Trump is determined to delegitimize the Presidential election

In trying to delegitimize the election Trump has raised legitimate worries about how he might use the military to reject the outcome of November’s election.

DONALD TRUMP has said on many occasions that he will be president for life.  (photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
DONALD TRUMP has said on many occasions that he will be president for life.
(photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
FDR: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
DJT: I have nothing to offer but fear itself.
As his poll numbers sink to new depths, US President Donald Trump’s reelection strategy is increasingly based on scaring voters away from his opponent rather than offering them hope about the economic and health crises gripping the nation. The man who once claimed “I alone can fix it” actually broke it and is clueless about how to go about fixing it.
Trump has been predicting “the most inaccurate and fraudulent  election in history,” and he seems determined to produce just that. No other president has sought to undermine an American election as he is doing.
The nation suffers through the worst health crisis in a century and his remedy is injections of Clorox and fantasies that COVID-19 would just go away. Millions are out of work, but he blocks renewing unemployment benefits because he says they’re a disincentive to go out looking for jobs that don’t exist. His version of emergency economic recovery aid is replacing the FBI Building with something that won’t compete with his hotel across the street.
“Jobs will disappear,” screams Trump if Biden is elected. Guess what, Don? More than 17 million Americans are out of work on your watch, according to your Labor Department, and the end is not in sight. Businesses of all sizes, particularly small ones on Main Street, are gone and not returning.
Trump’s campaign to demonize Biden could backfire. A headline in Politico said, “Hating Joe Biden doesn’t juice up their base.”
His greatest fear is rejection, and he’s made it clear he won’t accept losing. In his mind, defeat could never be his fault but the work of sinister forces that betrayed him. With three months to go before the election, he has already begun questioning the outcome, as he did four years ago, saying any vote he doesn’t win would be “rigged.”
His talk about postponing the election reveals how terrified he is of losing and desperate to hold on. Biden predicted in June, “This president is going to try to steal this election,” but he wasn’t taken very seriously until Trump’s latest tweets. He has no authority to change the date set by law, and the GOP leaders in the House and Senate rapidly shot it down. I wonder if anyone ever told Trump that if he delayed the election and he ties up vote counting in the courts, that he’d be out of office at noon, January 20, 2021, and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would become the president.
It is bound to get nastier but so far his efforts to tar Joe Biden as “sleepy,” “demented,” and even as a “pedophile” have failed. But that isn’t stopping the indefatigable Trump. His latest is “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America” and calling the former veep a “puppet of the radical left wing.”
In the midst of a pandemic and Trump’s inept and failed response, it is puzzling that he is accusing Biden of trying to expand the health care system at a time when it is needed most. Even many Republicans think fighting the pandemic is far more important than Trump’s priority of reopening the economy and the schools.
“Jobs will disappear” if Biden is elected, Trump warns. In case he hasn’t noticed, millions of jobs already are long gone.
Trump’s decision to send federal troops into Portland only worsened the disturbances there, and they didn’t wind down until after he withdrew. He continues to make similar threats to send his militias to “take back” cities, but only from those with Democratic mayors. Voters will remember federal forces being sent to forcibly clear away peaceful demonstrators in front of a church so that he could pose holding a Bible upside down. One who won’t forget is Gen. Mark Malley, the chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, who publicly apologized for letting Trump use him as a prop in that infamous photo op.
In trying to delegitimize the election – and with his penchant for calling out the military to do his political chores – Trump has raised legitimate worries about how he might use the military to reject the outcome of November’s election.
Trump “seems totally willing and eager to utilize instruments of national power in pursuit of his reelection” and eager to use American troops on American soil against American citizens, Joshua Geltzer, executive director of Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, told The Washington Post.
TRUMP’S GREATEST fear, of course, is the voters. His strategy is to gin up his base and scare Democrats into staying home. Discrediting voting by mail from the safety and comfort of home is intended to discourage voters by forcing them to stand in long lines, in possibly cold November weather, socially distanced and wearing masks to protect against the novel coronavirus. That couples with the aggressive Republican strategy of limiting the hours, staffing and location of polling places. The Republican National Committee has reportedly allocated $20 million to dispatch an army of 50,000 “poll watchers” in the name of fighting voter fraud, a virtually non-existent crime which resides more in Trump’s mind than in reality.
In reality the “poll monitors” are intended to intimidate voters, especially minorities, immigrants and the elderly, by challenging their eligibility, citizenship, age, residency, date of registration and ID card. Those challenged are taken out of line, interrogated and, if found eligible, given a special ballot.
His attacks on voting-by-mail have nothing to do with the integrity of the ballot. His sole purpose is to discourage Democratic voters. Instead, his attacks have spurred Democrats to request absentee ballots while Republicans are reluctant. This could also backfire on Trump by keeping his rural supporters from voting in the upper Midwest.
Another Trump fear tactic is his talk of protecting the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream,” widely regarded as racist code for keeping minorities in “low income housing” and out of “your neighborhood.” “Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it,” he warns. Translation of this code: I will keep it white. Pollsters report his racial fear mongering is hurting him with suburban – particularly with educated – women. This approach isn’t surprising coming from a landlord with an ugly history of racial discrimination in apartment leasing.
Trump, who has endorsed InfoWars website and assorted conspiracy theorists, also embraces QAnon, the extremist movement known for racist, antisemitic and violent conspiracies. The FBI has called it “likely” to “motivate” domestic extremists and violence.
Trump’s penchant for creating crises and emergencies he can use to his advantage – either to “solve” problems or to grab more power – has been called by political action committee Lincoln Project critics and others his “Reichstag fire tactics” after the 1933 arson attack on the German parliament that the Nazis themselves set and then blamed on the communists as a pretext for consolidating power.
Trump is a man of many fears – mostly imagined and some real – like this week’s revelation that the New York district attorney is investigating him and his companies for bank and insurance fraud. That fear, and his slashing response to a host of real and imagined adversaries, is what is shaping his reelection campaign and undercutting the American electoral process.