Rather than work to address the spiraling coronavirus crisis, President Trump and his allies are instead wasting precious time and resources on their cynical gambit to subvert the will of the American people.
One American is dying from COVID-19 every 44 seconds, but President Donald Trump has made no effort to address the crisis or express condolences to the families of the more than 20,000 Americans who’ve died from the disease in November alone.
Instead, Trump has hunkered down in the White House, where he has spent the past two weeks lying, promoting baseless and debunked conspiracy theories, and attempting to subvert American democracy.
While the nation he leads has recorded more than 1.1 million new coronavirus cases over the past week, Trump has attacked election officials in key swing states that he lost—such as Georgia and Michigan—and attempted to block certification of election results so that he can pressure Republican lawmakers in those states to overturn the will of voters.
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On Thursday, Trump’s legal team—led by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani—gathered outside the Republican National Committee headquarters and promoted an absurd conspiracy theory that former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez—who died in 2013—was somehow involved in rigging the US election. Giuliani and fellow Trump attorney Sidney Powell alleged that voter fraud in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia—cities that just so happen to have huge Black populations—helped propel Biden to victory.
To be clear, there is absolutely no evidence of such fraud and Giuliani failed again to present any evidence on Thursday. And yet, he and the rest of the Trump team persist with their assault on democracy and attempts to carry out their own version of a coup to keep Trump in power, aided and abetted by right-wing media networks and social media companies.
“We cannot allow these crooks—cause that’s what they are—to steal an election from the American people,” Giuliani said, without a hint of irony, as he himself tried to steal an election from the American people. “Give us an opportunity to prove it in court and we will.”
They’ve had many opportunities to do so, but as of Friday morning, the campaign has lost 31 of 33 cases that have gone to court, and neither of their two victories stands to affect the election results.
The president’s rhetoric and actions are unprecedented in modern history and represent an attempted coup, according to historian Michael Beschloss.
“We have never seen anything like this before,” Beschloss told the Washington Post. “This is a president abusing his very great powers to try to stay in office, even though it is obvious to everyone that he has been defeated in the polls.”
Biden defeated Trump 306-202 in the electoral college and holds a nearly 4% lead in the popular vote—that’s about 6 million more votes than Trump received.
Democrats have roundly blasted Trump’s conduct, but Republicans have largely remained silent, allowing Trump to sow seeds of distrust in the election system. Senate Republicans have also largely ignored the ongoing COVID-19 surge, even as more than 80,000 people are currently hospitalized with the virus, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Rather than work to address the spiraling crisis—or provide financial relief for tens of millions of struggling Americans—Trump and his allies are instead wasting precious time and resources on their cynical gambit to subvert the will of the American people.
In reality, Trump’s attempted coup is unlikely to succeed, but it still poses a grave threat to the American electoral system. According to recent polls, a majority of Trump voters (77%) now believe Biden only won because of fraud. That could have devastating ramifications for the future of democracy in the nation.
And when they do, their president probably won’t be there for them. Instead, if the past few weeks are any indication, he and his allies will likely be spouting racist, unhinged conspiracy theories from a parking lot outside of a Philadelphia landscaping company.