“Will you commit to making sure that there is a peaceful transfer of power after the election?”
In a normal, functional, representative democracy, that question would never be asked. It wouldn’t even be considered. It’s like asking ‘Is water wet?’ or ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’ It’s a question that doesn’t need to be asked because the answer is glaringly obvious. To almost any other political figure, the question itself would be an insult. The fact that a reporter — any number of reporters and a big chunk of the voting population — felt the need to ask that question is a measure of how far we’ve moved toward an authoritarian regime.
But even so, Comrade Trump’s answer should have been immediate and straightforward, because there’s only one acceptable answer. “Yes, of course, I’ll commit to a peaceful transfer of power. Is the Pope wet? Is water Catholic?”
That wasn’t Trump’s answer. Instead, he said this:
“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.”
The horrible thing about that answer — one of the many horrible things about it — is that we already know what’s going to happen. We don’t know how the popular vote will turn out, but we know what’s going to happen. We don’t know what the electoral vote will be, but we sure as hell know what’s going to happen. We don’t know who’ll legitimately win or lose the 2020 election, but we absofuckinglutely know what’s going to happen.
What’s going to happen is this: Comrade Trump will declare himself the winner.
We know that’s going to happen because he’s publicly stated that’s the only election result he’ll accept. He’s said that repeatedly. It’s one of the few things he’s said that we can believe. Worse, when he says, “The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election,” he’s not just declaring any other result would be invalid, he’s also prepping his followers to take the same position. He’s prepping his followers to take action.
They will take the election from us. That’s it, right there. Trump’s power depends on dividing the nation. It depends on his followers seeing themselves as victims. It depends on scaring his followers. Frightened people are easier to lead.
Trump is entirely shameless about frightening his followers and laying a foundation to declare the election invalid. He’s willing to make up the most ridiculous lies and spread them as widely as possible, without any sense of embarrassment or guilt. He’s not afraid of getting caught in a lie because he knows his supporters either don’t care about the lies or stupidly believe them. Like this one:
This is about the stupidest fucking thing possible. Foreign countries (and others? WTF does that even mean? other what?) printing millions of ballots. That’s stupid on about nineteen different levels. Even if foreign countries (and others) DID print millions of ballots, how would they get them to the voters? Do they mail them from North Korea and Iran? How much is postage for a million ballots from Tehran to Kansas City? Do they fill container ships with ballots and ship them to the US and…what, take them to the post office in rented semi-trucks? Wouldn’t somebody notice that?
The scandal of our times isn’t that foreign countries will print millions of fake ballots; it’s that we have a president who can say astonishingly stupid shit like this and get away with it. The scandal of our times is that his followers will repeat it — and maybe even believe it.
Actually, the scandal of our times is that Comrade Trump is the President of the United States. The scandal is that he’s willing to do and say almost anything to remain in power. It’s that he might actually succeed.
We know what’s going to happen. We know that regardless of what the votes say, Trump will claim a victory. We know, regardless of the voting, he won’t concede.
As a nation, we aren’t prepared for that. We’ve always assumed our presidents would be decent, honorable, conscientious people. We were wrong.
The Pope is wet. Water is Catholic.
This is a frightening time. Record voting has always been in the democrats favor. Early voting this election is breaking records. Trump did not win the popular vote last time and has made no new friends since the election. Trump knows this and he has another winning strategy – nullify the results.
Can the ego of one man bring down democracy in America?
Muddy, delay, lie, stall, cheat, involve the lawyers — that’s been Trump’s approach to business for decades. Of course he’ll use the same approach to the election.
At this point, I’m not sure how much of it is about ego and how much is a desperate attempt to stay in power in part so he can avoid prison.
Early voting in states Trump would lose anyways, CA and NY.
This segment of Friday’s PBS episode the author states that it would be ideal if we voted in person because Trump is likely to declare himself victor on election night and is urging his followers to vote in person. Those votes will be counted immediately.
Irene, I initially intended to vote by mail, but for the reasons you’ve just mentioned, I’ve decided to vote early and in person. This election is too important to risk a vote NOT being counted.
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You know EXACTLY what Trump meant by this and this was only about making sure the election was not filled with fraud. No different than Al Gore not peacefully accepting defeat, he saw irregularities and pursued legal action in the courts. This is all Trump was talking about and you know this and for the media and others to take it as anything else is absurd.
Nothing more than more of the same, “The sky is falling!!” rhetoric from the left.
