Monday, March 30, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He came out against making it easier for Americans to vote, if it's against him.

Trump sought out the relatively friendly territory of Fox and Friends for a phone interview this morning. It may have seemed politically necessary, after an unsettling press conference yesterday in which he moved the goalposts for the number of dead Americans he'd consider evidence of a "very good job" from zero to 100,000. (He also accused medical staff in pandemic hot zones of stealing emergency equipment and reselling it on the black market.)

A viewer wrote in with a question about "special interests" in the pandemic relief bills. Unprompted, Trump took the opportunity to complain about a provision Democrats had wanted to put in the latest relief bill that would help states do mail-in voting and protect Americans' rights to cast absentee ballots in November. He said:

The things they had in there were crazy. Uh, they had things, levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again. They had things in there about, uh, you know, election days, and what you do, and, uh, all sorts of, uh, clawbacks.

Several primary elections have already been postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the federal election in November can't be moved. 

Trump seems to be assuming that mail-in ballots would be cast disproportionately against him, although there's no evidence to support that

He didn't offer any other reason (besides his fear he wouldn't be re-elected) why registered American voters shouldn't be allowed to vote absentee during a disease outbreak. 

Why is this a bad thing?

  • Voting in a democracy isn't supposed to depend on whether the ruling party thinks it can trust you to re-elect it.
  • The health and safety of Americans is more important than Donald Trump's campaign strategy.
  • A president who doesn't think Americans would vote for him if they had the chance should probably try to change what he's doing, instead of trying to keep them from voting.a