Donald Trump isn’t hoping for a legitimate election. He knows that he’s lagging far behind Joe Biden in the polls and that he stands a strong likelihood of losing the presidency if every ballot is counted and the will of the American people enacted. It’s why he’s been trying to smear mail-in voting for months, alleging that it leads to rampant voter fraud despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary. This is a man who neither respects nor believes in American democracy.
Due to the already historic voter turnout this year and the spike in mail-in votes in response to the ongoing pandemic, there’s a nonzero chance that we won’t have a clear winner declared on election night and that it could take days or even weeks to count all of the ballots. In such a scenario, under normal circumstances, this would be cause for annoyance but not concern. The correct solution would be to simply continue counting votes until we have a full tally. Unfortunately, the would-be authoritarian in the White House is already attacking that basic idea.
Speaking to reporters today, Trump claimed that it would be “very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November 3rd instead of counting ballots for two weeks.” The implication here, of course, is that Trump thinks he might be ahead in the vote count the night of the election only to lose after more votes for Biden are tallied. He went on to call counting the votes past the 3rd “inappropriate” and erroneously claimed that it might even be against the law.
It cannot be stressed enough just how dangerous this kind of rhetoric is. Trump is laying the groundwork for his followers to declare the election in his favor even if he loses so long as he achieves some kind of lead in the early ballot count. Many of these supporters are heavily armed and hang on his every word, having long ago forsaken reality for the manufactured fantasy world peddled by their ignorant leader. By talking like this the president is opening the door to violence.
There’s also a distinct possibility that Trump will dispute the election and try to take it to the Supreme Court where, with its now incredibly conservative majority, it’s possible the will of the people might be annulled in favor of Republican minority rule.
That said, all of these concerns are moot points if Biden manages to achieve a blowout victory. The best strategy now is to hand him such an overwhelming win on election day that Trump has no choice but to accept it. Vote and make sure everyone you know does as well.
“It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on Nov. 3, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate, and I don’t believe that’s by our laws.” — Trump (In fact tallying all the ballots is consistent with the law.) pic.twitter.com/Dlj7DCiCT1
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 27, 2020
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