“Let us not hedge about one thing. Donald Trump may win or lose, but he will never concede.” These words stand out in The Atlantic’s informative yet terrifying article yesterday entitled “The Election That Could Break America.”
The Atlantic reports, “Close students of election law and procedure are warning that conditions are ripe for a constitutional crisis that would leave the nation without an authoritative result. We have no fail-safe against that calamity.”
The author Barton Gellman calls it “Catastrophized Politics,” and that’s quite an accurate assessment.
Gellman continues, “The worst case, however, is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him. If Trump sheds all restraint, and if his Republican allies play the parts he assigns them, he could obstruct the emergence of a legally unambiguous victory for Biden in the Electoral College and then in Congress. He could prevent the formation of consensus about whether there is any outcome at all. He could seize on that uncertainty to hold on to power.”
Trump has not only suggested he won’t accept the results of the elections, he has outright said it multiple times. He said, and I quote, “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic election…if I win.” He also said at the Republican National Convention, “The only way they can take this election away from us is if it’s rigged.”
There is no precedent in US History for what to do if the losing candidate doesn’t concede. There is no process in place, either.
There are four important dates in the coming 4 months.
1. November 3, 2020: Election Day
2. December 14, 2020: Electoral College Vote (should be abolished, but that’s a subject for another episode)
3. January 6, 2021: Final vote count and results are certified
4. January 20, 2021: Inauguration Day
First: Election Day, and this year leading up to it with all the mail-in voting due to COVID. At this time, Republicans will likely interfere with the electoral process by making it so difficult for minorities to vote—sometimes by intimidation—that they just don’t vote. These tactics were carried out in blue districts. To exacerbate this problem, this is the first election in 40 years that doesn’t have a Federal Judge requiring the Republican National Committee to seek approval in advance for any “ballot security” operations at the polls. The court order forbidding Republican operatives from using any of a long list of voter-purging and intimidation techniques expired.
Yep. You heard that right. Republicans needed a court order to keep them from tampering with elections. Let that sink in for a moment.
Remember also what’s happening with the USPS at the moment, budget cuts and fewer postal workers delivering mail—delaying everything—on top of the removal of automatic sorting machines, slowing down the process even more. Plus, Trump repeatedly ad nauseum how there is a “problem with the ballots.” Yesterday in a White House Press Conference, Trump answered the question on if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power: “Get rid of the ballots…and there won’t be a transfer of power.”
Trump called into Hannity’s show in late August and said, “We’re going to have sheriffs and we’re going to have law enforcement and we’re going to have, hopefully, U.S. attorneys” to keep close watch on the polls. This is voter intimidation, folks.
The period after Election Day is called the Interregnum, and that lasts until Inauguration Day on January 20, 2021. During this time, especially this year the ballots will still be being counted from all the mail-in voting. During this time, Trump can claim the legitimate tabulation is over, since it’s passed Election Day, and he has already suggested as much. The Atlantic article reminds us that “In July he tweeted, “Must know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!”
He will also employ tactics to disquality Biden/Harris votes. If all that fails, his campaign is already discussing ways to bypass the election results by appointing “loyal” electors in battleground states, ensuring that the Electoral College vote will go to him, despite popular vote. Sadly, nothing in The Constitution says that the Electoral College must be chosen based on popular vote, although it’s always been done that way because—well—we live in a Democracy. Yet The Constitution apparently doesn’t define that. It just says each state shall appoint electors. In the (s)election of 2000 with Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court confirmed that the state may take back the power to appoint electors.
The Atlantic reports, “With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.”
Next, if there isn’t a consensus with the Electoral College, we’re in dangerous waters. People are already very angry. Their lives have been turned upside down this year between COVID, affecting their financial and job security, causing depression and anxiety in a huge portion of the population, and creating an atmosphere of boredom from staying at home or the stress of working under unsafe conditions to where it has facilitated the size and ferocity of the racial protests and the counter-protests from the alt-right, who have begun forming and deploying armed militias on American streets. This political climate is ripe for a Civil War, one that won’t be fought in fields. It will be fought in the streets. In neighborhoods. Outside our homes.
Let’s say we get through all that unscathed because Trump loses by a landslide to the point that not even his claims of voter fraud makes a difference to the election. The next important date is January 20, 2021…will Trump actually leave? Biden said that if he doesn’t he’s sure the military will escort him out, but our most senior general Mark Milly has already said it’s not the military’s place that it was up to Congress. Trump could invoke the Insurrection Act and declare martial law with troops in the streets. Many believe the Federal Occupation of Portland was a test run for this. He’s since sent feds to Chicago and Cleveland, among other cities.
