My Facebook feed remains alive with those who are convinced that Donald J. Trump will win the election via making it more difficult to vote, e.g., by shutting down the U.S. Post Office and/or discouraging voting by mail. Donald Trump is literally Hitler and nobody will vote against him unless voting is extremely convenient.
Some New York Times articles:
- “The Power Trump Can Wield Like a Dictator” (February 12, 2020! Who knew that, just a month later, state governors would be suspending what had been thought to be Constitutional rights!)
- “The Most Dangerous Phase of Trump’s Rule; His threat to democracy is nothing to laugh at.” (July 10, 2020)
- “Branding Trump a Danger, Democrats Cap the Case for His Removal” (January 24, 2020)
- “America’s Aspiring Autocrat Is in the Home Stretch. How Worried Should We Be? Beware a despot when he’s cornered.” (June 21, 2020)
- “Is Donald Trump a Fascist?” (September 11, 2018)
- “If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the U.S., You Should Be” (October 15, 2018); this one makes me nostalgic for a time when Americans were scared about something other than COVID-19! (NYT put together a video in which Trump’s head is placed on Nazi-uniformed bodies in some old photos)
- “Fascism, American Style” (August 28, 2017, Paul Krugman)
In other words, Trump is the biggest danger to the U.S. in the history of U.S. politics. But if lines at the polling station are longer than usual, Democrats, who are smart enough to recognize Trump as the dictator he is, will simply walk away. “Yes, Trump is a dictator and the U.S. is turning into Nazi Germany, but I can’t spare a whole hour or take a 1 in 100,000 risk of contracting coronaplague to save democracy.”
(Conundrum: if masks work, why is there any risk at all in masked adults gathering in a wide-open polling place? if masks don’t work, why are we demanding that elementary school children wear them?)
At least for the moment, I am not interested in the truth of these propositions. I am just fascinated by how it is possible for people to believe that (1) a second term for Trump will cement a U.S. descent into a dictatorship, and (2) the people who recognize this will not bother to vote against the dictator if there is any obstacle in their path.