Politics

Trump’s tweet posing a question over delaying the election is not going over well

The president needs to stop tweeting from the hip.

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On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted that “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

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His tweet was a very bad idea. Through wars, depressions, natural disasters, and other calamities, Americans have gone to the polls for ranging on 250 years. This virus is supposed to take precedence over those events? Granted, the president was also using this wacky idea to distract from today’s horrible Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers, which show an almost 33% drop for the second quarter. That is stinging news for his campaign. But any temporary distraction the president might get on GDP is not worth the ammo he has given the Democrats and the unease amongst swing voters and even his base.

And even conservatives can’t doubt the severity of the virus (as many do) and suspect that the numbers have been manipulated skyward (as many do), but then still say the situation is dire enough to postpone an election.

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Former GOP Rep. Zach Wamp, a  staunch conservative from Tennessee who’s working with a conservative group to ensure election integrity in the face of possible Democrat election fraud, told the press that the president’s tweet is “going over like a lead balloon among Republicans and Democrats.” This is a presidential own goal.

But the president has made his point before. “Mail-in voting is horrible. It’s corrupt…you get thousands and thousands of people sitting in someone’s living room signing ballots all over the place…I think that mail-in voting is a terrible thing,” Trump said in April.

But on Wednesday, while acknowledging mail in ballot issues, Attorney General Bill Barr told the House, “I have no reason to think” the 2020 election will be “rigged.”

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Democrats had also brought up this issue before. “Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Joe Biden said in April. Five states currently vote entirely by mail: Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, Utah and Hawaii. None are considered swing or battleground states. All are blue, with the exception of Utah.

An administration official followed the president’s lead, saying, “the President is simply raising a question, whereas Democrats are proposing an entirely new system [of massive mail-in voting] that will result in enormous delays in the election results.”

Trump re-election campaign National Press Secretary Hogan Gidley commented, “the President is just raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting.” Gidley said the Democrats “are using coronavirus as their means to try to institute universal mail-in voting, which means sending every registered voter a ballot whether they asked for one or not. Voter rolls are notoriously full of bad addresses for people who have moved, are non-citizens, or are even deceased. Universal mail-in voting invites chaos and severe delays in results, as proven by the New York Congressional primary where we still don’t know who won after more than a month.”

But Democrats saw their message advantage and leapt to exploit it. A Democratic National Committee official, Lily Adams responded by saying, “Trump’s threat is nothing more than a desperate attempt to distract from today’s devastating economic numbers that make it clear his failed response to the coronavirus has tanked the U.S. economy and caused tens of millions of Americans to lose their jobs. Trump can tweet all he wants, but the reality is that he can’t delay the election, and come November, voters will hold him accountable for his failures that have led to catastrophic consequences for the American people.”

Even Bernie Sanders pitched in: “No, Mr. President. We’re not delaying the election. The American people are sick and tired of your authoritarianism, your lies, your racism. On November 3, 2020 democracy will prevail and your disastrous presidency will end. Bye-bye.” Well, at least he called him “Mr. President.”

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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