Of high concern is Trump’s hints that he might call out the military in response to an electoral loss. In the latest version of Letters from an American Heather Cox Richardson discusses that and more.
Trump’s refusal Wednesday to commit to accepting a loss in the November election with a peaceful transfer of power continues to make waves. Today the New York Times reported that military officers are worried that Trump will try to drag them into a contested election. But while people are rightly frightened about Trump’s increasing authoritarianism, it’s important to understand that he is deploying these particular threats about the election to create an impression that he has the option to control the outcome in November. He does not have that option.
Trump and his cronies are trying to create their own reality. They are trying to make people believe that the coronavirus is not real, that it has not killed more than 200,000 of our neighbors, that the economy is fine, that our cities are in flames, that Black Lives Matter protesters are anarchists, and that putting Democrats in office will usher in radical socialism. None of these things is true. Similarly, Trump is trying to convince people that he can deploy the power of the government to remain in power even if we want him to leave, creating uncertainly and fear. By talking about it, he is willing that situation into existence. It is a lie, and we do not have to accept it.
For his part, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden recognizes that Trump’s repeated threats not to leave office are both letting him convince us that leaving is his choice, rather than ours, and keeping the media focused on him when we should, in fact, be talking about real issues. Biden is refusing to give the idea oxygen, reminding reporters that it is a “typical Trump distraction.” “I just think the people in the country are going to be heard on November 3,” he told them. “Every vote in this country is going to be heard and they will not be stopped. I’m confident that all of the irresponsible, outrageous attacks on voting, we’ll have an election in this country as we always have had, and he’ll leave.” He said: “I don’t think he’s going to get the FBI to follow him or get anybody else to enforce something that’s not real.”
While the Senate voted unanimously yesterday to commit to the peaceful transfer of power in January, it was actually Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican, who gave Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power the dripping disdain it deserved. Speaking to reporters, Baker defended the mail-in ballots that Trump is saying will invalidate the election, and called Trump’s suggestion that he wouldn’t leave office peacefully “appalling and outrageous.” Baker said he would to do everything in his power to defend the results of the election.
“A huge part of this nation’s glory, to the extent it exists as a beacon to others, is the peaceful transfer of power based on the vote of the people of this country,” he said.
Trump responded with an insulting tweet, but one that suggested he was deliberately stoking the story to try to get free media coverage.
- Trump campaign hurting for cash
- Trump trots out version of ACA (“Obamacare”) claiming it for his own
- Trump is running an advertising blitz about the coronavirus pandemic paid for by your tax money
Also well worth your reading is the latest report from the Arizona Blue Meanie at Blog for Arizona: Pentagon Officials Concerned Trump Will Pull The Military Into The Election. The Blue Meanie reports on the push-back by current and former military in response to the fears that Trump will try to commandeer our military to enforce his intent to remain in power even with a large loss on November 3rd.