McGrath: You Can’t Care about the Constitution and Vote for Trump

President+Donald+Trump+%28Courtesy+Flickr%29

President Donald Trump (Courtesy Flickr)

By Mackenzie McGrath, Opinion Writer

 

From Donald Trump’s creation of the US Space Force to his arranging a $130,000 hush payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels (more than he paid in federal income taxes in 2016), the last four years have been memorable to say the least. And now, less than a month from the 2020 election, Trump has caused quite the commotion. With new revelations about his tax avoidance, his refusal to denounce white supremacists and his tendency to start controversies for the hell of it, it’s clearer than ever that he does not deserve Americans’ trust or our votes. In fact, his end of term antics prove he is dangerous to democracy and unfit to lead for another day, much less another four years.

First let’s address the large, illegal elephant in the room: new reports on Trump’s taxes show he’s been evading taxes and losing money for years. He paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both the year of his election and his first year in office. Nothing like realizing you, a tax independent college student, paid more in federal taxes than the president of the United States. During the recent presidential debate, Trump deflected all questions regarding the issue, and his party remains silent.

Even more concerning, though, is Trump’s attitude toward voting this election season. As author Ibram X. Kendi tweeted after the debate, “The Trump campaign is hardly focused on winning over voters. The Trump campaign sees only one path to victory: Voter Suppression.”

Trump relies on mass manipulation and the circulation of fear and conspiracy theories to suppress votes. His most recent tactic of condemning mail-in ballots is causing Republicans to be “more skeptical than ever” of vote-by-mail processes. “There’s going to be massive attempts at fraud,” one Arizona Trump supporter told the New York Times. “There are so many illegals that have the names of dead people, and they’re voting on those ballots.” In reality, voter fraud is extremely rare. In the last two general elections, only .0025% of votes were fraudulent — a number far too small to make a difference in who wins. I also find it funny that the president’s campaign strategy is to encourage people to not trust government systems and processes, when his party controls the majority in Congress and the Supreme Court. It’s almost like he knows his cabinet, party and Congress can’t be trusted.

As a guest on his favorite talk show, Fox & Friends, this past March, Trump discussed his concerns with increasing voter access. “The things they had in there were crazy,” referring to Democrats’ plan to mandate early voting timelines for all states and expand access to voting by mail as part of a COVID-19 stimulus bill. “They had levels of voting that if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” This man is admitting to suppressing votes because the system disenfranchising millions of Americans is a system that helps him and his party win.

In response to a question regarding mail-in ballots and his possible successor, Trump has said, “There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.” He has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of mail-in voting and suggested he might not accept the results of the election if he loses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has responded by stating there will be a transfer of power to whomever is elected in 2020. Republican voters, don’t you find it alarming that your party can’t even stand behind their president’s thinly veiled threats?

Another Trump supporter, Alan Knight, recently explained Trump’s justification for a non-peaceful transition to the New York Times: “He’s going to wait and see whether it was an honest election before handing over power.” Have Trump supporters forgotten that he was impeached for pressuring Ukraine to unearth damaging information on Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election while withholding $400 million of promised military aid from Ukraine? Or that Trump shouted in a summer rally that he will seek a third term in office if re-elected due to his campaign being “spied on”?

In reference to the possibility that Trump will refuse to leave office, Senate Majority Whip John Thune has stated that “Republicans believe in the rule of law and we believe in the Constitution. And that’s what dictates our election process.” But do they really? It’s impossible to suppose the entire GOP has been misinformed about a president who routinely defies democracy and justice. We’re in the emotionally exhausting thick of the information age; there’s no excuse for voters to claim a belief in the Constitution and then vote for Trump in this election.

 

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@kenziemcg