The Washington Post’s motto is “Democracy Dies In Darkness.”
So the once-great newspaper is busy spreading darkness.
In a new piece headlined, “Democrats may not trust the results of the election if Trump wins,” the paper sets out the made-up concerns about “what would happen if President Donald Trump loses the November election and refuses to concede.”
But writer Richard L. Hasen, the chancellor’s professor of law and political science at the University of California at Irvine, says there’s another worry that “looms almost as large and gets far less attention: Would Democrats and others on the left accept the presidential results as legitimate if Trump wins? There’s reason to believe they might not – and there are steps Trump and others could take now to bolster his legitimacy if he wins in November. It starts by making sure we have a fair vote.”
While the below reads like an article from The Onion, we promise it’s real:
It’s easy to come up with a scenario where Trump ekes out a narrow victory in states like Georgia and Florida but Democrats blame Georgia voter suppression and the fight to keep former felons from voting in Florida as the reason for Trump’s victory. A democracy depends upon the losers believing the election was mostly fair and agreeing to fight another day, rather than engage in protests and attempts to stop an unfairly chosen leader from serving. If one side sees the other side as consistently cheating, the very premise of democracy is undermined.
This year, the grounds for Democrats to fear an illegitimate election have only increased. The coronavirus pandemic has upended normal voting plans. Election officials have faced delays in running primaries and been forced to close or consolidate polling places because of lack of available space and adequate workers – who are often older Americans, the people most susceptible to the novel coronavirus. During the April 7 Wisconsin primary, 175 out of 180 Milwaukee polling places were shuttered after Republicans in the state legislature refused to delay the election despite the pandemic.
Many voters have naturally planned to vote by mail in November where allowed, because that presents a safer way to cast a ballot during a pandemic and avoids potentially long polling-place lines. But Trump has repeatedly raised unsubstantiated claims of fraud connected to mail-in ballots, and he appointed a crony to head the U.S. Postal Service, which must deliver the ballots to voters (and return those ballots that voters put in the mail rather than a drop box or a polling place). Delays in delivering the mail, thanks in part to a management-labor dispute at the Postal Service, have convinced many that Trump is deliberately trying to delay the mailing and return of ballots.
And Hasen wraps up with this:
I don’t hold out hope that Trump is going to take the steps necessary in the next two months to bolster the confidence of all voters in the fairness and integrity of the process. Quite the opposite. But if he doesn’t, and then he wins again and large portions of the population don’t accept his victory as legitimate – something Trump has consistently complained about since the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election began – he will have only himself to blame this time.
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