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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

5 Tuesdays to Go: Eight Key Reasons a Second Trump Term Would Demolish Democracy

Five Tuesdays before the Nov. 3 election, not many voters still are struggling to reach their decision in the presidential contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

In fact, as the two prepare to face off in the first presidential debate a few hours from now, fewer than one in six voters, Politico reports, say that anything that happens in the event could lead them to change their minds:

"There are few voters who have yet to decide between Trump and BIden, polls show. According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted just before the debate, 86 percent of voters said their mind was made up about for whom they will vote, while just 14 percent said they could change their mind. Among Biden voters, 93 percent say their minds are made up, while 89 percent of Trump voters say they won’t change their minds."

Amid the steady state shape of a race that has remained remarkably stable for months (Biden currently holds a familiar six-point lead in the Real Clear Politics average of national polling) it is all but certain that Trump in the 35 days between now and Election Day will become more desperate, not only in his ongoing efforts to delegitimize the balloting, but also in tryng to use the full force of the federal government (don't be surprised by an October Surprise emanating from the U.S. Justice Department) to disrupt and alter the frame of the campaign.

As a practical matter, the chaos, confusion and craziness that Trump has generated non-stop for nearly four years makes it easy, among the latest daily outrage or scandal, to lose sight of the most substantive and consequential damage he has inflicted on the nation -- from poisoning domestic political discourse and befouling America's image in the world to disfiguring our system of checks and balances and corrupting the functions of government in a bid to serve his own personal and political interests.

In a remarkable series of eight editorials, collectively titled "Our Democracy in Peril," the Washington Post recently produced a deep dive into the most far-reaching and momentous abuses, affronts and injuries Trump has inflicted in just a few years. Incorporating and recasting the more than 20,000 Trumps lies its reporting staff has catalogued since his inauguration, the 9,387 word series presents a chilling forecast of what a second term would augur, underscoring the extraordinarily high stakes of the 2020 election.

Some key excerpts:

  • "There was a time, during the election year of 2016, when it was still possible — barely — to suppose that actual possession of the presidency, and its awesome responsibility, might temper Mr. Trump. That is obviously false now. Patriotic Cabinet members and staff who agreed to serve in his administration early on with similar hopes have long since quit or been dismissed. What surround the president now are apologists, reduced to explaining away his offensive words and deeds, when they don’t ignore them. This includes a long list of Republican senators who have themselves been the target of his venom in the past, but were subsequently brought to heel...

  • "(B)eyond the low unemployment rate he gained and lost, history will record Mr. Trump’s presidency as a march of wanton, uninterrupted, tragic destruction. America’s standing in the world, loyalty to allies, commitment to democratic values, constitutional checks and balances, faith in reason and science, concern for Earth’s health, respect for public service, belief in civility and honest debate, beacon to refugees in need, aspirations to equality and diversity and basic decency — Mr. Trump torched them all...

  • "'Drain the swamp' was a signature promise of Donald Trump’s first campaign: He would uproot corruption from the capital and install a government that served ordinary Americans, not the special interests. That pledge has not merely gone unmet, like most of his campaign promises. It has been shattered by a president and an administration unprecedented and unapologetic in their mingling of public and private interests. In an unfettered second term, the self-dealing would be epic...

  • "This is a president who does not so much govern the country as harass it....

  • "Mr. Trump has made clear that he believes “my generals,” the Justice Department and the rest of U.S. government are there to serve his private and personal interests. If voters do not take their government back, they can expect it to have been remade into a second Trump Organization four years from now...

  • "Americans have long been taught that the U.S. political system has effective checks and balances. But in the past years, a frightening truth has emerged. Much of that balance has depended on the good character of the president, and there are surprisingly few ways to check a malign president from abusing the enormous powers of his office. Mr. Trump is committed to using those powers for his own personal ends, and he has slowly but surely chipped away at any limitations. How many would remain after four more years?...

  • "Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has waged a relentless campaign to discredit the institutions that seek to disseminate truth and discredit false stories, especially the U.S. intelligence community and the news media. Thoroughly documented intelligence reports on Russia’s interventions in U.S. politics, including the current election campaign, are, he says, 'a hoax' conjured by a 'deep state.' Media revelations of corruption and malfeasance in his administration are 'fake news'...

  • "He has not grown into the office; instead, he has learned how to more effectively abuse its powers. The damage of a second term might be irreparable."


Images: NBC News;; Logo for the Washington Post's editorial series "Our Democracy in Peril."

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