President Donald Trump is actively trying to prevent votes from being counted in the 2020 presidential election, making false claims that Democrats are stealing a victory from him.
It would all be so damn scary if we weren't all used to it.
Let's make it clear what happens: as his opponent Joe Biden gets closer to victory, Trump launches tweet after tweet after tweet to de-legitimize the election. He has filed lawsuits to stop the counting of votes in Pennsylvania and Michigan with no evidence of wrongdoing. And he delivered a speech early Wednesday in which he won early despite millions of votes in the battlefield states.
Seeing a leader trying to undermine the electoral process in order to maintain power is the behavior the US government would condemn if it happened in any other nation. But it is not. It happens here.
While Trump's behavior is troubling – and making no mistake, it is deeply troubling – the most notable thing is how almost everyone ignores it.
States continue to count votes as required by law, despite the President's wishes. Trump-friendly networks like Fox News denounce Trump's proclamation of an election victory as "extremely flammable". In principle, everyone continues with the elections, even if Trump openly fights against it.
Maybe it's not that surprising. Trump has claimed for the past five years that elections have been rigged against him, that the press is the enemy of the people and that a "deep state" has conspired against him. He had no problem sending militarized law enforcement agencies across the country to punish those who spoke out against him ideologically.
That Trump says and acts like this is not a mistake, but a function. With that in mind, one would think the US is in crisis, approaching a democratic finish line it may not reach, all because Trump keeps pushing it back or wiping it out entirely.
But it is not. It's about an election that will likely legitimately replace former Vice President Joe Biden Trump starting Wednesday night. The only people Trump has successfully used on his cause are those in his immediate orbit, not the general public, and not even most of his allies.
Immediately after Trump claimed he won on Wednesday morning, Vice President Mike Pence said in a simple phrase, "We are on our way to victory" and said the campaign was confident that after all votes were counted, Trump would win re-election. So the usual process isn't Trump's persistent method.
The strangely hopeful message of the 2020 election, therefore, could be the pathetic failure of Trump's authoritarian machinations to keep the country where it is. If anything, it looks like the country is moving fast despite him.
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