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.