When Trump Attacks Our Elections, We Will Have No Excuse

Blue background with image of Trump pointing at the viewer above a bunch of voting booths that have red X's on them.

Donald Trump and his Republican allies have no intention of accepting the outcome of a free and fair election. They are boasting about building a voter suppression war machine. They have told us their plans to intimidate election officials and voters. Their actions show that they will use violence if necessary.

This is not the first time Trump has talked and acted this way. This is not the first time his apologists have said not to take him so literally. And this is not the first time his party has supported and enabled him — no matter what he does or says. We saw this in 2020 and the country is still dealing with the consequences.

Recently, Trump refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the 2024 election saying, “If everything’s honest, I’ll gladly accept the results…If it’s not, you have to fight for the right of the country.” After Jan. 6, 2021, we know that when Trump says fight, he means fight.

Appearing on Meet the Press, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — who often passes as a responsible Republican these days — also refused to commit to accepting the results of the 2024 election, regardless of who wins. Perhaps that is because he is auditioning to be Trump’s running mate. His competition is a woman who brags about having shot a puppy and several who say those who were convicted of serious felonies on Jan. 6 are hostages.

At the Republican National Committee, the infinitely pliable Ronna McDaniel was replaced with a more ideologically ruthless vote suppressor in Michael Whatley and Trump’s loyal daughter-in-law. The party immediately fired most of its staff and required new applicants to state whether they believed the 2020 election was stolen as part of the hiring process.

This isn’t even the first time and yet too many refuse to believe that he will do what Trump says — again.

The new regime immediately replaced the leadership of its legal affairs with three new lawyers — Christina Bobb, Charlie Spies and Bill McGinley. Since then, Bobb has been indicted for election fraud in connection with the 2020 election and Spies has been forced out for not being MAGA enough. Six weeks after the announcement, only McGinley, who worked for Trump in the White House, remains unscathed.

In its short time, the new RNC voter suppression team has sued several states to undermine free and fair elections and plans to deploy 100,000 lawyers and operatives to oversee the vote casting and counting process. The team will partner with right-wing voter suppression groups that are suing to purge voters and harass and intimidate election officials.

Lara Trump has insisted that as a part of its voter suppression efforts, the RNC is recruiting people who can “physically handle the ballots.” While it is possible that the former failed singer is simply clueless, it is also possible that the RNC plans on infiltrating election offices. We need to be prepared for the worse.

Meanwhile in court, Trump remains contemptuous of the judicial system in New York, while his lawyers insist before the U.S. Supreme Court that he should be absolutely immune for actions he took, and would take, as president including murdering his political opponents and staging a coup.

Trump has told us he would act as a dictator for his first day in office. Even if he holds true to this temporal limit, imagine the damage he could do in that 24-hour span.

Of course, Trump is unlikely to be satisfied with only a single-day dictatorship. He and his allies are already planning to consolidate power if he is elected. This includes giving him direct control over every federal agency — including the Department of Justice. He will do away with federal protections, like career civil service jobs, that limit the abuse of executive power. He says he will order prosecutors to follow his every whim.

Maya Angelou warned us that when someone shows us who they are, we need to believe them the first time. This isn’t even the first time and yet too many refuse to believe that he will do what he says — again.

We do not have the luxury of being wrong twice. Donald Trump wants to destroy democracy. He has taken over the GOP and turned it into a willing accomplice. The only difference is this time he and his team are bolder and more ruthless. And this time, we know better.