Here we are. It’s the eve of the election and there’s great anxiety in the country over the words and actions of Trump and his sycophants. Trump has consistently refused to even say he’d accept the results of the election if Biden wins. In fact, Trump has been saying for months now that the only way Biden wins is if the election is rigged. Needless to say, this is dangerous rhetoric, which is becoming more concerning as we’re just hours away from Election Day.
Remember, things are going to be crazy tomorrow (and likely crazy for some time), but the election isn’t over until *all* the votes have been counted. There is no law stating that a winner must be decided on Election Day. In fact, the only winners on Election Day are merely projections by news organizations. They are not official; they are not certified. With so many people voting absentee due to the pandemic, it’s going to take some states at least a few day if not weeks to count all the votes. So do not be alarmed if a winner hasn’t been projected by tomorrow night.
Trump told insiders that he’s planning to declare victory if he’s ahead tomorrow night. We need to strongly and consistently push back against any illegitimate declarations of victory. With millions of ballots needing to be counted in several key states, he would be undermining the electoral process. Whether he loses by a low margin in some swing states or is absolutely demolished, he’s not going to concede.
This will be the first time in American history that a president hasn’t conceded an election, disregarding the a bedrock of our system: the peaceful transfer of power.We need to be vigilante and remind people in our circles about the facts.
It is not the time to become complacent after Election Day. In fact, we’ll need to double down on our commitment to see this through. If Biden wins the electoral college and Trump starts trying to cry unsubstantiated “voter fraud” or “irregularity” claims, he’s in effect attempting a coup to hold onto power despite the American people voting him out.
We cannot let this happen. We will not be the generation that let our democracy fall to fascism. This is our country: government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And we will not let it “perish from the earth,” as Abraham Lincoln said during his Gettysburg Address.
We will inform our friends and family of the facts and put pressure on public and private leaders to denounce it. The battle is not over until Biden is sworn in. American democracy is self governance: its power comes from the People. Therefore, we have the burden to not only vote, but to ensure the integrity of the election is maintained —especially when our leaders are unwilling to honor the oath they swore to protect and defend the constitution.
Don’t interfere with anything in the constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
The United States is in a dangerous, unpredictable situation. Trump, as I’ve been writing about in this blog for sometime now, is a clear and present danger to American democracy. He’s systematically been chipping away at the institutions that are designed to protect us from tyranny.
He’s proven time and time again to be incapable of leading the country, unwilling to represent the whole country, and more than willing to shatter norm after norm on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. He has no empathy for the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their lives in this pandemic –most of which were preventable had he acted based on the science and with the full force of the federal government. To this day, approaching 7 months into this pandemic, we still have no national strategy or plan.
The checks and balances in the federal government haven’t worked. For Republicans, the concept of “country over party” is part of the old order. Trump is the Republican Party. His campaign literally has no platform other than getting him re-elected.
The stakes for the 2020 election could not be overemphasized. The literal fate of our democracy is on the line. Think of the millions of Americans who died fighting to protect and defend this country. According to Trump, these Americans were “losers” and “suckers.” This is nothing new, just look at how he attacked the late John McCain and by extension, the entire POW/MIA organization: he’s likes soldiers “who don’t get captured,” not to mention his attacks on Gold Star families. When news broke that Russia was putting bounties on the heads of American soldiers, he ignored it. Months later, he still hasn’t said a thing about it. He hasn’t said a single bad thing about Putin, a man who views America as his mortal enemy.
Trump’s an agent of chaos, as we all see on a day-by-day basis. An entire coalition of mental health professionals have told us he’s a malignant narcissist, also known as a sociopath. His former officials and even his family members have spoke out, warning us of how dangerous he is.
Unfortunately for us, his supporters don’t care what he says or does. They’re so brainwashed by their right-wing media sources, Facebook groups, and from Trump himself, they either dismiss any negative information as “fake news” or if it’s irrefutable, they twist and contort it to fit their worldview, completely detached from reality. So there’s no swaying them. They’ll vote for Trump no matter what. He could declare himself dictator tomorrow and it would be hard to find MAGA followers who would have a problem with it.
Trump and his Republican thugs have been actively subverting the bedrock of democracy: free and fair elections. They’ve engaged in gerrymandering, closing polling stations in parts of the country likely to vote Democratic, by literally destroying the United States Postal Service’s infrastructure to slow down mail in voting, by casting unsupported claims of voter fraud, and by refusing to pass legislation in the Senate to protect our elections from foreign interference.
The fate of American democracy is in our hands. We cannot depend on some group of federal officials to save us. The only way out of this is by voting. It’s our civic duty to get out and vote. In 2016, over 100 millions eligible voters didn’t turn out to vote. Trump got 60 million votes and Clinton got 60.5 million votes. We need to tap into that massive group of 100 million eligible voters. We all know people in our lives who belong to this group.
If you know what’s at stake and understand the consequences, you have an obligation to do everything in your power to get as many of your family and friends registered to vote. We need to be more assertive than simply giving a friendly reminder. We need to show them how to register, follow up with their registration process, and help them follow through with actually casting their vote.
The best option is voting in person, obviously making sure to take precautions such as wearing a mask. If you think you’ll have trouble voting on Election Day, consider voting early. If you have to vote by mail, it’s critical you submit your ballot as early as possible.
We need to communicate all of this to our family and friends who may be politically apathetic. Some people are under the illusion that a fascist state can’t happen in America –thinking that’s just something that happens in other countries or not understanding how civics works. If you’re reading this, you’re not one of the apathetic. We just need to convince the people around us that we’re on the verge on losing our country.
Trump has already expressed he’s not going to accept the results of the election if he loses. He just told a reporter earlier in the week that he’ll “have to see what happens.” This is absolutely unprecedented, yet in Trump’s America it was just another Monday.
We cannot depend on Congress or the Supreme Court to work this out. We need to have an overwhelming voter turnout to cast this sociopath out of power. There’s no top-level working group who’s going to miraculously save us. We have to save ourselves by doing our civic duty and voting. We cannot be the generation of Americans who stood by and did nothing. This is truly the last stand for democracy. Once we lose it, it’s gone.
If you’ve ever read a history book or watched a movie about some existential conflict and thought to yourself, “If I was in that situation, I would do x, y, or z.” Well, this is your real-life chance to be a part of saving the country. This isn’t hyperbole, it’s the reality we’re living in. Remember what Abraham Lincoln said during at Gettysburg, addressing a country in a state of existential crisis. Those same people who died preserving the Union and the hundreds of thousands who died defending our constitution –our way of life– “shall not have died in vain.”
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address. November 19, 1863