President Trump on the South Lawn.
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Make no mistake: President Trump is looking to incite more chaos by calling to delay the federal election.

In the mad, chaotic, corrupting, crazy, nonsensical, exhausting, norm-busting, dishonest world of Donald Trump, it is often difficult to keep perspective and it is often difficult to retain any outrage about something Trump does or says. But as another week of Trump comes to a close—a week full of his lies and misdirections on coronavirus, a week that saw America’s death count hit 153,000, and a week that showed the American economy shrunk more than it ever has before in history—don’t lose sight of this: The President of the United States this week purposefully undermined the legitimacy of an upcoming American election. Full stop. I mean, just think about that. Be outraged by that. Because it’s not right, and it’s not at all normal.

It began with a tweet yesterday morning in which Donald Trump suggested delaying the election. Yes, you read that right. The President of the United States yesterday actually suggested that we delay the November 3 election. He based his suggestion on his oft-repeated lie that mail-in voting will lead to rampant voter fraud, thereby causing this year’s election to be, —in his words—the “most fraudulent, rigged election in American history.” Studies have shown that states like Oregon have seen less than 14 cases of fraud in 22 years of voting by mail. 

That tweet, and the outrageous suggestion to delay the election dominated the news cycle the entire day. Damn near every Republican Member of Congress was forced to weigh in, and the collective media head was spinning all day and all night long. Donald Trump used his press conference to double down on his suggestion and riffed for almost 30 minutes again on how fraudulent mail-in voting is (it’s not) and how his only reason for even suggesting we delay the election is because he’s so concerned about voter fraud.

But as we wrap up another week, and as we inch closer to the election, it’s important to not get lost down another Donald Trump rabbit hole. We should instead stay focused on what matters—and when it comes to Trump’s ugly, dangerous, and un-American suggestion to delay the election that means remembering there is no bottom with Donald Trump. Just when you think he’s said something beyond the pale, he’ll say something worse. He will do and say anything to get himself re-elected. I mean, we’re talking about a President who got himself impeached because he apparently pressured a foreign government to help him win the 2016 election.

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Even more ominously, Donald Trump will say and do anything to delegitimize the upcoming election. The only reason that he suggested we delay, is the same reason he constantly talks about the problems with mail-in voting, and the same reason he regularly says that this election will be rigged. He’s trying to delegitimize the election, call into question the election results, compel his supporters not to accept the election results, get them sufficiently pissed off, and ultimately, incite his supporters to get violent. 

Yes, that’s really bad. Heck, it was difficult to even write. 

Most of us can’t imagine that a President would do such a thing. That our President would purposely undermine our elections. That our President would lie about an election to incite violence. But, I mean, we’re talking about a President who sent unidentified federal agents in combat gear into an American city a few weeks ago to purposely provoke and incite violence. That same President would not hesitate to incite his supporters to get violent and not accept the results of the November election.

And of all those Senate Republicans who had microphones thrust into their faces yesterday, and of all of the other Trump defenders out there yesterday, the best excuses they could offer were—”He was just joking; he was just distracting from the bad economic news; he just wanted to see the media go on another wild chase; and, relax…he doesn’t have the authority to delay the election.” 

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I don’t care if he was joking. I don’t care if it was just a distraction from the news of the worst economic quarter in American history. It was wrong. and it was a dangerous thing to suggest. And I also really don’t care that he doesn’t have the authority to delay the election. The President of the United States also doesn’t have the authority to jail every registered Democrat in America, but my God, what if he suggested such a thing in a tweet? People would be rightly outraged. 

And people should be equally outraged by his suggestion to delay the election. It’s never happened before in American history. We’ve held elections through world wars and our own Civil War—in fact, that’s where voting by mail began. For the President to suggest such a thing is wrong. It’s un-American. It’s the kind of thing a dictator would suggest. And it must be strongly condemned by every American who loves this country and believes in our Constitution. I’m not a Democrat, but any Congressional Republican who doesn’t condemn what the President said, deserves to lose in November.

Finally, as you head off to another weekend and try to find some peace in these very difficult days, remember this: This is just the latest example of Donald Trump only caring about Donald Trump. He doesn’t give a damn about you, he doesn’t give a damn about me, and he doesn’t give a damn about America. No President who cared about this country would purposely undermine the legitimacy of our elections. No President who cared about this country would purposely incite his supporters to violence. That’s exactly what Donald Trump did this week. And he’ll do it again. Because he doesn’t give a damn about America.