President Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose. Taken all together, his words are a natural escalation in Trump’s four-year flirtation with authoritarianism. He’s spent the last few months trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election in November, escalating his rhetoric every few days or so. This is just the latest in a trend that has been building for years.
Thankfully, Republican Senators and officials were quick to distance themselves from the president’s words. Even Mitch McConnell himself has said that in the event of a President Trump loss, there would still be a peaceful transfer of power just like there’s been every four years since America’s founding. A comforting notion to be sure, but we all have been burned by Republicans before. We must be cautious over the next few months. In the best-case scenario, Democrats have a real chance at clawing back all of the gains Republicans have made in the last ten years and essentially finishing the work that began in 2018. Realistically, Republicans could lose power for a long time after this election.
So don’t be taken by Trump’s authoritarian nonsense. They are about to employ every mind game in the book to make you think that a repeat of 2016 is about to happen. That just like then, Trump will barely pull off winning the election, whether it’s through Electoral College nonsense or a repeat of Bush v. Gore. They are going to try as hard as they possibly can to make you disbelieve what you see with your eyes and ears. They want you to stay home.
Democrats must play their cards right and ensure that the Republican party loses decisively at the ballot box on November 3rd. We must ignore all the fake right-wing outrage, all the pearl-clutching, and drama. All the chaos that swirls around Trump daily: the manufactured crises, the real and terrible catastrophes, and the craven goblins that work for him, the antidote to all of it is a Democratic sweep in November.
If you are still worried though; if I still haven’t calmed your nerves; and images of Hillary’s emails and a red Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are flashing through your mind; I want to ask you to breathe. Democrats are far from being outplayed.
For Trump to stay in power after a loss, he’d need the help of thousands of others.
The authoritarian appetite just isn’t there. Besides being soundly rejected by hundreds of military leaders, the Republican party has already splintered on Trump with Senators and Representatives all across the country condemning is words. For Trump to continue in office despite a loss, he would need the support of the military and the support of his party, two things that would evaporate in an instance should he lose.
The idea of the military swooping in to keep a president who clearly lost in power is antithetical to everything the military purports to stand for. I highly doubt that would happen, and we all know the Republican party. They care about winning and have no time for losers. They know Trump is unpopular. It’s a pretty poorly kept secret that the only reason they made this Faustian Trump deal to begin with is so they could pad the Judiciary with conservative judges.
Over four years, Trump has confirmed over 195 judges and will have installed three justices on the Supreme Court, a huge return on investment for the Republican Party. If he should lose, I’m confident they’ll use Trump’s classic trick against him.
Trump who? We never knew the guy.
Trump’s whole plan turns on delegitimizing the election.
It’s becoming quite clear to everyone and I honestly think Trump as well that he has no hope of winning this election fair and square. Back in 2016, he had the unknown factor and the decades-long character assassination of Hillary Clinton working in his favor. Neither of those factors is present in this election. The reality is that Trump actually has a terrible record and people just like Joe Biden.
So the only way he can eke out a victory then is by challenging the election. Now, it’s tough to know specifically how that will play out without knowing the specifics of any court cases that will ultimately be brought up. I’m sure it’ll have to do with counting mail-in ballots in swing states.
He hopes to challenge the vote count all the way up to the Supreme Court and have the three justices he will have nominated by that point deliver him a victory in the election. Well, in an ethical world, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and whoever Trump’s third justice is would recuse themselves from deciding any case that arises out of the election in November.
Democrats shouldn’t be naive though, and I for sure won’t put any stock in that happening. Nevertheless, if we remove from the equation for a second the ethics of the three justices he installed on the court — one potentially days before November 3rd — deciding whether or not he will continue to serve as president, Chief Justice John Roberts knows the legacy and reputation of the Supreme Court is at stake — and if he doesn’t, Democrats should push that message out every single day for the next several months.
There is certainly no guarantee that John Roberts will rule in favor of Trump, and I wouldn’t feel so certain about Gorsuch or Kavanaugh either. The Supreme Court this summer ruled pretty decisively against Trump essentially saying that not even a president is above the law. A 7–2 ruling against you that reaffirms basic structures that have been in place for decades is big. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened here.
Again I caution, that any ruling would come down to the facts of the individual cases and what is alleged, but if it boils down to rule in favor of Joe Biden because that’s what the Constitution and the law says or rule in favor of Trump because he’s conservative. I wouldn’t be sure they’d side with Trump. Even if Trump nominates a third justice, overconfidence that The Supreme Court will rule decisively in his favor has bitten the Republicans before.
The Democratic response to all of this is to turnout in record numbers.
Republicans are going to do whatever they can to win. We can’t stop them, but what we can do is vote. And not just vote, but turn out the vote in numbers that have never been seem before. We need to flip purple states and even some red states as well — looking at you, Texas. We need to do all of this to make it clear as early as possible to every single Republican, the RNC, Trump, the Supreme Court, everyone in Congress, and everyone across the country that Trump and his cronies lost big time.
We need a showing that not even the Supreme Court can argue with this. The RNC can only bring cases if its close. No one will take them seriously if it isn’t. I’m sure you are getting annoyed by seeing all the voter registration efforts popping up around you, on the internet, and on social media, but it’s hard to underscore enough how important turnout will be in this election.
Every single one of us must vote and tell everyone we know to go vote early and in-person if possible. Our democracy really does depend on it.