WASHINGTON: For the second day running US President
declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November 3 presidential elections, raising the spectre of a political trainwreck in
, and in a more fearful scenario, apprehensions about the end of
and the birth of a dictatorship.
servile Republican Senators
and the White House spokesperson who made feeble attempts to assert there would be an orderly transfer of power, Trump again insisted that voting in the November 3 elections would be a “big scam” and a “horror show” and that Democrats would rig the election, providing little evidence to back the assertion.
“We want to make sure the election is honest, and I’m not sure that it can be,” Trump told reporters at the White House, doubling down on his constant effort to denigrate the US electoral process, specifically mail-in ballots, even though a task force that studied the issue found that instance of fraud is minuscule to the point of being negligible — 1,285 proven cases nationwide or about 0.0006 per cent
Amid growing alarm in political circles, some Republican lawmakers tried to calm voters, with Senate Majority Leader
tweeting “The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition just as there have been every four years since 1792.”
The winner of the November 3rd election will be inaugurated on January 20th. There will be an orderly transition ju… https://t.co/wz7gmWgLuZ
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) 1600955166000
But reports also emerged of the modus operandi Trump operatives are lining up to steal the election: Claim victory on November 3 on the basis of early leads they are expected to establish in some battleground states; call halt to counting and gridlock the full counting of mail-in ballots with litigation, and win the election with judicial intervention from courts that are stacked with Trump/Republican-appointed conservatives.
While Democrats and liberals are hollering about a Trump coup plot, the US President has been absolutely transparent about the political heist he is planning through the judiciary. “We need nine justices. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they’re sending, it’s a scam, it’s a hoax. Everybody knows that. And the Democrats know it better than anybody else. So you’re going to need nine justices up there,” Trump asserted, even though absentee and mail-in voting has been endorsed by expert studies and Trump himself has used it.
Meanwhile, reports are emerging of the political strategy Trump surrogates are adopting to steal the election should they be losing. There is a reason why the US President is always sworn in on January 20, the constitutionally dedicated inauguration day every four years. It is to allow the election process to work its way through. Although Election Day is always on “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month” in November every four years, the formal results are actually declared officially only in January. It is only by convention that “results” are “called” on Election Day by the media – a norm that was born after the emergence of radio and TV newscasts in the 1920s.
Before that, it took electors of the electoral college — who formally vote for the President to reflect the popular vote — several days and weeks to ride to Washington DC before the advent of automobiles and airplanes. The electors are chosen and certified by the Secretary of State in each state and they go to the capital to pledge their fealty to the candidate who won the popular vote in the state.
This is because the nationwide popular vote on Election Day is not so consequential in electing the President as the electors who comprise the electoral college. Each state has a set number of electors or electoral votes and a candidate who wins a state gets all its electoral votes under a winner-take-all system.
As per the current timetable, members of the electoral college are scheduled to meet in state capitals on December 14 to formally vote for the presidential candidate who has won the popular vote in each state on November 3 and then meet in Washington DC on January 6 for the formal announcement of the result in the House of Representatives. According to the “Trump plot” first reported in sections of the media, the President’s surrogates in six
governed by Republicans plan to declare Trump the winner of the popular vote in litigious aftermath of November 3 and send loyalist electors to Washington to confirm their vote for the President.
All this is premised on the assumption that Trump is losing the elections. Most polls show him behind Biden, including in many battleground states.