With his polling numbers in the gutter, President Donald Trump is clearly panicking over his reelection prospects and attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
Trump has repeatedly spread false information on mail-in voting, making unsubstantiated assertions that it leads to widespread fraud. On Thursday, he suggested delaying Election Day, which he can’t legally do.
The push for increased access to mail-in voting among Democrats is linked to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic as the virus continues to surge across the US.
Trump botched his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a large part of the reason his approval rating is plummeting. The president is now maligning a form of voting that could help mitigate the spread of the virus.
The president is mirroring the tactics of dictators and raising serious concerns he will contest the election results if he loses.
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With over 151,000 people in the US dead from COVID-19, the US GDP down 9.5%, and a plummeting approval rating, President Donald Trump on Thursday continued to push wildly misleading claims about mail-in voting as part of a larger, clear effort to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
With his reelection prospects looking increasingly bleak and less than 100 days until Election Day, Trump is trying to convince Americans that Democrats are essentially attempting to rig the election with a push for mail-in voting. That way, if he loses on November 3, Trump can say the results are fake (much like his erroneous assertion that any negative polls are “fake news”).
This type of behavior is not typically exhibited by leaders in democratic countries. Dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who have both essentially become president-for-life in their respective countries, fight to undermine free and fair elections.
In short, Trump is mirroring the tactics of authoritarians who will do anything to stay in power with his baseless propaganda on mail-in voting.
“The strongman fears language as a symbol of identity and creator of community bonds,” Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of Italian studies at New York University, wrote in a 2017 op-ed about Trump’s words. “That’s why he attempts to use it instead to sow unease and discord among his people, and to erase from the public record what and whom he rejects from the nation.”
But it’s also nothing new from this president. Trump employed the same approach in 2016 when he was behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the polls and widely expected to lose. As the GOP presidential nominee, Trump repeatedly said the election was rigged against him. Instead of going after mail-in voting, Trump in 2016 suggested polling places weren’t safe.
After he won a shocking victory via the Electoral College, Trump made completely unfounded allegations that Clinton only won the popular vote because millions of undocumented immigrants voted. Even after winning, Trump continued to undermine the democratic process in the US.
The difference between 2016 and 2020 is …read more
Source:: Business Insider – Politics