The GOP’s Electoral Suicide

In 2016, Donald Trump beat a horribly flawed Hillary Clinton with a huge assist from James Comey and the Russians. That election was his high water mark. Since then, the Republican Party has been on the losing side in national, state and local elections in 2018, 2020, and 2022. Why? Because Donald Trump either hand-picked candidates solely for their willingness to be loyal to him, or because the Democrats made the election into a referendum on Trump. Except in extremely GOP-loyal areas, being tied to Trump is a guaranteed way to lose in a general election.

Donald Trump is the ultimate puppet master – he pulls the strings and the GOP leadership dances. While the majority of American voters are appalled at Trump’s calls for vengeance and violence, the GOP House Leadership is locked into their own conservative media echo chamber and reacting only to the loudest voices from the radical fringe right. They are eagerly following Trump’s wishes in mischaracterizing the pending legal actions; once again linking themselves to a paranoid narcissist who’s only allegiance is to himself.

As the leadership ties itself ever more tightly to the January 6 insurrectionists and Trump, they are committing electoral suicide. By supporting him now, they are making it impossible to distance themselves from him in the future. By the time of the 2024 Primaries, Trump is likely to be under criminal indictments by New York City, Fulton County Georgia, the DOJ, and possibly others. Trump has already lost one case against the State of New York, and he’s at risk of being banned from owning any business in New York. Trump’s lawyers will slow walk the legal processes so that none of these cases will have gone to trial, so he will do anything he can to get elected and be safe. As the investigations progress, he will hurl more unhinged and vulgar accusations at all who are accusing him. His rhetoric will virtually guarantee that one or more of his devoted followers will unleash violence which, because of their embrace of Trump, the GOP will then own.

Because of Trump’s devoted hardcore base among the 30% of GOP voters most likely to vote in Primaries, he will likely still win the nomination. Given the power he has in the party, he will again recruit unelectable candidates for numerous national and state races on the basis of devotion to him. If GOP voters eventually wise up and he is not the nominee, he will declare the Primaries rigged and sabotage the Party’s choice.

Beyond the core GOP base, Trump has no support and no ability to increase or broaden his base. He only wants true believers, and he has no interest or ability in wooing independents. Unlike in 2016, all Americans now know who he really is. His numbers can never go up – only down.

Donald Trump wants to become President so that he can use the power of the Presidency protect himself from indictments and to extract revenge on those who have wronged him. Americans understand this, and the vast majority of them have zero interest in being complicit in it. In a national election, his ability to attract more than 40% of the electorate is nil. Not only can he not win the recent battleground states, in a presidential election he would likely lose even solid GOP states. And as Trump goes down, so will countless other GOP candidates in elections at all levels.

None of this is lost on the strategists in the GOP. Since 2016 the GOP leadership has held its nose and supported Trump, fearing that without his base they had no chance. Now, as long as Trump is around they are doomed. If they had either brains or courage, they would cut Trump loose, knowing that they would pay a short-term price. But they have neither, so they will follow him to their doom.

Will This be the Last Free Election?

If the GOP gains control of enough state governments, we will never have free elections again.

As the primaries come to a conclusion and the candidates for the 2022 elections are selected, the strategy of the Republican Party has become clear. Despite the fact that every court, every recount, and every honest accounting has shown that the 2020 elections were completely fair, the GOP has, in almost all cases, nominated slates of 2020 election deniers across the board. This incudes an overwhelming number of candidates for Governor, Attorney General, or Secretary of State:

  • Geoff Diehl for Governor in Massachusetts (likely)
  • Rayla Campbell for Secretary of State in Massachusetts
  • Lee Zeldin for Governor in New York
  • Doug Mastriano for Governor in Pennsylvania
  • Dan Cox for Governor in Maryland
  • Michael Peroutka for Secretary of State in Maryland
  • Alan Wilson for Secretary of State in South Carolina (Incumbent)
  • Wes Allen for Secretary of State in Alabama
  • Bill Lee for Governor in Tennessee (Incumbent)
  • Greg Abbot for Governor in Texas (Incumbent)
  • Ken Paxton for Attorney General in Texas (Incumbent)
  • Ron DeSantis for Governor in Florida (Incumbent)
  • Ashley Moody for Secretary of State in Florida (Incumbent)
  • Tudor Dixon for Governor in Michigan
  • Matthew DePerno for Attorney General in Michigan
  • Kristina Karamo for Secretary of State in Michigan
  • Diego Morales for Secretary of State in Indiana
  • Tim Michels for Governor in Wisconsin
  • Eric Toney for Attorney General in Wisconsin
  • Amy Loudenbeck for Secretary of State in Wisconsin
  • Kim Crockett for Secretary of State in Minnesota
  • Audrey Trujillio for Secretary of State in New Mexico
  • Jim Marchant for Secretary of State in Nevada
  • Mark Finchem for Secretary of State in Arizona
  • Kari Lake for Governor in Arizona

This list is far from comprehensive, and of course it does not include the massive numbers of GOP legislative candidates who deny that the 2020 election was fair – even in many cases when they were themselves elected to office!

