For several weeks Donald Trump has been ranting in his customary incoherent manner about the risks of voting by mail. He insists that it is a process that is rife with fraud, despite not having any evidence to support his alarmist raving. To the contrary, all the evidence shows that it is safe and secure, and has been for decades.
Every study conducted to ascertain the reliability of mail-in voting has concluded that there is no problem other than trivial numbers of incidental errors. David Lublin, an elections expert and professor at American University in Washington, D.C. told ABC News that…
“Voter fraud has not been a widespread problem in the United States. It’s just not remotely a widespread problem that, in fact, usually when claims are made, the more they’re investigated the more they disappear.”
Even a Commission on Election Integrity set up by Trump himself in 2017 failed to document any fraudulent voting and, humiliated, was disbanded a few months later.
So it is with particular curiosity, although not remotely surprising given his penchant for hypocrisy and lies, that Trump has reversed himself completely and is now embracing mail-in voting, but only because it is now in his interest to do so
Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
Trump’s tweet starts off with the tacit admission that he has been deliberately misrepresenting an alleged difference between mail-in voting and absentee voting. But everyone other than Trump knows that there is no difference whatsoever in the processes for requesting or casting ballots. They are just different names for the same thing. What’s more, Trump concedes that voting in this manner is both “Safe and Secure, Tried and True.” While he singles out Florida, the same is true for every other state.
This striking turnaround comes just hours after Trump reiterated his baseless charge that voting by mail is an attempt to rig the election and will result in massive fraud. A few days ago Trump unleashed a maniacal tirade declaring that, due to mail-in voting, “This is going to be the greatest election disaster in history.” He likely meant that not as a warning, but as a promise of what he intends to do.
The reason for this frantic u-turn is likely that Trump has finally been convinced that his anti-voting harangues are actually hurting his own reelection prospects. Republicans across the country have been begging him to stop this rhetorical nonsense because they see how badly it is affecting their campaign efforts for both the White House and down-ballot races for Congress, the Senate, and local offices.
The real purpose of Trump’s assault on democracy has been to suppress the vote. He and the GOP have been focused on reducing voter participation for years. They know that when more people vote, Democrats win. Trump even admitted this last April when he told Fox News that it “doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” He went on to complain that Democrats were “crazy” for supporting vote-by-mail, saying that “They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” For once, he’s right.
To achieve his nefarious anti-democratic ends, Trump is attempting to sabotage the Postal Service. He is refusing to allocate necessary funding for continued operation. He has advocated for privatization, which would utterly destroy the 250 year old, constitutionally mandated institution. He recently installed Louis DeJoy, a major campaign donor, as the new Postmaster General. DeJoy is already ordering slow-downs and other measures to impede service with the intention of disrupting the election.
Trump obviously doesn’t care about the adverse effect this will have on voting. But he is also ignoring the fact that a crippled post office would have trouble delivering Social Security checks, prescription medicines, and other critical necessities. It could literally cost lives. But Trump’s purposeful mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic has already taught us that he couldn’t care less about any of that.
However, now that Trump has become aware that he might also suffer some ill effect of his campaign against mail-in voting, he is callously and selfishly changing his tune. Whether this will have any effect on his cult disciples is another question. They have already initiated demonstrations to protest mail-in voting. And this is something that Democrats should eagerly encourage.
Also, visit News Corpse on the web.
And check out my books on Amazon: