The president of the United States last week publicly predicted without evidence that the 2020 presidential election would be "the most corrupt election in the history of our country."
With just over four months until election day, President Donald Trump told an audience of young supporters at a Phoenix megachurch, “We cannot let this happen. They want it to happen so badly," reports the Associated Press.
After being backed into a corner because of his incompetence in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in this country, and his rejection of scientific evidence offered by his own health officials, further damage was done to Trump's presidency when he made a mess out of his handling of the massive protests over police brutality and racism.
Will Bunch, writing for the Philadelphia Enquirer summed it up very well, writing that Trump "tore down the rule of law, abused the presidency to enrich himself, and grabbed the bully pulpit of the White House to divide America with racism, sexism, and xenophobia."
The death of George Floyd has sparked nationwide protests, including this one in Washington near the US Capitol on June 3, 2020 MANDEL NGAN, AFP
Mr. Bunch was writing about the evening of June 1, when Trump "vowed to dominate the streets while invoking an ancient law, the Insurrection Act of 1807, and threatening to use the U.S. military to end the nationwide protests and growing unrest over the killing of an unarmed 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, at the hands of four Minneapolis cops."
But keep in mind that Trump's response to the protests, his phot-op in front of fire-damaged St. John’s Episcopal Church, and no less holding up a bible, were all ploys that badly backfired on the egotistical would-be leader. The public was outraged and they are still outraged.
Undermining the election process
Trump has so far, used every tactic in the "Dictatorships for Dummies" book. And now that the public is finally able to see and understand what he is doing has forced Trump to revert back to his 2016 tactics - which put him in the White House, reports the Star Tribune.
US President Donald Trump is looking for a political boost after poor attendance at his Tulsa campaign rally Nicholas Kamm, AFP/File
In 2016, Trump first attacked the Republican primaries, claiming they were “rigged and boss controlled.” When he didn't get the response he expected with the GOP, he accused the media and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign of conspiring against him to undermine a free and fair election.
“The process is rigged. This whole election is being rigged,” he said that October when polls showed him trailing Clinton by double digits as he faced a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations.
Well, today, Trump has a hell of a lot more to worry about than sexual misconduct allegations. As for his claims of voter fraud in the 2016 election - they have been discredited by experts in his own party.
But here is what's interesting and worrisome - Never in the history of this country has a sitting president resorted to purposely trying to delegitimize an election like Trump has done. In fact, you could say that Trump is trying to rupture the public's faith in American democracy
“Never,” said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley when asked whether any past U.S. president had ever used such language. “What you’re seeing is someone who’s an autocrat or a dictator in action.”
“Trump is laying down his markers very clearly that he’s not going to leave the White House. I think that he’s just setting the stage,” Brinkley said, to say ”‘I’m not leaving. It was a fraudulent election.’”
Even barring such an extreme move, Brinkley said the president’s rhetoric undermines public confidence in the electoral system. “It creates mayhem and it breaks the heart of what a democracy is.”
Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University, said Trump may be trying to preempt the sting of humiliation if he fails to win a second term. But Zelizer said Trump also appears to be “setting up the foundation for taking action.” By that, Zeloiger says he could tie up the election results in the courts for a long time.
One thing is certain, this is America, and we don't need a dictator strong-arming us and keeping the country in turmoil every time he opens his mouth.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com