By JOHN KANELIS / firstname.lastname@example.org
I am trying to understand the irony of Donald Trump’s assertion that a Joe Biden victory will come only if the election in November is “rigged.” The ironic richness is beyond belief.
The Russian government interfered in our 2016 presidential election. Its aim was to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Russians intended to sow confusion and suspicion in our sacred electoral system.
Think of it! The guy the Russians wanted to win four years ago is now doing the Russians’ work for them! The president of the United States is asserting that Joe Biden can win only if the election is rigged.
Trump doesn’t provide a scintilla of proof of what he suggests would occur. Yet he is now mounting a prejudicial campaign against an electoral system he took an oath to protect and defend. Yes, think also of that … if you dare.
The presidential oath contains a clause that compels the nation’s head of state to protect the very system that puts him in office. The U.S. Constitution undergirds the entire process. Yet the president is now threatening some unspecified action to challenge the results of a free and fair election if it doesn’t produce the result he prefers.
I keep circling back to what happened in 2016. You heard him encourage the Russians to search for Hillary Clinton’s missing e-mails, right? The Russian government led by Vladimir Putin commenced its attack on our system that very day. At Trump’s invitation! Was the 2016 election rigged? Did it produce an electoral result that was, shall we say, illegitimate?
So now we have arrived in the here and now. Donald Trump, having benefited in some fashion from foreign interference in the previous election, is threatening to undermine the results of the next presidential election. He bases his threat on allegations he cannot prove. He is sowing the same seeds of doubt that his Russian benefactors did four years ago.
The irony is rich. It’s also dangerous.