Please tell me I am a fool


I will confess that I am enheartened by the unexpected resilience of our judicial system. I bet many Republicans are as well as they have spent considerable energy putting their judges in there and blocking the Dems from doing so. IMO, people look at the lawsuits by Trump as inept and silly…but I think they were surprised as well that the judiciary still seems to have integrity. I suspect they thought they could just show up and Republican judges would go ‘wink wink we got you’…but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

So, what I am looking for now is the ‘surprise’ reversals of Republicans that previously said they would not subvert the vote indicating they have been threatened behind the scenes.

My other hope is that, while I am very sure Trump will try these things, they are pretty inept and that inept seems to be hurting them in carrying this out. I hope it continues.

This ^

HMS, we acknowledge that the OP was explicitly about whether the election could be stolen, but that question inevitably leads to deeper questions about the overall health of our democracy and the perceived legitimacy of Biden’s presidency and how well it can function in the immediate aftermath of what is a manufactured election controversy.

“We will have problems after the election” is a serious understatement. We have problems already; we will likely have massive problems within the next one or two election cycles unless there are radical shifts from where we are now. We are on a track to lose democracy as we know it, and to even for a moment think otherwise is just naive.

All good points in the article. A few more to consider:

  • The more his losses pile up, the more desperate and outrageous he will become. And we have already seen that Republicans repeatedly, at every single turn, close their eyes and hope he goes away – again, as I’ve said over and over and over again, Trump’s voters are their voters. God damn, just look at the official Republican National Committee’s Twitter page: one of our two major political parties is actively endorsing the idea of disenfranchising millions and millions of voters. I mean, to anyone who thinks “Don’t worry, we got this”…WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!

  • Another point: Trump could still create a national emergency and use enormous emergency powers at his disposal. It’s remote. It seems far fetched and you might be wondering where I’m going with this, but let’s consider a scenario in which Trump continues to put the pressure to Republicans to “humor” him more and send a slate of their own electors to the electoral college vote. He holds rallies in which he calls out individual Republicans who don’t support him. He doxxes them. He whips his MAGAbots up into a frenzy – and they relent and start talking about sending a parallel slate of electors. “Oh but that’s invalid - they won’t be counted” Maybe not, but just doing it could lead to outrage and protests. And then at these protests you have violent clashes. And then Trump declares a national state of unrest and a national emergency. Who knows where that could lead. Again, is it a reach? Yes, of course. But anyone who would have said 4 years we’d be in this position 4 years ago would have been “reaching” as well. Trump has changed our reality.

Yes. IF we survive this (IF) we will not have fallen over the cliff. However, we will still be teetering over it and will still likely fall in the future. However, IF we survive the next 2 months, it still gives the USA a chance in the future.

The USA will always have a chance, even if it slips into something less than a democracy. The US (probably) won’t become a totalitarian state. People still vote in Turkey, Brazil, the Philippines, Hungary, and Poland. People still protest, too - you can’t jail them all. But in these illiberal democracies, changing things for the better is much harder.

In truth, whether we are a liberal or illiberal democracy, or something else, isn’t a binary question. I’d submit that in some regards we’re already partly an illiberal democracy already; we’ve been moving in that direction for some time. The difference is that we have a stronger opposition party and we have stronger bureaucratic institutions - which is why the Republican party wants to destroy them, and they will, given enough time.

Yeah, it’s called addressing the OP’s question and not turning it into an overbroad “everything is on fire” feast of handwringing. Adding a little proportion and perspective is salubrious, try it sometime.

You people won’t even let me agree with you. I can’t even concede “some things may be long-term broken”, the only acceptable statement is “everything is fucked and we’re doomed”.

True, America will probably continue to decline into a shambling quasi democracy, BUT a) red state America is aggressively hostile to blue state America; b) our prosperity is largely dependent on our role as a financial world leader, which is now in doubt; and c) climate change will wreak havoc on global stability and norms, we will be at a point when we can’t keep rebuilding Florida and the Carolinas for the red staters and if you think they’re pissy now, wait until they can’t golf at Myrtle Beach.

Hey man…you gotta let us have our freak out!

All your posts on this subject are complete and utter shit. They are repulsive. They display a shocking level of willful blindness and unfounded hope. IMO they aren’t relevant, wanted or contributing anything meaningful to any discussion.

It’s a fair cop.

Absolutely concur. In a way Trump has already done a practice run at this at a few local levels. His tacit endorsement of racism (almost overt with the “fine people on both sides” types of comments), or at best a lack of condemnation, set the stage for the protests which he decided were emergencies and required the use of emergency powers. He still has plenty of time to do this.

Additionally, he now has four years for him and his clan to keep the deplorables riled up so that 2024 could be just as, or more vile than this time.

Warning: This is just unacceptable. Attack the posts not the poster is clearly ignored in this case.

Any problems you have with another poster should be taken to the pit and not in the other forums.

I have to agree with HMS_Irruncible. I feel like people here are being a bit melodramatic. I mean maybe I’m wrong and Trump can wave some magic wand and declare himself El Presidente. Doesn’t seem likely though.

