Are we really prepared for Trump’s refusal to accept the election results?
“We have to win the election,” President Trump told a crowd of sometimes mask-less supporters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, back in August. “[M]ake sure your vote gets counted. Make sure, because the only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.”
Did you get that? The president of the United States is leaving no room for the possibility that he will lose this election fairly or that Vice President Joe Biden will be elected legitimately.
That is, to put it lightly, an unprecedented, outrageous and dangerous undermining of our constitutional republic and the democratic values it upholds.
As the election inches closer, it becomes clearer with every passing moment that Trump will not go gentle into that good night. Practically since the day he was elected, he has been using and abusing our democratic institutions for his own benefit, and he shows no signs of letting up.
But are we taking him seriously enough?
Last week he encouraged voters in North Carolina to be “poll watchers,” to catch Democrats in the act of “thieving and stealing and robbing,” seemingly advocating for voter intimidation.
Just this past weekend, Trump again suggested to supporters that they vote twice — imploring them to vote by mail and then also attempt to vote in person as a backstop to test the system. That followed an earlier message to supporters last week to do the same.
“Let them send it in,” he said in North Carolina, “and let them go vote, and if the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated they won’t be able to vote, so that’s the way it is.”
Steve Simon, Minnesota’s secretary of state, described that idea this way: “It’s like advising someone to try to rob a bank to see if the security is as good as the bank says it is. Knowingly voting twice is a felony. Period.” That didn’t stop Attorney General Bill Barr from exacerbating Trump’s attempts to undermine the election, when, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the country’s top lawyer actually said he didn’t know what the law was in each state.
Back in July, Trump also suggested moving the election to a later date, which is not something he can legally do.