With my coffee in the morning, I browse half a dozen newspapers on the old I-net plus half a dozen news sites found only online. Sip a little. Read a little. Sip a little more. Read a little more.
Then P-O-W! One headline stopped me cold. Never seen one like it. It read “Group Prepares for Chance Trump Refuses to Concede Election.”
Two teams of scholars, politicians, retired military and an assortment of others have been meeting - secretly - inventing and playing various scenarios the nation might face if Trump loses the November presidential election and won’t relinquish the White House.
Think about the headline and the above paragraph. Just quietly think about those words - what they mean - what they really mean. People accomplished in varying fields have been gaming what course of action other powers in our nation - unelected powers - should be called on if an American president won’t relinquish the office after losing an election.
The idea that such goings-on have been “going on” in our country is truly mind-blowing. That smart, well-educated, some militarily-trained minds would consider it necessary to participate in such protracted exercises is damned near un-American!
The idea that such goings-on have been “going on” in our country is truly mind-blowing. That smart, well-educated, militarily-trained minds would consider it necessary to participate in such protracted exercises is damned near un-American!
What the Hell is going on? Have we become a “banana republic?” Are we living under a dictatorship - much as Trump wishes so? Is the powerful verdict of our voting franchise - the most valuable prize of citizenship - in danger of being brushed aside?
Then, as I calmed down to ponder, I continued looking at the computer screen. And I was thunder-struck again? P-O-W! Again!
Here’s what I read on just one page, one news site on one day.
“Trump’s election tweet shows a frightened narcissist afraid of losing.”
"The people who must stop Trump’s assault on voting.”
“Trump’s trashing democracy ripples beyond America.”
“Trump’s a narcissist afraid of losing.”
“Obama warns Trump’s actions threaten democracy.”
“Trump’s own intelligence officers contradict his repeated claims of mail-in voter fraud”
“USPS workers warn of new Trump policies (that will) affect voting by mail.”
One news site - one day. Just one.
Out of curiosity, I back-checked a month of reporting - and resultant headlines - on the same subject. On the same site. I found 97 mostly negative headlines about Trump, most sounding just like these examples. On just one news site. Not including a single headline from dozens of others.
Such is the state of our presidency at this moment. Such is the state of our politics at this moment. Such is the deep concern of former military leaders, scholars and a handful of politicians - that we could be facing anarchy.
The election is 93 days from today. Inauguration day - the day to transfer the mantle of the presidency is 79 days after that. A total of 172 days away. A little less than six months.
What sorts of headlines will be produced in those 172 days about our nation’s politics? About Trump? About barriers to our voting process?
One could also seriously ask, “What kind(s) of violence on our national political scene will develop?” Because, there are hints of an expansion of the violence already in our streets.
Casting a huge, black pall over all this is the pandemic - COVID-19. Because of Trump’s inaction when warned the coronavirus was coming - because of his ongoing interference as cases and deaths mount - and because he’s now seemingly turned his back on current COVID-related events - he’s firmly tied together the pandemic and politics. Or, in his mind, politics first and pandemic second.
There’s only one political body that can check/stop Trump. The U.S. Senate. More accurately, Republicans in the U.S. Senate. But, because they hold a single digit majority - because they’ve spent the last three years refusing to respond to his outrageous and impeached behavior - because they’ve acted as a rubber stamp for Trump - he’s had free reign to rip and tear at the foundations of our national political and economic societies.
Now, hours later, I’ve re-read - and re-read - the facts of the “secret,” high-level scenario activity. Looked more deeply at both the reasoning for the assemblage and the qualifications of the “players.” And looked at some of the work they’ve done. The current president’s behavior has been continual lying and disloyalty to the oath he took over three years ago, so much so it was deemed necessary by these exceptional Americans to convene. It’s still a shock to hear about plans of action being made in case our current president is the first in history to disregard the will of the people and transfer power to his legitimately elected replacement.
I wrote several months ago about the possibility of Trump becoming a squatter in the White House if he loses the election. I wrote about the subject but offered no solution because the constitutional issues involved - not to mention the physical security affects - were far beyond my ken. What the hell would happen? Who would do what? When?
I have no idea if that scholarly group has devised a concrete plan of action, what that action would be and who would conduct the details in the event in such an explosive situation.
Just the fact that some highly qualified folks have found it necessary to “war game” such a topic is surprising. Then I looked back on those headlines. From one source. On one day. And the other negative - but factual - reporting found on that same site. In 30 days.
A former president unwilling to step back in the face of an elective loss. That’s damned frightening, my friends.
What the hell has happened to us?