This is something of a companion piece to the article Ursula posted earlier today.
I’m seeing a lot of people giving up. Losing hope. Making forlorn plans to escape to whatever country that might take them, because Trump is going to use the power of the presidency, and will cajole or bully his minions in various state governments, to override the results, throw the ballots into a landfill, and declare himself Maximum Leader.
I have no doubt he wants to do that. And I don’t doubt he will try. The other day he said:
Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The ballots are out of control. You know it. And you know who knows it better than anybody else? The Democrats know it better than anybody else
Adam Schiff told Rachel Maddow that Trump’s statement is part of:
an effort by the president to discredit the votes of millions, to stack the Supreme Court, to disenfranchise millions and perpetuate himself in office by enlisting foreign assistance.
Yes. Yes, it is. And recently, eminent journalist Barton Gellman scared the hell out of us all with his Atlantic article saying that Trump intends to “break America” by his anti-election machinations. Gellman told Don Lemon that he scared himself while researching it.
The Republicans have been researching this for far longer than Gellman has. What the hell else do you think those hundreds of conservative think tanks are paying its “fellows” to do besides find ways to subvert democracy and gain control?
But. All is not lost. Trump wants us to think so, in order to convince us to not bother voting. What’s the point if he’s just gonna steal it anyway, amirite? Imma sit in this corner, fire up Travelocity on my tablet, and eat worms until my flight to Outer Slobbovia is confirmed.
Well, fuck that. Instead, let’s look through a Twitter thread by author and lawyer Teri Kanefield, who posted in response to the Gellman article.
I didn't want to respond to the Atlantic piece about how Trump can steal the election by flipping electors in states with GOP held legislatures, but I will.
Here's my take.
From the article⤵️
— Teri Kanefield (@Teri_Kanefield) September 23, 2020
It’s a relatively brief thread, but I’ll sum it up for you.
“A legal advisor” to Trump told Gellman, in Gellman’s words:
The state legislatures will say, “All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power. We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate, so here’s our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state.” …Democrats, he added, have exposed themselves to this stratagem by creating the conditions for a lengthy overtime. “If you have this notion,” the adviser said, “that ballots can come in for I don’t know how many days—in some states a week, 10 days—then that onslaught of ballots just gets pushed back and pushed back and pushed back. So pick your poison. Is it worse to have electors named by legislators or to have votes received by Election Day?”
Kanefield finds the timing of this legal adviser’s talk with Gellman was designed to demoralize Democratic voters and to distract the media from Trump’s wailing and flailing. Trump is tanking in the polls.
First, remember that each state has rules that govern the certifying of their elections. Yes, laws still matter. The Trump legal advisor wants you to think they don’t. Why? Because when enough people lose confidence in democracy, democracy will fail.
That’s the real point here. Trump is very good at gaslighting people. Remember the plot of the movie Gaslight? The husband uses psychological torture on his wife to convince her that she’s insane and he isn’t a reprehensible bastard. It’s just like that with Trump. And it’s having an effect on all of us.
[A] goal of active measures is to get you to lose conidence in democratic processes. Trump is trying his best to get you to lose confidence in democratic processes. He is trying to make you think he can pull this off.
Trump is getting shellacked in the polls. So he wants us talking about how he’s just going to take the election, and polls don’t matter. If he were up by ten instead of down by ten, that’s what he would be talking about. And what he wants us talking about. Kanefield writes:
When enough people believe the con, this amplifies and gives credence to the lies, which then creates a reality based on the lie, which helps bring about the very outcome you don’t want.
Here’s the thing about democracy: If a majority of voters no longer want it, it will cease to exist. If a majority of voters don’t put in the work, it will cease to exist.
Well, I want it. So do you. So do most Americans — the Nazis and Confederates and QAnon assholes don’t count.
DanK, a blogger on the Daily Kos, writes that getting the legislatures in the battleground states is a task easier said than done.
So, what’s the upshot? Simple. If you feel you need to buy a gun or three to defend yourself and your family against the angry Trump brownshirts, do it. I won’t argue. But I hope you’ll rethink your plans to abandon the US to the Nazis and idiots.
This is my country. It’s your country. It’s not theirs. We aren’t going to fucking give it to them.