Washington — It was a surprising statement about one of the pillars of American democracy, even more so given its source.
President Donald Trump He said last week publicly and without evidence that the 2020 presidential election will be “the most corrupt in the history of our country.”
“We cannot allow this to happen”Trump told an audience of young supporters at a Phoenix megachurch. “They want it too much.”
Four months after the elections, the President is intensifying his efforts to question the integrity of the electoral process.
It is a tactic widely used by Trump, who in 2016 did the same. He first attacked the Republican primaries (“manipulated and controlled by the boss”) and then the general election, when he accused the media and the campaign of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of conspiring against him to undermine a free and fair election.
“The process is manipulated. This whole election is being rigged, ”he said in October, when polls showed him that he was double digits below Clinton and also faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
Then, as now, election experts have repeatedly debunked their claims about widespread fraud in the voting process.
En a country with a history of peaceful political transition, the efforts of a major party candidate to delegitimize an election would amount to a surprising break in faith in American democracy. But doing it as president is unprecedented, according to historians.
“Never,” said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley when asked if any former president of the United States had ever used that language. “What we are seeing is someone who is an autocrat or a dictator in action.”
This year, Trump has leveraged efforts across the country to expand the postal vote due to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 2.4 million people in the United States and killed more than 125,000 across the country. The virus is highly contagious and especially dangerous to older people, who generally vote in larger numbers and have been advised by federal health authorities to limit their interactions with others.
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud through voting by mail, even in states where voting is already done so. Trump and many members of his administration have repeatedly voted by mail. But that has not stopped Trump from accusing Democrats of trying to “manipulate the elections by sending tens of millions of ballots by mail, using the China virus as an excuse for people not to go to the polls.”
“People went to the polls and voted during the First World War. They went to the polls and voted during World War II. We can safely go to the polls and vote during the COVID-19He said in his Phoenix speech.