Saturday, January 2, 2021

Donald Trump Is An Increasingly Dangerous, Delusional Man:

 – BW (01/02/2021):

I have been monitoring Donald Trump's behavior and social media activity very closely for several months now. It is hard to overstate just how detached from reality Donald Trump has become. Some of the content he and his close allies are sharing is truly straight out of a dystopian novel (e.g., explicit suggestions of jailing and executing public officials for refusing to help overturn the election, encouraging all followers to never read any major newspaper and to instead subscribe to fringe, propaganda sources such as OAN, Newsmax, and the Epoch Times (all of which have falsely claimed Trump won the election), serious discussions of declaring martial law and deploying the military to seize voting machines and to "rerun elections," and more). The threat is not that these things will come to pass but that they are being validated by the President of the United States and the ostensible leader of the free world.

He is also actively encouraging a "wild protest" in DC on January 6th, even as there are specific threats that armed groups are planning violence to disrupt Congress as it counts Electoral College votes on the 6th. Donald Trump knows this, but he does not condemn it. 

He continues to delusionally claim victory despite the overwhelming evidence that his claims of systemic voter fraud are simply the product of misinformation and unsubstantiated allegations, as his Attorney General and dozens of courts have found. He continues to spread allegations of fraud that were conclusively debunked weeks ago to his millions of followers, convincing them that this election was stolen from them. He continues to support efforts to overturn the election and disenfranchise millions of voters in the process. He continues to insist Joe Biden will be a "fake president" and he brutally attacks and threatens to primary any Republican who publicly recognizes Biden's victory. The result is that a majority of Republican Representatives in Congress will likely refuse to certify Biden's Electoral College victory on January 6th, despite no actual credible evidence of systemic voter fraud.

Have we become numb to how outrageous all of this is? This is madness. This is what creeping authoritarianism and democratic backsliding looks like. Donald Trump is trying to illegitimately strong-arm his way into a second term in defiance of a free and fair election. In no world is this even remotely acceptable political behavior from a sitting president. 

Just because he won't succeed doesn't mean we shouldn't be worried by this obscene behavior. Part of why Donald Trump won't succeed is because under the Electoral Count Act, it takes a majority in both the House and the Senate to deny Electoral College votes, and Democrats control the House. But what if Democrats didn't control the house? What if the GOP fully controlled Congress, and what if the election turned on a single state instead of three or four? As one election scholar pointed out, "if Trump-loyal Republicans controlled both chambers, this scheme to steal the election might actually work." Imagine the pressure that Donald Trump and his allies would apply on Congress in that scenario. 

Donald Trump is a dangerous man. This man never should have been within reach of the Oval Office. It is a historic, unspeakable shame that a major political party elevated such a person to the top of their ticket and into the White House. 

This is not about partisan politics. Let's debate taxes, regulations, judges, etc, but Donald Trump's delusional, anti-democratic behavior is completely beyond the pale. These antics are antithetical to democracy. I hope we learn from this harrowing experience and never make the grave mistake of electing someone like him again.

 – BW (01/02/2021)