We in big trouble.
With the Supreme Court soon to have a 6-3 conservative majority even though Republicans have lost the popular vote in 6 out of the last 7 presidential elections, Trump could again win the presidency despite being rejected by a majority of voters. Republicans might cling to their Senate majority even as millions more Americans vote to be represented by Democrats.
Which would mean mobilizing all three branches of the federal government to fortify minority rule, a wide-spectrum attack on democracy in order to maintain Republican power in a country that with each passing day is less likely to support it.
It will require creativity and commitment, to make the attack on democracy not just defensive but offensive. They could pass an Anti-Voting Rights Act to make voter suppression easier across the country. The Justice Department, which under William P. Barr has already become Trump’s personal law firm, will devote itself to investigating elected Democrats — including potential 2024 presidential candidates.
The Supreme Court will join the effort, striking down nonpartisan redistricting commissions, gutting campaign finance laws to increase the influence of plutocrats over our elections, and perhaps even validating Trump’s move to exclude undocumented immigrants from Census counts used to determine congressional representation. State suppression laws like the notorious one in North Carolina that an appeals court said targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision” could get the thumbs-up.
Does this sound far fetched? By now the question is absurd. Ask yourself this: Is there any action you can think of, perhaps outside of literally dropping nuclear bombs on cities where Democrats live, about which you could say “Republicans would never go that far”?
If they win this year, more than ever before, democracy will be their enemy. And the more threatened and desperate they feel, the farther they’ll go to destroy it.
Some of the coverage is treating Trump's comments as merely a threat to refuse to do his civic duty to recognize the rightful winner.
But Trump is threatening something much more serious than not respecting the outcome. He's actively trying to cancel it:
Trump is declaring that an election with extensive mail voting will *inevitably* be fraudulent and rigged. He *cannot* lose legitimately.
That means he's casting millions of votes as inherently illegitimate. Which means anything goes in response:
What I found is that approximately 18 percent of Americans are highly disposed to authoritarianism, according to their answers to four simple survey questions used by social scientists to estimate this disposition. A further 23 percent or so are just one step below them on the authoritarian scale. This roughly 40 percent of Americans tend to favor authority, obedience and uniformity over freedom, independence and diversity.
This group isn’t a monolith, and these findings don’t mean that 4 in 10 Americans prefer dictatorship to democracy. Authoritarianism is best understood not as a policy preference, the way we talk about lower taxes or strong defense, but rather as a worldview that can be “activated” in the right historical moment by anyone with a big enough megaphone who is willing to play on voters’ fears and insecurities.
When activated by fear, authoritarian-leaning Americans are predisposed to trade civil liberties for strongman solutions to secure law and order; and they are ready to strip civil liberties from those defined as the “other”—a far cry from the image of America as a country built on a shared commitment to liberty and democratic governance.
- The argument went, look, yes, he's a jerk and says crazy stuff, but the country is basically not that changed: unemployment is low, daily life continues as normal, there aren't tanks in the streets. You libs have lost your minds, obsessing over Russia and each new scandal, etc
- Now, the counter argument was: look at the incompetence and cruelty on display in the aftermath of hurricane Maria, and the mass child abuse of child separation, and the vicious racism. Look at how far he is willing to go for power, whether in 2016, or in the Ukraine affair.
- The argument always was: this man is so wildly unfit and so evil in disposition, that putting him in the most powerful position on earth *cannot help* but cause horrible ruin and danger for Americans and America.
- Now look where we are: there are 205,000 dead Americans, and a thousand more every day. 7 million have been sickened, tens of million of work. His own task force staffer has come forward to say he does not care about those deaths and thinks his own supporters are “disgusting.”
- The president is directly threatening violence to stay in power and working every day to undermine both the legitimacy of the vote and the administration of free and fair elections. With either explicit or tacit collaboration from the entire institutional Republican party.
- AND YET!!! You stil see this savvy, arm's length mode of analysis across the spectrum.
- “Oh calm down libs, is it really so bad?”
- MORE AMERICANS HAVE DIED IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS THAN DURING ANY SIX MONTH PERIOD IN A HUNDRED YEARS.
- YES IT'S THAT BAD. WAKE THE HELL UP.
The suit, filed on Thursday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accused President Trump, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and their brother Robert Trump of fraud and civil conspiracy.