If you haven’t made the simple factual connection yet, from all the appalling news stories you see on a daily basis, make it now: there is a quiet but definite right-wing revolution going on in this country, every day, right out in plain sight. The attacks on local school board officials, going on nationwide, have caused many of them to resign. Likewise, the attacks on election workers, fomented by the Loser in Chief paints a stunning picture. This group of workers is literally being tormented into leaving their positions.
Listen to the testimony of various election workers, including a man named Al Schmidt, a Pennsylvania election worker whom Trump called out by name on Twitter. Schmidt began to immediately receive harassing phone calls and texts and required police protection after Trump wrongly and without evidence accused him of withholding election information. He is not alone. The bottom line here is that when the good, experienced people leave a field then the bad, inexperienced and ill-intentioned ones will come along and take their place. And that’s when there will be trouble. Our elections may no longer be secure. That’s what Trump has been claiming all along and now he’s going to make it happen.
This is 10:29 and absolutely worth taking the time to watch in full.
WARNING: Graphic and profane language. Be careful about who’s around you when you have the sound up.
VICE News spoke with over a dozen election officials who had experienced death threats and felt endangered during the 2020 election period. Officials across the United States experienced physical stalking, explicitly violent phone calls, racial slurs, home surveillance, bomb scares, and threats of mass shootings. For some officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, the threats have continued for nearly a year. And now, many of these officials want to quit.
“They started to do surveillance on my staff, taking pictures of all of the individuals that would come in and go in and out of the warehouse, they would take pictures of their license plates.”
The stories of these officials represent a small proportion of the number of threats made in this election cycle, though the total number is unknown because many of the threats went unrecorded and unanswered by law enforcement, Reuters reported. However, in a survey published in June by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, one-third of election workers report feeling unsafe.
One third of election workers report feeling unsafe and it’s not just them. You know the pieces and videos that have been posted here about school board members and county commissioners and the like under attack, sometimes besieged in their own homes.
And the poster child for unjust harassment arising from Trumpian malice is none other than octogenarian epidemiologist and public servant for fifty years, Anthony Fauci. The man has had to hire 24 hour security for himself and his wife, and even his children. The vitriol that has been spewed his way is unspeakable. One right-wing commentator, Josh Bernstein, said on his podcast today that Fauci should be put in prison and “deserves to be sodomized every day.”
We are dealing with some sick, evil, amoral people. Trump’s descent down the escalator in 2015 is synonymous with America’s descent into madness. His nomination opened Pandora’s box. There have always been crazies in America, and an undercurrent of despair, people “living lives of quiet desperation.” But Trump united the malcontents, gave them a slogan and some dogma and made them feel welcome, for the first time ever. He hates the same people they hate, and the tragic part is, he hates the MAGAs too, but they don’t get that aspect of it. They think he’s one of them. No, ye of little intelligence, he’s playing you. And he’s doing such a virtuoso job of it that you don’t know you’re being played. And maybe you never will.
Meanwhile, American government is being eroded at the grassroots level, with local school boards and county election officials. This has to stop right now or we are headed for some serious breakdown of our norms, even worse than what we’ve already experienced.
Trump is the serpent in the garden of democracy. The only poem he knows by heart is about a snake who worms his way into a woman’s household. It’s supposed to be a parable about immigrants coming into the country but it’s a parable about who Trump himself is. “You knew what I was when you let me in.” The sad part is that 74 million people don’t — or they do and they just want to destroy America for shits and giggles. I know human nature is perverse and that people frequently act contrary to their own best interests, but this Trump social experiment of the past several years has had me wondering just how self-destructive can we get?
Trump’s 2024 platform is the Big Lie. Full stop. He’s got to milk it for what it’s worth because it’s the only issue with sufficient power to enrage and Trump only knows how to proselytize grievance. He has nothing positive to offer. He’s a destroyer, not a builder.
Either the wheels of democracy grind the Big Lie under or democracy itself may be ground under. It is that black and white because Trump doesn’t care about democracy or any governmental institutions. He certainly doesn’t care about the Republican party. So it becomes a question of Americans or Trump?
Writer Don Winslow was on Brian Williams’ show last night and Williams asked, “In terms of a clock (similar to the Doomsday Clock) what time is it for democracy?” Winslow answered, “It’s 11:00 o’clock.” I think he’s right. Time is running short.