Many analysts reject the idea, dismissing the possibility that Trump will be able to ‘steal’ the presidential election in November this year. They consider it -literally- insane for even the most articulate president in U.S. history. Finally, he has acknowledged it himself, in a -sharp, brilliant, and punctual- interview with Chris Wallace, on Fox News, Trump stated that he does not commit to accepting the election result.
Warning lights throughout the U.S. electoral and legal system An incumbent president – a prime candidate for a second term – publicly declares that if the result is adverse to him, he will “evaluate” his position.
There is no precedent of this in U.S. political history. Mexico, however, has a long history in this area before the IFE/INE (National Electoral Institute), existed due to the State Party (PRI) committing electoral fraud incessantly. We know what candidates mean when they say that their position will depend on the performance of the day. But in the United States, this is unprecedented.
Some even claim that the outlook is so bleak for Trump that they point he might be throwing in the towel and retiring early. He is seen to be lost, confused, with ‘half-gas’ rallies, with speeches without the punch and competitive edge that characterizes him. But as his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen, with whom he later distanced himself and had to plead guilty before the law, said: “The hard part won’t be surviving the Trump presidency, the hard part will be getting him out.”
Worrying signs of a possible apparatus of electoral disregard, fraud, or infiltration appear every day.
The first is the war against absentee voting, a custom in the United States that opens the door to many voters unable to go to the polls, many overseas residents, and many more who anticipate their decision to avoid riots rallies. All the polls that give Joe Biden a clear lead of up to 15 or 17 points in some states indicate that more voters participate in a ballot by sending in their mail ballots, and the higher the turnout, the less likely Trump is to be re-elected, so he is strongly opposed.
Another sign that has been present for a year now is the redesign of electoral districts. That is, redrawing the electoral map, to designate nuclei of Republican voters in those districts with a clear Democratic tendency. With it, they modify the inclination of the district. They load the balance towards the Republican side and, they approach to win in the final results—the more districts in their favor, the more electoral votes in the final tally on Election Day.
No one rules out that a consistent electronic infiltration campaign may reappear in these elections, as -the FBI’s extensive record proves- Russian intelligence achieved in 2016 by pushing Trump to victory. Congress rejected the establishment of greater controls and defense programs for the electoral system and the social networks of millions of citizens.
A further sign appeared this weekend when Trump threatened to send troops to those cities governed by the Democrats, because of their resistance to implementing economic reopenings with the pandemic out of control and the numerous social protests against racism. The threat could become a reality and add an ingredient of fear and militarization of urban centers like Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and many others.
The democratic character of the American Union is at risk, due to the threats of a deranged president, in the face of the sum of adverse scenarios: the economic, the electoral, the political, due to the collapse of his administration and the general discredit of his government.
That is why conspiracy sympathizers do not invent the warning lights; Trump is perfectly capable of derailing the process, ignoring the elections, accusing Biden and the Democrats of fraud, as long as he remains in the White House.
With four months to go, any foolish idea may be feasible, from an invasion – Venezuela may be the best candidate for a larger-scale armed conflict like Iran or some other enemy.
As the weeks go by, the risk increases because the numbers of polls and surveys are not favorable to him, and his limited scope for action in the face of the pandemic and restrictions on public events weaken his campaign.
For El Financiero
Leonardo Kourchenko has been a writer, producer, broadcaster, reporter, correspondent and special envoy for print, radio and television. He is a professor, lecturer and contributor to newspapers in the USA and Latin America.