion and currently reigns over a country devastated by COVID-19 and the epiphenomenal economic downturn. Over 200,000 Americans are dead due to Trump’s incompetence and his decision to mislead the public about the threat of the coronavirus.
In turn, Trump’s well-deserved unpopularity has prompted him and his GOP enablers to aggressively sow the seeds of doubt ahead of November 3rd. If they can delegitimize a Biden win, they might be able to somehow maintain their chokehold grasp over the federal government.
One of the Republicans’ favorite talking points to undermine faith in the election, spearheaded by Trump, is that mail-in voting is unreliable and thus ripe for fraud. As is so often the case with GOP claims, there is no truth to the allegations and there are in fact mountains of evidence indicating that voter fraud is so incredibly rare as to be completely inconsequential.
The simple truth is that Republicans don’t really want us voting. They want to suppress turnout because they believe it’ll help Trump. To them, democracy is nothing but an inconvenient hurdle standing in the way of their goal to construct a reactionary nightmare where the United States of America once stood.
To that end, the president’s pathetically parental-validation-seeking son Donald Trump Jr. has released a new video. Sickly-looking and sickly-sounding, perhaps ill or perhaps hungover or perhaps something else, the First Son urged his father’s deranged supporters to work to join something ominously called “Army for Trump.” The video opens with him intoning that the “radical left are laying the groundwork to steal this election from my father.” From there, it only goes further off the rails.
“They are planting stories that President Trump will have a landslide lead on election night but will lose when they finish counting the mail-in ballots. Their plan is to add millions of fraudulent ballots that can cancel your vote and overturn the election. We cannot let that happen,” the First Son says, echoing his father’s lies.
“We need every able-bodied man and woman to join Army for Trump’s election security operation,” says Junior while a massive call to “ENLIST” takes up half the screen. “We need you to help us watch them not just on Election Day but also during early voting and at the counting boards,” he goes on, conjuring images of voter intimidation to those of us paying close enough attention to be wary about Republican plans for November.
The so-called “Army for Trump” turns out to be a nickname for Trump’s volunteer recruiting apparatus, an amorphous organization that is recruiting voters to do everything from making calls on behalf of the campaign to registering voters to bundling donors. The URL that Junior peddles in the video, DefendYourBallot.com, redirects to the section of the Army for Trump website that recruits for the “Election Day Team.”
While the Trump campaign has a right to recruit volunteers for legitimate election day operations like any other campaign, the First Son’s rhetoric about watching for nonexistent fraud raises the specter of possible voter interference or intimidation. Those planning to vote for their country’s future by voting Joe Biden must stay vigilant in response, and make sure that nobody is denied their right to vote by Trump or MAGA enforcers.
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