Salon reports: “In his campaign emails, Trump has been threatening to raise a “MAGA-Trump Army.” He has encouraged violence by his paramilitaries and other street thugs. Trump and his operatives are also saying that they want 50,000 Republicans to serve as “voter observers” at the polls on Election Day 2020. The goal there is obvious — to intimidate, terrorize, and try to stop Democrats from voting. Given that Trump will be targeting black and brown people for such terrorism, it really is a form of Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
Investigative Journalist Greg Palast says in the same Salon article, “I will be transparent: I predicted that Trump would win in 2016 and I was correct. I believe he will win again in 2020. I hope I am wrong. Through skullduggery, trickery, foreign interference and other means, Trump is likely to win — assuming there even is an election and that he leaves the White House when he is defeated.”
Gellman of The Atlantic is eerily accurate when he wrote, “Trump’s behavior and declared intent leave no room to suppose that he will accept the public’s verdict if the vote is going against him. He lies prodigiously—to manipulate events, to secure advantage, to dodge accountability, and to ward off injury to his pride. An election produces the perfect distillate of all those motives.”
Any argument against Trump’s history of lies, violating The Constitution, and pathological narcissism (nay sociopathy), is pure pettifoggery (a wonderful fun word to say that I just learned through this incredible article). If you think referring to Trump as a sociopath or psychopath—often used interchangeably although there are minor differences—I suspect it’s because you equate psychopath or sociopath solely with serial killers, like Dexter or Dahmer, for a real-word example. However, very few sociopaths are killers. In fact, 1 in 25 people are sociopaths, according to the excellent book The Sociopath Next Door, which I highly recommend you read. Trump fits the diagnostic criteria for both Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Sociopathy (i.e. Antisocial Personality Disorder. In fact, from my rather extensive research into Sociopathy, I’d go with that one, as all Sociopaths are also Narcissists, but not all Narcissists are Sociopaths.)
Symptoms of a Sociopath
- Shows no regard for right and wrong
- Ignores the rights and feelings of others
- Incapable of (or severely limited) empathy
- Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others
- Manipulative and Arrogant
- Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence
Donald Trump has 26 sexual assault allegations—7 of which are children. Let’s leave the argument on whether they are true or not at the moment, although there are only between 2% and 8% of false allegations for sexual violence, lower than false allegations for any other crime. Whether or not they are true, would you hire someone who has 26 sexual assault allegations, including children? Would you want them around your children? How can America justify a serial sexual predator in the White House? How is sexual assault an acceptable compromise for political opinion?
Say you’re against abortion and gun control, are you willing to have a serial sexual predator in the White House just because his stance on these things align with yours? If so, what does that say about you? Shame on you.
OMG, I can really go off on a tangent about Sociopaths, as I’ve been the target of one that resulted in sexual assault, so I learned all I could to try and understand. Sadly (and thankfully), most people don’t think about the danger of sociopaths because they haven’t been a target of one. . . well until now, when every American is the target of this sociopath.
When someone tells you who they are, believe them.
Trump has consistently told the American people who he is for the past four years (and even so many more before that). He doesn’t care about the American people. 200K dead from COVID, yet Trump says it affects “virtually nobody.”
There is that complete lack of empathy: psychopath
He has proven he’s a liar time and again from being caught in countless lies! He doesn’t respect The Constitution. He thinks that our service men and women are “losers.” I could go on, but I won’t. You’ve heard it all at this point, and you either recognize it for the reality it is or you are willfully ignorant and/or have a very, very short memory.
In one of the last paragraphs, Gellman (author of The Atlantic piece) states, “An election cannot be stolen unless the American people, at some level, acquiesce.”
The Atlantic: The Election That Could Break America <— most important read
Forbes: Trump Campaign Actively Discussing Radical Measures to Bypass Election Results
Vanity Fair: The Trump Campaign is Reportedly Plotting an Election Coup to “Bypass” a Biden Win
Salon: Investigative journalist Greg Palast: Here’s how Trump will steal the 2020 election
Business Insider: Election Timeline
The Atlantic: The Deadline That Could Hand Trump the Election
CNN: Top US general tells Congress the military won’t play a role in the 2020 election
Mayo Clinic: About Sociopathy, Symptoms and Causes
Medium: President’s Diagnosis
The Atlantic: The Mind of Donald Trump
CNN: 200k American’s Dead from COVID