We’re not out of this yet

Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Trump revealed exactly who he is when, in Trump’s most recent unforced error, he publicly confessed that he’s “slowing down testing” because, however useful testing may be for the containment of the novel coronavirus, it makes Trump look bad. Frightening as that may be coming from a leader who’s supposed to protect us, I’ve discovered on my own another little frightening data point that I’d like to share with you.

Ordinarily the COVID-19 mortality stats for Monday are statistically low because of a lag in reporting over the weekend. That usually means they get caught up by Tuesday, and Tuesday usually makes for the biggest spike of the week. This week Tuesday gave us a very low 363 deaths where one would expect a thousand or more, and while that is certainly on its face a cause for celebration, I’m suspicious of that number. It doesn’t square with the number of cases spiking in red states right now.

I think Trump is asking red state governors to manipulate their mortality numbers so he will look better. I obviously have no proof of this, but how else does one account for the numbers? Trump is either asking them to do it directly, or they’re doing it out of sympathy for Trump. But he’s already admitted that he’s asked his staff to slow testing down. How much of a stretch is it to imagine him asking red state governors to fiddle with the numbers?

It’s important to remember that Donald Trump will stop at nothing to get re-elected. It’s important we never forget this, and that is why our unity against Trump must be our overarching mission. As Bill Kristol said, “Trump’s path to victory doesn’t depend on persuading Americans. It depends on voter suppression, mass disinformation, foreign interference, and unabashed use of executive branch power to shape events and perceptions this fall.”

Trump can and will use everything he has in his egregious arsenal to destroy America’s right to elect a different president. Say what you like about John Bolton, the anecdotes in his book certainly pass the sniff test. Everything he has to say about Trump is vintage Trump, including his claim that Trump begged Xi Jinping for help in winning the 2020 presidential election. Make no mistake, as long as Donald Trump has the reigns of power he is deadly dangerous.

Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor Robert Reich put it this way, “If you think Trump is on the ropes and will surely lose in November, think again. He will do anything to be reelected. Our side has limits because we believe in democracy. Trump has no limits because he doesn’t.”

Trump’s favorite preemptive strike against an election loss is to claim, in advance, that mail-in voting will lead to fraud. He knows only too well that, because many states deliberately make voting in person difficult in minority areas — and minorities overwhelmingly vote against Trump — mail-in ballots are often their only option. By continuing to suppress their mandate and deny them mail-in ballots, Trump hopes either to win the election or have a ready-made excuse of election fraud should he lose. Trump recently tweeted this:

Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history – unless this stupidity is ended. We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!

The image of Donald Trump emerging from Marine One Saturday night with defeat etched on his face is one of the most pitiful I have ever seen. But do not be deceived. He will come back and he will attack us with everything he has. We can win the election and still get four more years of Donald Trump, so we must not be complacent. A close win may not be enough, so we must win decisively. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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