The disservice the media is doing to the American public from the scare tactics on covid, the constant attacks on Trump, to the total ignoring of Biden’s cognitive decline and the newly released corruption evidence of Hunter Biden and Russian payments to him. I think he and Biden should be your new “comrades”.
Billy, Trump is lying to you about mail-in ballots. He’s urging people in GOP-friendly Florida to do exactly what he wants to prevent folks from Democrat-friendly states from doing..
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We very simply need one person, one vote. Enough with minority rule already.
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Time to end the electoral college.
So you prefer mob rule over equality? Interesting that you think you actually know better than the founding fathers of the nation.
Interesting that you think you actually know better than the founding fathers of the nation.
Dude, grow up. The US of 2020 is radically different from the US in 1776. The Founding Fathers lived in a predominantly rural, agricultural nation that depended a great deal on slavery. We currently live in a predominantly urban, industrial, information-based nation. The Electoral College was an awkward compromise between slave states and free states at the time it was created, and it’s wildly outdated now.
There were no political parties in the US when the Constitution was written. The FF assumed we’d be a nation with multiple parties, like most European nations. Given multiple political parties, they also assumed most elections would end without any single candidate winning a majority of the electoral votes. That’s why the Constitution makes provisions for the House of Representatives making the final decision if/when there was no clear electoral vote victory.
It’s long past time to get rid of the Electoral College in favor of the popular vote. One person, one vote. What’s wrong with that?
What’s wrong with one person, one vote? Reverse the roles for a second if you will. Lets say the most populous states such as CA and NY were filled with nothing but white supremacists. Lets say those same people controlled 90% of the media and the dissemination of information and knowledge. With just a mob rule (which is what democracy is) those 2 to 3 states would control everything in the country.
I am sure you know the term, groupthink. The US has more uninformed voters than anyone else. They are swayed by facebook posts and headlines and rarely read anything past the headline these days. You see it in all those videos when they go on to a college campus and they read off a list of accomplishments of Trump’s and state they are Biden’s. The students all think Biden is awesome but then they are told they were actually a list of Trump accomplishments and they are amazed at how little they actually knew.
The electoral college protects the minorities in the rest of the country that are not part of the group think. The founding fathers were about balance of power and a true democracy is not a balance of power, thus the electoral college spreads out the power so that the smaller states are not ruled by the larger, more populated ones.
You know damn well that if the popular vote was always swinging for Republicans but the Democrat won the electoral vote you would be the first in line to defend it. Your views are partisan alone.
Yes, these are different times but the foundations of the constitution and the institution of the electoral college have not changed. Equitable division or power, the rights of the people over government, and overall fairness was the goal and returning to a time when the masses control the minorities is a major step backwards, not forwards.
I find it incredibly ironic that a party who claims to be the party of minorities is so opposed to a plan that protects minorities in favor of mob rule.
the electoral college spreads out the power so that the smaller states are not ruled by the larger, more populated ones.
No, that’s not how it works. In fact, the representatives ‘plus two’ rule gives smaller, less populated states more power than the larger states. In effect, it’s the collection of small rural states that rule the larger urban states.
Right now, because of the Electoral College, elections are dominated by a small number of ‘swing states’. Candidates don’t need to campaign in places like Arkansas or Idaho or Maine or Georgia because they don’t play much of a role in the Electoral College. The needs and wants of those states basically get ignored, while voters in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, for example, get a LOT of attention.
Shifting to a popular vote, candidates would be more likely to address the wants and needs of a greater proportion of the voting population. Right now, a Republican in California has almost no power in electing a president; Democrats in Alabama have almost no power in electing a president. Change that to a one person, one vote system, and suddenly everybody’s vote matters.
So you are against minorities. Got it.
Why should the minority have the majority say? You make no sense.
The minority does not have say over the majority. The playing field is now even. Under the electoral college Clinton and Obama were in office for 16 years and the electoral college was just fine then. But suddenly because you lose the office because the idiot candidate essentially insults all of middle America and now the electoral college is bad.
I guarantee that if the shoe was on the other foot and Trump won the popular vote you would be clamoring to make sure the electoral college stayed. In order for the small states to have any power you have to win almost all of them. Without the electoral college the candidates would only campaign and care about the interest of citizens living in Florida, Texas, CA, PN, Il, and NY and the rest of the states would be ignored.
Plus, your argument has a helluva lot of “what-ifs.”