President Trump’s Attack on American Democracy
By: Gabriella Maddalena
With the 2020 election only a few weeks away, the political tension in the United States is at an all time high. Millions of voters have cast early ballots, and many have it in mind to do what they can to vote President Trump out of office. Whether it be his lack of action for the pandemic, or his highly offensive nature, millions of American voters want him out. However, President Trump has made it clear that he will not go without a fight.
For many Democrats, Republicans, and Independent voters alike, this election that lies ahead is representative of an existential crisis for the state of American democracy. It is not new knowledge that President Trump has plans to not concede this election if the results rule out of his favour. This plan was something had announced himself. A key instrument to this plan is to have the appointment of another conservative to the Supreme Court in order to stay in the White House, alongside blatant voter suppression.
With the knowledge that millions of voters—primarily Democrat voters will be using mail-in ballots this election, the American President is utilizing this as a way to claim the election is rigged against him should he lose in November. However, President Trump and his administration are refusing to acknowledge that the increase in mail-in ballots being used is due to their poor response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In August, President Trump had admitted himself that he was depriving the U.S postal service of funding in order to make it more difficult to process mail-in votes. The President of the United States had openly admitted to suppressing voters because he fears that the mail-in votes will cost him the election. In case anyone is unaware, the right to vote in America, much like any other Democratic country, is a right that is protected by their constitution under various amendments. What the president was doing was not only illegal, but unconstitutional. President Trump had said he was withholding funds because the Democrats were seeking universal mail-in voting. This claim was never true, much like many of the things the current President says. Nonetheless, the following month in September, Judge Stanley Bastain blocked these postal service changes. He called these changes exactly what they were, “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service”.
It is also worth noting that the California Republican party has also admitted to utilizing fake ballot boxes to collect mail-in votes around the state. These actions have been called out by State Officials who have stated these boxes are illegal and could result in election fraud. Regardless of this, the California GOP has stated they will continue to place these boxes around in conservative parts of California, despite warnings of legal action from State Officials. The President and his administration are quick to be the pot calling the kettle black with false accusations that the Democratic Party is rigging the election when their affiliated party is openly tampering with ballot collection in a decidedly blue state.
Although his postal plan was thwarted by Judge Bastain, President Trump adapted a different strategy. With the new vacancy in the Supreme Court, the President was eager to nominate another Conservative to fill this spot. Though it is permitted that the President can nominate a candidate for a vacancy during an election year — despite that the GOP had spoken out against this when former President Barack Obama was in the same situation, it is clear that the President is rushing this nomination as quickly as he can to stack the Supreme Court with justices that will give him a victory, should he appeal the election results in November.
As stated earlier, President Trump has been claiming, for quite some time now, that this election will be rigged by the Democratic party. Due to this, the President is ready to take legal action in order to ensure he wins a second term, as he stated during the first Presidential debate. This wouldn’t be the first time the Supreme Court has decided an election (remember Bush vs Gore?), and it also likely wouldn’t be the last. If President Trump brings the results to the Supreme Court, not only could it potentially overrule a Biden-Harris victory, but with the numerous law suits in motion from various states surrounding voting in this election, it could trigger an avalanche of court hearings that could affect what votes count this upcoming November, once again presenting the possibility that the court will rule in his favour. This is yet another attack on the state of the American democracy at the hands of the person meant to uphold it. It is an unprecedented approach to a democratic election to have the Commander and Chief of a nation ready to use the federal court to overrule the voices of the citizens.
Not only is President Trump willing to take legal action, he is also prepared to simply not concede. When pressed about whether he would or not during the first Presidential debate, the President had alluded to the notion that he will not. Former Vice President Biden gave a simple “yes”, when asked the very same question. This was also echoed by Vice President Pence in the VP debate when he was asked if the President will concede. Although it is clearly stated in the American Constitution that the victor on November 3rd will be inaugurated January 20th at exactly noon, the President simply refuses to abide by this. Another constitutional violation from the highest elected official in America. The President also avoided committing to declaring victory until all votes are counted, once again going back to the notion that he refuses to believe in the mail-in votes. When asked the same question, the former VP also gave a positive answer. This means President Trump will bring the election to the Supreme Court, if on November 3rd he wins the election but loses the lead once mail-in votes are counted. Americans are living in a political climate where the President is outright refusing to believe in their voting system.
The American system was founded on the principle that the people choose who forms their government. It is outlined in their constitution that the American people have the right to choose, change, and even overthrow a government. Democracy is built on these principles. It is grossly undemocratic and borderline authoritarian for the President to work to silence the American voters. If President Trump and his Supreme Court based victory plan win this election, Americans for generations to come will be asking “Where were you when Trump broke the American democracy?”
*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.
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