“Is Donald Trump deliberately and consciously allowing COVID-19 to return in force? Could this be part of a deranged strategy to sow so much chaos in the country that he will then be able to make a case that elections can’t be held, or that if they are, they’re illegitimate? Could he have in his warped and sick mind a plan for what can only be called a coup? Is there any possibility that he could succeed?”
This is how I began one of my columns five weeks ago, as the pandemic curve was accelerating upwards and Mafioso Don was acting as if it was no big deal.
That’s still essentially the case. Since that column he has:
-demanded that all schools plan to reopen everywhere in the country, no matter what the reality of the pandemic in their locality;
-escalated his rhetoric and his actions against the Black Lives Matter movement, and anyone to the left of Mitch McConnell, branding them all tools of leftist “terrorists” and “communists” and sending federal troops to Portland and, soon, a number of other cities to posture as a “law and order” President (what “law, and what “order”?);
-moved to disrupt the operations of the US Postal Service so as to slow the mails and undercut confidence in it;
-and, most recently, openly saying the election date needs to be changed and attacking the idea of voting by mail, going so far as to say yesterday in reference to that: “And they say the ‘projected winner’ or the ‘winner of the election’ — I don’t want to see that take place in a week after November 3rd or a month or, frankly, with litigation and everything else that can happen, years. Years. Or you never even know who won the election.”
President Chaos, that’s what this low-life has become. And he has three more months to keep at it.
Actually, he has five and a half months to keep at it because, if he loses on November 3, he’ll still be in the White House until January 20.
Why is Trump doing all of this?
One reason is clear: it’s because he is a pathologically, desperately sick man. His rantings if not yet his actions are like the rantings of Hitler as his world began to fall apart as the Allies won victory after victory in World War II.
Perhaps he’s doing this because he thinks that this will motivate his hard-core base of racist and gun-loving right-wingers to go all out for him. He likely has no specific plan for what he wants them to do, but he’ll certainly appreciate and support whatever they decide to do. Remember Charlottesville!
But there may be an actual, thought-out method to his madness. In his twisted mind he may have realized that, with the pandemic and the economic crisis and the broad support for anti-racism, his chances of winning are very low, so he’s angling for another kind of victory. He wants to get an agreement from Biden and other powers that be in the Democratic Party that if he leaves office willingly on January 20th, and doesn’t try to do other destructive things between November 3 and January 20th, the Democrats will promise that they will let him off the hook legally, not support any number of likely indictments against him or his family members.
This makes some sense.
So should progressives support such a deal? Absolutely not. And we must be prepared to back up our rejection of this literal “deal with the devil” by planning a “Millions-Person-Mobilization” on January 20th, and possibly massive street actions right after November 3, to put both Trump and the Democrats on notice.
But first things first. First there must be a massive repudiation of Trump and his Republican accomplices on November 3. President Chaos and his enablers must go.
Ted Glick is the author of the just published Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.