These election deniers have all stated that the 2020 election was stolen and that, if elected to office, they will not let it happen again. But given that the 2020 election WAS fair, what they really mean is that, if elected, they will not certify any election unless their candidate wins. So, if they are in power their preferred candidates will be declared the winners in future elections despite the true will of the people.

In other words, if they are are given power, there will no longer be fair elections ever again in those states. The staggering number of GOP candidates who potentially could be given this power will collectively control enough states to dominate all future national elections. This year is our one and only chance to stop the Republicans from stealing democracy. The 2022 vote will determine if the United States remains a democracy or becomes an authoritarian theocracy.

Our entire future depends on the 2022 election. If the GOP gains control of enough state governments, we will never have free elections again. We must do EVERYTHING we can to elect Democrats.

A Day in Trump’s America

Let’s assume that Donald Trump wins a second term in office. Its now October 2024. We are going to spend a day in Donald Trump’s America.

President Trump has consolidated power like no President before him. All significant Federal government positions are now held by Trump loyalists. After the election of 2020, hordes of career civil servants fled all departments of the Executive branch, leaving only true-Trumpers behind. Key positions were filled by political appointees, but many technical line positions have gone unfilled. This is touted by Trump as a positive achievement, but the result is felt by every American in the incompetence and outright ignorance that governs our lives.

Covid is endemic in American society. After the botched rollout of the insufficiently tested initial vaccines in 2021, few American trust or believe in Trump’s CDC or FDA. As soon as the initial vaccine failures started, Trump blamed the scientists and fired the leadership of both the CDC and FDA. His handpicked replacements were quickly discredited by their incompetence and devotion to Trump over truth. New vaccines have been developed, but with public distrust at a high level, few are willing to take them. And because the vaccines only last a year, herd immunity is impossible to achieve. There are no Federal mandates regarding mask wearing, testing, or social distancing, so 100,000 Americans are still catching Covid every day, and over a thousand are dying. Total deaths are over two million. Unemployment is over 15% but the Trump Administration reports it as half of that.

After the Supreme Court wiped out the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare system virtually collapsed. Because of Trump’s manipulation of the Tax code, Social Security has gone bankrupt, resulting in a 50% reduction in benefits for beneficiaries, and Medicare has reduced payouts by an equal amount. Over 50% of the hospitals in the US closed, and most who remain are barely hanging on. A secondary healthcare black market has emerged for the few people who can pay cash, but for everyone else its very hard to get care. The US healthcare system is now ranked lower than most of the undeveloped countries in the world.

Most other Federal agencies have abandoned their stated missions: The Education Department exists solely to funnel Federal dollars to for-profit and religious schools and colleges; the Department of the Interior regularly leases any and all Federal lands to ranchers, loggers, and especially energy companies for mining and drilling; the USEPA has softened its rules and enforcement so much that the air and waterways have become polluted in ways not seen since the 1960s; Departments of Energy, Commerce, and HUD are rife with barely concealed graft and produce reports that bear little resemblance to the truth.

The Department of Defense is a special case. Defense contractors regularly run up huge overruns and are making millions – for them life is good. But given Trump’s continuing and public disdain for their service, the frontline troops are demoralized and military leadership is very unhappy. Trump understands that the military is the one force that threatens his long term plans, so he regularly purges its leadership. New leaders are appointed every three to six months to keep the military in turmoil.

But the biggest change has come about in the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice. They have effectively combined into a superagency that has turned America into a militarized Police state. Most of the Senior leadership of the Democratic Party has been arrested on various charges: Obama on spying, Biden on corruption, Hillary because of her e-mails, and many others on bogus charges. Numerous other Democratic (and a few Republican) leaders have been kidnapped and/or assassinated by various right-wing militia groups. Trump’s Justice Department and FBI, are both now under new, loyal leadership. They are more than willing to arrest and imprison political opponents, and have been so successful at doing so that the GOP loyalists control both the House and Senate. The few Democrats in positions of power are sufficiently cowed or have become Trump supporters to survive. By now, Trump has appointed five members of the Supreme Court, and his court finds a way to approve everything he does.

Militia groups thrive and, in many areas are a defacto police force. Much as the Revolutionary Guards did in Iran, white supremacist militias enforce their own rules with guns and the support of the Homeland Security apparatus. Blacks, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, and non-whites are routinely beaten and killed with no recourse.

Life is especially difficult for women. Positions of leadership in government, industry, academia, and science are now virtually closed off to women. Although laws have not changed significantly, behavior has changed dramatically. Abortion is of course completely illegal nationwide, as are most forms of birth control.

One key change to the law – implementing a position held by Trump as a candidate – was to criminalize all past abortions by declaring them to be first degree murder. Since the records of past abortions were so easy to gather, millions of women have been jailed, decapitating the leadership of the women’s movement.

Although huge numbers of women protested as these changes were occurring, so many were jailed, beaten, and raped that protests died down after a year.

