To the editor:
On the morning of Thursday, July 30, President Donald Trump published what may be the most consequential tweet of his presidency to date. This is what he wrote:
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
With 11 words, he floated the idea that the November election should be postponed until he, the president, is satisfied that the election will be fair.
Think about that for a moment.
Never in our nation’s history has a presidential election been postponed for any reason. Elections are a sacred part of our democracy. It is not the right of one man — regardless of his job title — to advocate the destruction of our democratic process. When that man happens to be the incumbent president who senses he may lose that election, the idea takes on a profoundly ominous character.
We Democrats have known all along that Trump wants to be president for life — that is, a dictator. His tweet comes as no surprise to us, and, predictably, Democratic voices are united in condemning his naked grab for power.
But the fate of our democracy does not lie with the Democrats alone. We may control the House of Representatives, but the Party of Trump controls the Senate and the Executive Branch, including the departments of Justice and Defense. In order to stop Trump’s dictatorial ambitions — which are now well documented—responsible Republicans must step up and clearly say, “No!”
I can hear the responses from some on the right: “It’s just a tweet. He doesn’t really mean it.” Or, “He’s just trying to make a point about fair elections.” No! He means exactly what he says. If we have learned one thing about Donald Trump in his public life, it’s that he will never concede. He will win at any cost. The only question is, how many Republicans are willing to destroy the American system of democracy to prop up their guy?
Alarm bells are ringing loudly. Silence is complicity. To save our nation, each and every patriotic American needs to say, with clarity and conviction, “We will defend our democracy!”