Democracy disrupter

38. He is threatening the very basis of our freedoms

The foundation of American representative democracy rests upon our right to participate in free and fair elections. This right has been under threat for some years. Now, as the 2020 general election approaches, it is actively under attack on several fronts. Leading the charge against democracy is the current president, Corporal Bonespurs, who not only never served his country in uniform but seems intent on tearing down what so many of his less privileged peers fought and died for in battle…what so many women and men he’s not fit to shine the shoes of marched for, were assaulted and jailed and murdered for, during the Civil Rights Movement.

Although various inhabitants of the country don’t hold the right right to vote (e.g., minors, non-citizens, incarcerated persons, convicted felons in some states), it is nevertheless the most essential component of our political system. All free citizens over the age of 18 have that right to cast a ballot for The modern-day Republican Party, which has been shrinking for years, resolved at some point to cling to power by any means necessary. To that end, they have attempted to suppress the Democratic vote in various ways. DT has not only embraced that strategy wholeheartedly, he has upped the ante in several ways. For instance, he has expressed a willingness to accept help from hostile foreign nations to aid his reelection effort (more on that in a later blog). As if that’s not bad enough—and it’s pretty bad—he is currently waging a calculated campaign to cast doubt on the integrity of the upcoming election while simultaneously taking steps to destroy that integrity. Like so many of DT’s machinations, this is unprecedented in American history. Unlike all the others, it carries the strong possibility of putting and end to the nation as we know it. The stakes could not be higher.

The truth of the matter is that DT sees the writing on the wall. He knows perfectly well that the unparalleled dishonesty, continual chaos, and blatant malfeasance that have marked his administration have energized his opponents (i.e., freedom-loving Americans), and that if they turn out in even slightly larger numbers than they did in 2016, the needle he threaded four years ago will be lost to him and he’ll lose his reelection bid. He doesn’t believe he can win fairly, so he is determined to win unfairly, no matter the cost to the country. Such tactics are hardly unfamiliar to him—they are roughly analogous to the methods he used as a third-rate businessman to keep his head above water—but they are deeply unfamiliar to American electorate, which has long taken free and fair elections for granted. As a nation, we are unprepared for this crisis, but everything depends on our weathering it.

What can be done?

Volunteer, either with the Biden-Harris campaign or with any of various other groups working to defeat DT. If you can afford to, send a donation. If you’re healthy and willing, sign up to be a poll worker; they’re in short supply in many areas, which will lead to long lines and people giving up and not voting. Contact your state and local elected officials, and let them know you’re counting on them to provide the resources necessary to ensure that all voters can vote and that all votes will be counted. Talk to your local Democratic central committee, ask them what they’re doing to ensure a free and fair election, and offer to help. These methods will be invaluable in states like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, and Arizona.

Above all else, talk to your friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, college classmates, and anyone else you can think of who would be willing to listen. If they aren’t already aware, explain why this is a singularly important election, and why high turnout is critical. Make sure they know how to vote—in person, if that’s feasible and safe in your area, and by absentee ballot otherwise—and follow up with them to ensure that they don’t forget. Tell them to ignore any election-related information provided by federal agencies, such as the U.S. Postal Service, and to rely on the instructions provided by their local boards of election. Remind them that in many states there are other vital races besides president and vice president: taking back the Senate is not only essential to undoing the damage of DT’s regime after he’s replaced but is also is the final bulwark against utter ruin if he isn’t replaced as a direct result of the election.