So its been nearly four years since Donald Trump was elected to a second term. The Presidential election of 2024 is in full swing – but its different than any previous election. The Supreme Court agreed with Trump’s assertion that he deserves a third term because of what the Democrats did during his first term, so his name is on the ballot in all 50 states. But, due to Republican challenges and intimidation, no Democrat is running a national campaign, and in many states there is no Democratic candidate on the ballot for President or any other major office. Donald Trump’s third term is about to become a certainty. This time, he has a new Vice Presidential running mate – her name is Ivanka. The dynasty will become reality. The President of the United States will henceforth be a Trump. ______________________________________________

Let’s come back to reality. Its actually October 2020. You have the power to choose your own ending to this story. You can vote for Joe Biden, and Democratic members of the House and Senate, and none of this will come true.

The Only Way We Can Lose is if They Cheat

Trump has said that: “The only way we can lose is if they cheat.” But like so much of what he says, it is the exact opposite of the truth. The truth is that the only he can win is if he cheats, and he knows it. And he has many methods of cheating the true will of the people.

Trump has spoken and tweeted almost daily against mail-in voting. Why is he so against it? Not because it will lead to cheating – exactly the opposite. Trump is afraid of mail-in voting because it reduces his chance to interfere with in-person voting on November 3. He and his Republican enablers have multiple efforts in place to intimidate and reduce the number of in-person voters that are unfavorable to him:

  1. Using his Russian friends, spread as much dis-information and fear as possible to discourage people from voting for Joe Biden or voting at all.
  2. Purge as many voters as possible, especially from areas that are not friendly to Republicans.
  3. Reduce the number of polling places so as to discourage voting, and concentrate those who do show up into the least number of locations.
  4. Do everything to the risk of exposure to Coronavirus, further reducing the willingness of those from vulnerable communities to show up.
  5. Recruit vigilantes to “protect the polls” which is code for showing up with guns so as to intimidate Blacks, Hispanics, or anyone else who doesn’t seem Trumpian.

Trump is also against mail-in voting because it minimizes the possibility of physical cheating – which is his secret plan that nobody is talking about. With in-person voting, all the votes are registered and tallied by thousands of individual voting machines. Tamper with enough voting machines in key locations and you can change the election in real time without anyone being aware of it. But, you say, the machines keep a permanent record of each vote. That can be also tampered with in the middle of the night by anyone who has access to the machines. Think it can’t happen? Read David Pepper’s book “The People’s House”. He describes just how easy it is to steal an election by tampering with a few machines in a few districts. And there are plenty of Districts in the key battleground states that are controlled by Trump loyalists – and available for the Russians to manipulate. Trump’s government says that the Russians tried to tamper with voting machines in 2016 but failed. Does anybody believe them? We know that the Trump Administration dragged its feet on funding to protect the integrity of the vote. That was done to make it easier to subvert this election.

But vote-by-mail is different. Each ballet is a clear, permanent, paper record which is counted in the presence of multiple people, making it virtually impossible to skew the count. Mail-in paper ballots also make it easy to perform a 100% accurate recount. Yes, some mail-in ballots will be lost, some will be thrown out, but the more mail-in ballots, the more this election will reflect the accurate will of the people. So Trump is doing all he can to suppress mail-in voting. And its working.

Trump believes he has a reason to be confident. When he combines these techniques with all the voters that have been removed from the rolls, suppressed, marginalized by redistricting, or otherwise disenfranchised, he has the means to win the election with only 40% of the population on his side. He doesn’t need more voters, he needs voters who are so committed to him that they will do anything to vote. This is why he has made no attempt to broaden his base of support, but instead has done everything to deepen the devotion of his followers to his cult.

Trump knows that the Electoral college gives him a built-in 3-5% advantage over the Democrats. If he can subvert the will of the people by another 3-5%, he wins. That is why Trump and his people are so confident. National polling that shows a Biden lead of 6-8% is in range of Trump’s ability to cheat his way to victory.

Trump has made no secret of his backup plan in case the cheating doesn’t work. In demonizing the mail-in vote, he has already made the pre-claim that the election was illegitimate. He will never concede, no matter the result. He will likely declare victory sometime on election night even as mail-in ballots are slowly being counted. And, no matter how much he loses by, he won’t leave the White House unless he is physically forced to.

The call to action could not be more clear:

  1. All eligible voters MUST vote for Joe Biden. Trump is a danger to Democracy. He will unleash more violence before the election. No one can withhold their vote because its too hard, or because it won’t matter, or because Joe is not the perfect candidate. The people of the United States must vote for Joe by such a large majority that all the Republican cheating won’t be enough to overcome the will of the people.
  2. Once the election is over and Joe has won a convincing majority, sadly, and unlike ever before, the work will not be over. Trump will do everything in his power to hold onto the Presidency. And many Republicans will assist him. Americans must rise up in massive protests, and with massive acts of civil disobedience to preserve our Democracy. There will be more violence as Trump and his allies refuse to obey the will of the people. For 250 years, Americans have done what needed to be done to preserve our Democracy. Now we will be called upon to preserve it once again.

America is at stake. And we will have to fight for it as never before.