Trump's mail-in voting falsehoods are part of a wide campaign to discredit the election
Aug 06, 2020 3 mins, 16 secs
Trump is casting false accusations of massive fraud in mail-in voting, though has now reversed his position on the practice in must-win Florida, leaving the absurd impression it's only fair in states with Republican governors.

"I'm doing our country a big favor by bringing it up, and you know, from a common sense standpoint, if you look at it just out of common sense and pure basic beautiful intelligence -- you know it can't work," Trump said Wednesday.

Trump has baselessly claimed that the result of the November 3 vote will not be known for "years" -- apparently seeking to discredit in advance an election that polls suggest he is currently losing to Democrat Joe Biden.

His campaign has now also initiated a new attempt to wring advantage from the customary arrangements for three presidential debates, after laying false claims that Biden wants to opt out.

After all, the President made inaccurate claims of massive voter fraud in the popular vote in the election that he won in 2016.

The evidence in the impeachment trial strongly suggested that the President used his power in an attempt to coerce a foreign power into interfering in the election based on false claims of corruption against Biden.

And as President, Trump has relentlessly attacked institutions that have held him to account and countered his false narratives, including the courts, the press, US intelligence agencies and independent government watchdogs.

If he loses power in such circumstances, Trump's tactics could sow a sense of grievance and disenfranchisement among his voters that would shatter his successors' attempts to forge unity and could damage US democracy for years ahead.

A politically motivated reversal

The President introduced a new caveat to his opposition to mail-in voting on Wednesday that may reflect concern among Republicans that he risks suppressing his own vote in several tight swing states.

If the system is up and running in a state with a Republican, and presumably pro-Trump governor, it's fine.

This is a time to go with the tried and true, and in Arizona, our system works very well."

The President has made multiple false claims about fraud in mail-in voting.

He has warned that the process is vulnerable to forgery and that ballots will be illegally printed and fraudulently signed and that foreign powers will find it easy to inject millions of false voting papers into the system.

US intelligence officials last week discounted the possibility that foreign nations could flood the election with fake ballots.

There is little evidence that mail-in voting is any more susceptible to fraud than any other kind of voting.

Instead, it has been congressional Democrats along with a few Republicans who have pushed to increase funding for the election in stimulus bills.

The President has tweeted that there is no way that the Post Office could "handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation."

But the agency said in a statement on Monday that it had "ample" capacity to meet projected election demand.

The appointment of a Trump loyalist, Louis DeJoy, to head the agency was a warning flare for Democrats.

But it also featured several Fox anchors known for friendly treatment of the President, such as Maria Bartiromo and radio host Hugh Hewitt, who just penned a strongly pro-Trump op-ed in The Washington Post.

This gambit prepared the way to falsely paint other potential mainstream moderators who have exposed Trump's lies as biased -- and to therefore lessen the possibility the President will be held accountable in debates.

Once, again, as with the campaign against mail-in voting, and the potential use of the people's house -- the White House -- as a political backdrop, the Trump campaign appears to be pushing for advantage outside reasonable limits.

There is a clear attempt to erode the arrangements that have guaranteed a peaceful transfer of power for generations, and to offer him a way out should his own hyperbolic predictions of success not materialize.

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