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The road to fascism. Trump is quite open about his plans to derail the election

Trump Isn’t Keeping His Fascist Plan Secret. He’s Trying to Derail the Election.   David Renton, Truthout, October 1, 2020 

In the 1930s, when a New York publishing company was thinking of bringing out an unexpurgated English-language edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, its editors first approached the radicals of New York’s New School for Social Research, who assembled a specialist team of anti-fascist German refugees to do the translation. Why would the refugees do that — one might think — hadn’t they suffered enough? But the translators agreed readily. They wanted the world to know what Hitler was thinking, to take his ideas seriously, to grasp how different his politics was from the “normal” right-wing politics that had come before.

We should look at Trump’s comments in Tuesday’s presidential debate in the same spirit and take them as seriously as he does. We should think about the exchange when Trump was asked, “What are you prepared to do to reassure the American people that the next president will be the legitimate winner of this election?”

He answered, “Don’t tell me about a free transition…. We won’t know. We might not know for months because these ballots are going to be all over.”

Trump wasn’t saying he would reject an election that Biden won. Rather, he was threatening to use the office of the president to prevent there from being a decisive outcome against him………

In-person votes will be counted first. So, even if by the time all postal votes have been counted, Biden can be shown to have won by, say, seven or more clear percentage points, Trump may be ahead on election night.

It’s much easier to challenge postal votes than it is to challenge in-person votes. What if the security envelopes are marked, or there are no security envelopes at all? What if the envelope arrives but the postmark is almost invisible? Trump wants Republican vote counters to object to every postal vote they can, raising the natural 1 or 2 percent rejection rate to more like 30 or 40 percent.

If that happens, then we may never get to the point where anyone can say with any clarity that Biden did in fact win by seven clear points, because state after state is going to be bogged down in partisan recounts………

For one thing, Trump is calling on his supporters to attend the polls in person and “watch” (by which he likely means “demonstrate”). “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” he said. “They’re called poll watchers, a very safe, very nice thing.”

There’s a long and honorable tradition of neutral observers traveling to watch disputed elections in semi-democratic states. That’s not what Trump is getting at. He’s not planning to mobilize neutrals; he’s calling out his own base.

A model for this kind of behavior happened in Fairfax, Virginia, where, in September, a group of Trump supporters walked into the polling place waving flags and shouting, “Four more years.” So powerful is the megaphone of Trump’s Twitter account with its 86 million followers that we should see this as a real threat……..

Finally, Trump signaled at the debate to his armed supporters that if the election does go the way of Florida in 2000, he expects them to play their part in backing him. It’s in that context that Trump’s “stand by” order was given to the Proud Boys……..

In turning to his street supporters, Trump is calling on people who feel no doubts about using violence. For since 2016, attacks on left-wing demonstrators have become ever more frequent. The best known remains the killing of anti-fascist protester Heather Heyer at Charlottesville, when James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car at protesters after being photographed earlier brandishing a shield with Mussolini’s fasces symbol, complete with an executioner’s axe.

Since late May, more than 100 white supremacists have attempted to disperse anti-racist protests by driving their cars at demonstrators.

At the heart of Trump’s plan is the idea of using crowds of hostile people to bring the election counts to a halt, to so foul up the reality of which votes went to which candidate that no one could say any longer what was fake and what was real.

However, massive voter turnout — particularly in-person voting — could thwart Trump’s plan. ……..

October 3, 2020 - Posted by | election USA 2020

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