Donald J. Trump fears losing reelection. He sees the writing on the wall and is engaged in a frenetic campaign, not to win fair and square over the likely Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, but to sow doubts among the American people about the results of the elections this November 3rd.
His nervousness is understandable in light of the diffusion of recent polls that do not favor him, coupled with negative numbers on the economy—which according to his own Commerce Department, show that GDP has dropped 32.9% in the second trimester of this year—as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic that, after its sloppy handling by officials, maintains the United States as the epicenter of the virus’ spread across the world, with more than 4 million infected and more than 160,000 deaths.
For example, a survey by Real Clear Politics revealed in June that Vice President Biden approached 48.3% support among voters, compared with 42% for Trump. Relatively similar figures were reported in a poll from The New York Times and Siena College, which found a 50% backing for Biden and 36% for Trump. Even more revealing was the President’s drop, according to the portal FiveThirtyEight, which also during this time found that the current leader had only 42.9% support, compared with 45.8% three weeks ago.
Hence his insane comment about changing the date of the elections and his insistence that voting by mail, so vital particularly in the middle of a pandemic, would create “fraud,” despite the fact that Trump himself has voted by mail, as have many of his relatives and advisors.
Because Trump’s goal is as clear as water: generate sufficient doubt in the democratic electoral process such that the result, especially if it goes against him, is questioned by some groups of voters. In the worst case scenario, this could result in outbreaks of violence or in long judicial processes, if this is the case and Trump decides to impune the results.
That is, his electoral speculation is getting ahead of the facts, therefore revealing the undeniable reality which a large majority of the U.S. electorate has already realized about the type of president who kidnapped the White House for ends that go beyond the political, and who has enacted terrorizing anti-immigrant, xenophobic, and racist public policies belonging to regimes very far from democratic, and ignoring even Supereme Court orders, like what is happening with the DACA program and its beneficiaries, the Dreamers.
For decades, even before becoming president, Trump has been speaking about electoral fraud, rigged elections, and conspiracy theories. In 2008 he was one of those who headed up the effort questioning the veracity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate; he was born in Hawaii but according to Trump, it was Kenya, Africa.
In 2016, as the Republican presidential candidate, he waived the “fraud” flag when his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, was beating him in the polls. Fearing a loss, he began to insist that the results were being manipulated. Ultimately, it appears to have been Russian manipulation, but in his favor, and Trump won the Electoral College by less than 80,000 votes in three states. But since he lost the popular vote by more than 3 million, he then argued that this was due to “illegal alien voter fraud.”
So it goes that lie after lie was forging a fictional scenario where the “victims” were him and the “lost greatness” of the United States, before an easily impressionable electorate that longed for the days of privilege when white supremacy dictated the national agenda in every aspect, from the moral and religious to the sexual and political, without taking into account the fact that already another type of more diverse and inclusive nation had emerged to form a society for the new century, alongside changes in the rest of the world.
Thus Trump returns to the helm, lying and promoting conspiracy theories including one that alleges that foreign nations “will produce fraudulent voter ballots” to alter the electoral result, something that even U.S. intelligence services have rejected.
Trump’s objective is clear: tarnish the election’s legitimacy in case the vote goes against him, because only Trump matters to Trump and he has no qualms about undermining the democratic electoral system. After all, he has spent almost four years attempting to subvert democratic institutions.
If Trump loses re-election, the chaos that could be generated would fit perfectly well with his chaotic presidency. And if he wins, the damage that he will continue to inflict on these democratic institutions and the nation itself will be irreparable, or take years to turn back.
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