President Donald Trump has been claiming that Democrats will do everything they can to promote voter fraud and rig the 2020 election in their favor. And according to an article written by journalist David Siders and published in Politico on Memorial Day 2020, Democrats fear that Trump — by making that claim — could be setting the deeply polarized United States up for a period of post-election chaos.
“Trump’s increasingly amped-up rhetoric surrounding the integrity of the November election is beginning to bring to center stage a previously muted conversation,” Siders reports. “With the president lagging behind Joe Biden in public opinion polls six months before the general election, his opponents are becoming increasingly anxious that Trump may attempt to undermine the results of the election if he loses — or worse, might attempt to cling to power regardless of the outcome.”
On Sunday, May 24, Trump tweeted, “The Democrats are trying to Rig the 2020 Election, plain and simple!” And attorney Vanita Gupta, who headed the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama, told Politico that such rhetoric will give Trump a chance to question the election results if he loses to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee: former Vice President Joe Biden.
Gupta asserted, “He is planting the seeds for delegitimizing the election if he loses…. It’s from the playbook. It’ll get more intense as he gets more freaked out.”
Another fear expressed by some Democrats is that Trump will try to find a way to extend his presidency beyond an eight-year limit. Former Democratic Rep. David Skaggs told Politico, “It’s one of those things that I think has a very low probability, but a very high risk. So even though I don’t think it’s likely to eventuate into some kind of intervention at the state level by the president.… there’s still some chance of that. And therefore, it’s wise to take it seriously.”
Democratic strategist Pete Giangreco believes that Trump’s claims of a rigged election in favor of Democrats is symptomatic of his “autocrat playbook.”
Giangreco told Politico, “He’s already set the stage to say it’s rigged. This is part of the Trump autocrat playbook…. There’s no way this guy’s going to win the popular vote, and it’s at least 50-50 he’s going to lose the electoral college. So, he’s got to come up with something else.”
Bob Bauer, Biden’s personal lawyer, asserted that Trump “may well resort to any kind of trick, ploy or scheme he can in order to hold onto his presidency.”
Les Francis, who served as deputy White House chief of staff under President Jimmy Carter, warns that Trump is more dangerous than President Richard Nixon — who, Francis explained, made an “institutional decision” to resign in August 1974. But Trump, Francis noted, has a very different mindset.
Francis told Politico, “One thing we know about Trump, for sure, is he’s not an institutionalist by any stretch of the imagination…. I don’t think there’s any depth to which he will not go. I don’t think there are any rules that he thinks apply to him. As his behavior grows worse, I think people become more alarmed at the possibilities.”