President Donald Trump revved up his audience on the opening night of the Republican National Convention by igniting a chant of “12 more years,” an expansion on a tactic he has previously employed to sow public distrust in voting by mail.
This echoes similarly grifty mischief from last week, when Trump revived his delusion about being entitled to an extra term in office due to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.
As an enthused crowd of supporters began chanting “four more years” as Trump took the stage in Charlotte, North Carolina Monday evening, the president upped the ante.
“Now if you really wanna drive them crazy, you say, 12 more years,” Trump mused, sparking calls for “12 more years” amongst his loyal fans. “Because we caught them doing some really bad things in 2016; let’s see what happens. We caught them doing some very bad things. We have to be very careful beacuse they’re trying it again with this whole 80 million mail-in ballots thing theyre working on, sending them out to people that didn’t ask for them, they didn’t ask they just get them and it’s not fair and its not right and its not gonna be possible to tabulate in my opnion, just my opinion.”
Trump’s disjointed attacks on mail-in voting are all over the place. Last week, Trump warned that up to 150 million mail-in ballots could be vulnerable to fraud, leading to an election for which we will “never” have a winner. He offered no evidence for this because none exists – a fact that the president’s own campaign admitted in a Pennsylvania courtroom last week.
Trump then vaguely encouraged his supporters to “watch,” and although he did not specifiy what he believed should be watched, it sure did sound like Trump wants his supporters to stalk, if not intimidate voters at the polls, which is illegal.
“We have to be very very careful and you have to watch; everyone of you, you have to watch, because bad things happened last time with the spying on our campaign and that goes to Biden and that goes to Obama and we have to be very very careful, very very carefui, and this time theyre trying to do it with the whole Post Office scam,” Trump crowed. “They’ll blame it on the Post Office, you can see them setting it up. Be very careful and watch them very carefully because we have to win, this is the most important election in the history of our country.”
Neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor President Barack Obama “spied” on Trump’s campaign. Rather, actors within Trump’s orbit got caught finagling secret backchannel deals with the Kremlin aimed at helping Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Nevertheless, Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are the culprits behind efforts to hobble the the United States Postal Service’s ability to collect and process tens of millions of mail-in ballots in November – all so Trump can call foul on the election and attempt a coup to remain in power if he loses to Biden.
For millions, mail-in voting is the only safe choice amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 177,000 Americans since March and is expected to worsen in the fall and winter months.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.