He is endorsing state-level candidates for Secretary of the State, the top person overseeing elections in states, and attorneys general, those folks who are the top state law enforcement official if there is a legal question..
While he tried to get the Georgia secretary of state, a Republican, to “find” enough votes for him to win the state in 2020, the secretary held firm and did nothing to the votes, which were officially, and legally, cast by Georgia voters.
Picture what happens if the secretary of state is someone who has been furthering Trump’s big lie (that he actually won in 2020) and who the former president endorsed. And who has blind loyalty to Trump. Picture that.
Shades of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who Trump endorsed for re-election last week. Not only is Trump’s endorsement unusual – typically American politicians stay out of other countries’ politics – but he endorsed a “political strongman,” which in this case means an autocrat. An autocrat is someone who insists on complete obedience from others and is unaccountable to anyone or any law. Sound like anyone you know?
That’s the government Trump tried to create when in office and the type of “democracy” he’d run if ever re-elected. Someone (Steve Bannon?) came up with an interesting strategy for Trump: work the system, endorse candidates who will do your bidding in key spots that oversee elections. If they get elected, they can help you get elected. If Trump gets reelected, watch out Prime Minister Orban and Vladimir Putin. You ain’t seen an autocrat until you see Donald J. Trump in power with the necessary backup at all levels of government. Then again, you both would have a solid ally.
This is why I, and a gazillion others, say our democracy is at stake in the next election. If Trumpophiles get elected, he strengthens his hand not to win fairly, but to cheat. If you don’t think that’s true, just look at what Trump’s been doing since 2016. He claimed then the election would be rigged against him, setting up an excuse when he (as even he expected) lost. What happened? He won. Fair and square. It was no longer rigged.
Early in the 2020 campaign for president he said the only way he’d lose is if the election was rigged against him. What happened? He lost the popular vote by seven million votes and got swamped in the Electoral College.
And if the Democrat’s rigged that election, two questions: Why did the Republican Senate and House members win? Or, alternatively, why didn’t the Democrats rig the election so more Democrats won? Then, their margins in Congress wouldn’t be so small that they have to plead for every vote they get among Democrats? Why not give yourselves solid majorities in each chamber?
Then, and I’ll go out on a limb here, Trump led a rebellion at the Congress on January 6, 2021, when the electoral votes are counted, as required by the Constitution. He tried to get then-Vice President Pence to cheat for him by rejecting various states’ votes, enough for him to win. And Pence refused because the Constitution doesn’t give the vice president that power. The lap dog to Trump for four years, who said and did things no one ever though Pence would say or do, may actually have heard the chants on the Hill that day to “hang Mike Pence"; but he did the right thing and followed the Constitution.
What if you get someone who will follow Trump’s lead and not follow the Constitution, the document that we have lived by for more than 200 years and has served all of us well – Democrats AND Republicans?
Imagine, if you will, a Republican Congress and Trump in the White House. Already there is talk among senior Republicans (Sen. Ted Cruz and third-ranking Republican in the House, Elise Stefanik who replaced Liz Cheney when she was thrown out of leadership for opposing Trump). They are making noises that they will impeach President Joe Biden for his policies at the southern border. Huh? I dunno, but if they’re in power, they will try do it. And with Trump’s hold on the Party, no Republican will be against it.
Meantime, Republicans are pushing state-level efforts at changing voting laws not to expand voter participation but to restrict it – well, at least among those groups they see as being against them. In some states, they are putting the state legislature in position to overturn elections in their states.
To protect against that, Democrats in the Senate want to pass a federal law expanding voting rights. Who’s blocking that? Well, every Republican senator and one or two Democratic senators who agree with the legislation but disagree with doing away with the Senate filibuster to get it done. Why? According to Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the key Democratic blocker: he’s for the change but only if it is voted on with a bi-partisan majority. No Republican senator has supported either the voting changes the Democrats are pushing and no Republican is for changing the filibuster.
I can hear some of my Republican friends saying, “yeah, but what about those Democrats who refuse to vote for any bill sponsored by any Republican who voted against impeaching Trump? Those Democrats are being silly. They are elected to serve their constituents not their own egos. But, it doesn’t exactly rise to setting up a system to, oh, what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yeah, rig a presidential election.
A recent YouGov poll shows that just 38 percent of the people expect the losing side in a presidential election to concede peacefully while 62 percent said they foresee “violence over losing” an election.
That is a poll of Americans. Americans. Nearly four in 10 Americans expect the losing side in an American presidential election to concede peacefully in America. That means, if my math is correct, that six in 10 Americans don’t expect a peaceful concession.