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Here is Trump’s desperate and dangerous 2020 election strategy in 25 steps

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Trump will do anything to be re-elected. His opponents are limited because they believe in democracy. Trump has no limits because he doesn’t.

Here’s Trump’s re-election playbook, in 25 simple steps:

1. Declare yourself above the law.

2. Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs”, “lowlife” and “rioters and looters”. Describe Covid-19 as “Kung-Flu”. Retweet posts from white supremacists. In your campaign ads, use a symbol associated with Nazis.

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3. Appoint an attorney general more loyal to you than to America, and politicize the Department of Justice so it’s lenient on your loyalists and comes down hard on your enemies. Have it lighten the sentence of a crony convicted of lying under oath. Order investigations of industries you dislike.

4. Fire US attorneys who are investigating you.

5. Fire independent inspectors general who are looking into what you’ve done. Crush any whistleblowers you find.

6. Demean and ignore the intelligence community. Appoint a director of national intelligence more loyal to you than to America. Demand that the head of the FBI pledge loyalty to you.

7. Pack the federal courts with judges and justices more loyal to you than to the constitution.

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8. Politicize the Department of Defense so generals will back whatever you order. Refer to them as “my generals”. Have them help clear out protesters. Order the military to surveil protesters. Tell governors you’ll bring in the military to stop protesters.

9. Purge your party of anyone disloyal to you and turn it into a mindless, brainless, spineless cult.

10. Get rid of accumulated experience and expertise in government. Demean career public servants. Hollow out the state department, the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, and public health.

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11. Reward donors and cronies with bailouts, tax breaks, subsidies, government contracts, regulatory rollbacks and plum jobs. Put their lobbyists in charge of your agencies. Distribute $500bn in pandemic assistance to corporations in secret, without any oversight.

12. Coddle dictators. Don’t criticize their human rights abuses. Refuse to work with the leaders of other democracies. Withdraw from international treaties.

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13. Create scapegoats. Demonize migrants and lock up asylum-seekers at the border even if they’re children. Put a white nationalist in charge of immigration policy. Blame Muslims, Mexicans and Chinese.

14. Denigrate and ridicule all critics. Describe opponents as “human scum”. Attack the mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.

15. Conjure up conspiracies against yourself supposedly led by your predecessor and your opponent in the last election. Without any evidence, accuse your predecessor of “treason”. Fabricate a “Deep State” out to get you.

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16. Downplay real threats to the nation, such as a rapidly spreading pandemicLie about your utter failure to contain it. Muzzle public health experts. Urge people to go back to work even as the pandemic worsens in parts of the country.

17. Encourage armed supporters to “liberate” states from elected officials who disagree with you.

18. Bribe other nations to investigate your electoral opponent and flood social media with lies about him.

19. Use rightwing propaganda machines like Fox News and conspiracy theory peddling One America News to inundate the country with your lies. Ensure that the morally bankrupt chief executive of Facebook allows you to spread your lies on the biggest media machine in the world.

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20. Suppress the votes of people likely to vote against you. Intimidate voters of color. Encourage Republican governors to purge voter rolls, demand voter ID and close polling places.

21. Seek to prevent mail-in ballots during the pandemic. Claim they will cause voter fraud, without evidence. Threaten to close the US postal service.

22. Get Vladimir Putin to hack into US election machines, as he did in 2016 but can now do with more experience and deftness. Promise him that in return you’ll further destabilize America as well as Nato. Allow him to put a bounty on killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

23. If it still looks like you’ll be voted out, try to postpone the election.

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24. If you’re voted out of office notwithstanding all this, refuse to leave. Contest the election, claim massive fraud, say it’s a conspiracy, get your cult of a political party to support your lies, get your propaganda machine to repeat them, get your justice department to back you, get your judges and justices to affirm you, get your generals to suppress any subsequent rebellion.

25. Declare victory.

Memo to America: Beware Trump’s playbook. Spread the truth. Stay vigilant. Fight for our democracy.

This article was originally published at RobertReich.org


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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2020 Election

Maddow reveals the ‘shocking sign’ the White House may be betting Trump is going to lose in 2020

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow returned from vacation to host the Tuesday evening edition of her MSNBC show.

Maddow noted, "in 91 days we all get to decide if the guy who's currently in charge of how we're responding to this epidemic should stay in the job for four more years or if Democratic candidate Joe Biden would do better at this."

"It's honestly hard to know what it will be like for a president to stand for re-election with 200,000 dead Americans as a key metric from his first term, while he asks for a second term, but we're going to talk tonight about how some of that is going to work and some of what we can see coming down the pike," she explained. "And a lot of it is very worrying, in terms of the institutions of our democracy and what we count on to keep us a constitutional republic."

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2020 Election

GOP is failing tests of patriotism and morality by backing ‘blithering idiot’ Trump: Lincoln Project member

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The former chief strategist for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign blasted President Donald Trump during a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC's "All In."

Stuart Stevens, a member of The Lincoln Project, is author of the new book It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump.

Host Chris Hayes played a clip of Trump's interview with Axios White House correspondent Jonathan Swan.

"I'm curious what your thinking was watching that interview," Hayes said.

"It's still just unbelievable that this man is president of the United States," Stevens replied. "He's a guy that really you wouldn't want to sit next to on a long plane flight. Just across the board, he's an idiot."

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2020 Election

Here’s what white women in a swing county of a swing state think of Donald Trump

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Originally published by The 19th

It is no secret to the campaigns of Joe Biden and Donald Trump that the road to the White House runs through places like Michigan’s Macomb County.

It is a swing county in one of a trio of recently reliably Democratic states — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — that shocked Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign by breaking for Trump after backing Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

The county, a suburban and exurban area north of Detroit, is the state’s third most populous. Eighty percent of its residents are White. Roughly a quarter of adults have college degrees. The median household income in 2018 was about $60,000. Voters there cast ballots at higher rates than the country overall. It is a so-called bellwether that backed the candidate elected president all but three times in the past 50 years. 

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