Dan O'Heirity

Keeping Up With the Lunacy That is Trump’s Presidential Campaign

Staying abreast of what Trump and his followers are doing to try to overthrown the American presidential result is exhausting. In making the effort to do so, I am reminded of why so many people are totally uniformed about the facts of Trump’s campaign, preferring instead to follow Trumps rantings on Twitter and to accept news headlines as truths. To the “facts”. As reported by The Guardian, Trump and his team are looking increasingly unlikely to overturn the results of the American election. Election results have been certified in Georgia and Arizona’s largest county in Biden’s favour. That said, ABC News is reporting that Trump’s campaign want a second recount in Georgia in order to ensure “signature matching”. They also want the second recount to be conducted using scanner software. Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania, are set to join Georgia in certifying their results in the coming week. Nevada represents another loss for the Trump camp with ABC News reporting that a federal judge rejected a lawsuit that was seeking to stop the certification of the electoral votes. In Pennsylvania, the certification of results will go ahead after a federal judge ruled against Trump that the state could go ahead and certify the election results. In making the judgement US middle district judge Matthew Brann said that, “This Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations“. Ouch. Brann went on to say that he had, “no authority to take away the right to vote of even a single person, let alone millions of citizens“.

Trump’s legal challenges have not succeeded and so, as reported by The Guardian, Trump has been trying to influence lawmakers to change the results in their states. The strategy is to have the popular vote over turned in favour of a result announcing Trump as winner. For example, Trump invited seven Michigan lawmakers to the Whitehouse. The party included Mike Shirkey, Michigan Senate Majority Leader and Lee Chatfield, Michigan House Speaker. We cannot know the content of the conversation in the Whitehouse but after the meeting, two of the lawmakers issued a joint statement saying that they had, “not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election”. This is a fascinating story and I would highly recommend watching the report from CNN on just what was going on with this invite from Trump.

The CNN report adds another dimension to the story by reporting that the two lawmakers also said in their statement that, “Michigan’s certification process should be a deliberate process free from threats and intimidation“. CNN offers the opinion that this statement is a clear message to Donald Trump. One could, therefore, read the statement as telling Trump that his threats and intimidation did not work. CNN makes another important point. Whilst these Republicans have stood up for the truth, there are too many Republicans remaining quiet or, worse still, supporting Trump with his insane plans. I would offer the opinion that these Republicans are enabling Trump in his efforts to undermine democratic processes.

The fact that Trump’s strategy is clearly not working does not mean that he will stop what he is doing. As reported by CNN News, Trump may still try to overturn the election result by inviting Republican state legislators from Pennsylvania to the White House in order to try to achieve the goal of overturning the popular vote in Pennsylvania. However, the election certification deadline for Pennsylvania is Monday 23rd November, one day from now and so Trump would have to move at breakneck speed to try to influence these legislators. A failure to turn over the result in Pennsylvania would be catastrophic for Trump because the state is one of three that Trump would need to overthrown Biden’s win. The three states are Michigan (16 electoral votes), Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) and Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes). Overall, and as I have said before, Trump is very unlikely to succeed in overturning the election result. However, he can continue to do a lot of damage whilst at the same time inciting his faithful through claims of widespread voter fraud. I am, therefore, happy to see, as reported by ABC News that Trump is being sued by Detroit voters who say he is “openly seeking to disenfranchise black voters”. The lawsuit claims that Trump has breached the 1965 Voting Rights Act by, for example, falsely claiming voter fraud. The lawsuit also claims that Trump is spreading disinformation.

First Published November 22nd, 2020

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