How Trump’s Planning to Win.
Things might be looking grim for him right now, but the President will not be going quietly, and he’ll be doing everything he can to ensure he doesn’t have to go at all.
As I and many others have discussed before, mere months away from the general election President Trump is growing increasingly desperate in his efforts to secure another four more years of power in the wake of devastating poll numbers across the board. While the office itself does not appear to mean anything to him, Donald Trump’s endless pursuit of an image of success that he’s carefully crafted over the course of decades in the public eye, and how he has been able to use his position of power to help further cement that image in the eyes of his base unsurprisingly means he will do everything he can to maintain that perception. Whether it be declaring that mail in ballots almost certainly mean the election will be rife with fraud and the results cannot be trusted, or that the election ought to be postponed until it’s safer to vote at the very same time his administration is declaring it safe for children to return to school, there’s no denying that the President will not be going quietly, and he’ll be doing everything he possibly can to ensure he doesn’t have to go at all.
His statements, coupled with the blatant actions of his administration towards the United States Postal Service in particular, show our current occupant of the White House has a plan that goes well beyond just fostering doubt about the election results among his supporters.
As I’m sure millions across the country — and in rural areas in particular — have already noticed, the widespread delay of postage after Trump’s friend and donor Louis DeJoy took over as postmaster general is beginning to raise alarm bells not just among average citizens, but among postal workers as well. In fact, the broader effects of this in the months to come as the pandemic only worsens and the prospects of increased mail-in voting grow more and more likely cannot be understated. In fact, the fears that Donald Trump will use the Postal Service as a means by which to secure another four years only grow more and more concrete by the day. It’s gotten to the point that his poll numbers are frankly so dismal mail has arguably become his last resort, and he will absolutely use it.
Trump’s re-election plan has ultimately become focused around sabotaging and delaying the postal service in an effort to prevent mail in ballots from arriving back on time to be counted, and declare victory based on the election day results full well knowing that most swings states do not count mail-in ballots that have arrived late.
As Mark Joseph Stern said on twitter in reference to Washington Post article on the topic: “it doesn’t get more brazen than this.”
In the article, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Jacob Bogage write:
“As President Trump ramps up his unfounded attacks on mail balloting as being susceptible to widespread fraud, postal employees and union officials say the changes implemented by Trump fundraiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy are contributing to a growing perception that mail delays are the result of a political effort to undermine absentee voting.
The backlog comes as the president, who is trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the polls, has escalated his efforts to cast doubt about the integrity of the November vote, which is expected to yield record numbers of mail ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, Trump floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 general election, a notion that was widely condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike. He has repeatedly gone after the Postal Service, recently suggesting that the agency cannot be trusted to deliver ballots.
DeJoy, a North Carolina logistics executive who donated more than $2 million to GOP political committees in the past four years, approved changes that took effect July 13 that the agency said were aimed at cutting costs for the debt-laden mail service. They included prohibiting overtime pay, shutting down sorting machines early and requiring letter carriers to leave mail behind when necessary to avoid extra trips or late delivery on routes.
The new policies have resulted in at least a two-day delay in scattered parts of the country, even for express mail, according to multiple postal workers and union leaders. Letter carriers are manually sorting more mail, adding to the delivery time. Bins of mail ready for delivery are sitting in post offices because of scheduling and route changes. And without the ability to work overtime, workers say the logjam is worsening without an end in sight.
…Voters and postal workers have reported scattered problems across the country in recent days, including in key battleground states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, raising concerns among residents whether their states are being targeted because of their importance in the presidential and Senate elections.
In Michigan, which is gearing up for its Aug. 4 primary, election administrators said they have fielded complaints from voters who had not yet received their ballots as of this week. Election clerks are advising voters to drop off their ballot Tuesday rather than sending it back via mail, out of fear that the ballots will not be returned in time to be counted.”
Thankfully, the President does not have the intelligence or fortitude to make his intentions less obvious. We might find some solace in the fact that we have ample time to get ahead, and make it abundantly clear that no victory, unless absolutely obvious for one candidate or another, can be acknowledged on November 3rd given the magnitude of the pandemic’s impact on the election.
While my primary concern in this instance and with the Trump administration in general is the precedent it says for those more politically savvy that come after him, there’s no denying that we should be incredibly worried about not only the hyper-partisan nature of Republicans in our current climate, but the utter fecklessness of Democrats in their response to it. Failure to acknowledge this, especially when considering the implications of this upcoming election, could have devastating results. Trump’s obvious plan should serve as a reminder for the American people that salvaging what’s left of our “democracy” will require not only pointing out the wrongdoings of those blatantly threatening it, but those also in power who stand idly by and allow it to happen as well.