Things change. 12 year ago Democrats were declaring the statistical and demographic impossibility of another Republican president. For the past 4 years they have been declaring the USA would break up or become a fascist dictatorship.

Also, declaring everyone who voted for Trump a “racist” or “fascist” is as unhelpful and inaccurate as conservatives calling all Democrats “Marxists” and whatever the derogatory term for “woke” is (I think it’s still “woke”).

“Trump” can’t do anything on his own. But he’s not on his own - he has the support of the whole GOP establishment, of its donors and its party apparatuses, of a host of other malign entities and - not least of all - the support of tens of millions of Americans willing to believe the most batshit conspiracies as long as they align to their carefully crafted worldview.

The institutions designed to keep the country from going off the rails are themselves being deliberately corrupted. Who might have thought some years ago that, faced with an impeached President engaged in active obstruction of justice, every single member of the President’s party would work to facilitate that obstruction - and that there would be no negative consequences to them for doing so? It is not hyperbolic to state that those institutions are sorely tested at the moment, nor to state that they could very well fail with catastrophic consequences.

The difference being that the former position had little actual evidence for it, whereas the latter has a mountain of evidence suggesting that half of America is working toward that outcome.

No one is attributing magical powers. It’s clear that he is trying to do it. And it’s clear that the majority of Republicans are standing back to see if he gets away with it. There’s no guarantee of his success. But it’s clearly possible here. He has spent four years testing every institutional limit and sometimes he has failed and sometimes he has succeeded. When he has succeeded it has been because the people with the power to check him decided to let him get away with it. It can still happen now. It might not be the most likely result. But it’s possible. And if he fails today the. Next time, the limits having been tested and weakened, it becomes even more possible.


I agree with the general tenor of the thread that there are two potential sources of worry for the OP.

Can Trump overturn the election and hold onto power? (Or, more accurately, can his minions do this on his behalf, because Trump himself is too stupid and lazy to actually do anything, and expects his wishes to be delivered on demand.)

On this question, there is no real risk that Trump will succeed. He is a figurehead of and for morons. He’s unable to recruit or pay for top-quality assistance, legal or otherwise, and his team will crash and burn. Indeed, I believe he knows he will crash and burn, and after he goes to Mar-a-Lago for the Christmas holiday, he will simply refuse to return to the White House, in effect abandoning any pretense of governance in favor of continuing to grind his axes. He’s a bully and a coward, so he doesn’t want to risk the humiliating confrontation of being escorted from the White House, so he avoids that by his absence. The inauguration will go ahead, but Trump will essentially ignore it, claiming to be President in Exile or something, continuing to stoke division and trying to drum up interest in his next media venture (at least until state prosecutors come knocking and he relocates his circus to Dubai).

But there is a natural follow-up question, as suggested by many posters: Should we be concerned about what all of this says about the state of American democracy? And on that point, I believe the answer is clearly yes.

The majority of Trump’s GOP apparent allies don’t have any illusion that Trump will succeed. They know he’s lost, and will not be President after the 20th of January. They are staying silent for two reasons: First, they know that Trump’s cult of ignorant, screaming douchebags will persist, and any perceived disloyalty to the Naked Emperor will lead to their political detriment. But they are not simply remaining silent; they are watching closely, because Trump, in his wild thrashing, is also teaching them where the guardrails for democracy are strong, and where they’re weak, or nonexistent. Trump himself will fail — but his failure will be extremely instructive.

Further, in my view, the election of Trump in 2016 was itself a shrieking alarm bell for the health of the American experiment. It showed that the Fox noise machine had successfully carved off a huge segment of the electorate and constructed around them a self-perpetuating fiction of fear, anger, and racial grievance. It showed that the Right’s 40-year campaign to establish for themselves a state of permanent minority rule through gerrymandering, suppression, and other dirty tricks was paying off. It showed that the soma of social media was biasing our minds toward the direct and the immediate, shrinking our perception of history from centuries and decades down to the weeks and days of news cycles.

I do not believe the American experiment has ended. But I do believe its end is now inevitable, and that this was clear after the 2016 election.

This is not idle salon chatter, either, the disconnected speculation of a dilettante observer. I am dead serious about it. Which is why I, personally, put my money where my mouth is, as they say, and relocated my family to Europe. The United States still has the wealth and strength of a superpower, but it is hollow, and it will not sustain. The future of the forward march of civilization is elsewhere. I gambled on Europe, and while nothing is certain, it seems to have been a reasonable bet. After almost four years, my children are fluent in multiple languages, and my wife and I are making progress on the checklist for alternate citizenship. Once we’ve secured our new passports, one or both of us will renounce our American identities.

Does it hurt to turn our back on the U.S.? Yeah. But in many ways, the country was already turning its back on us.

So to the OP: There are different scales and nuances on which to gauge foolishness. It’s not a binary yes-or-no. In some respects, this may be comforting, because in a few weeks Trump will be out of the White House, and things will be somewhat better. But in other respects, there is no comfort to be found, because the forces that gave rise to Trump will continue their inexorable assault on democracy.

No one is being melodramatic. They’re being CAUTIOUS. American democracy and its social contract are extremely weak right now, the weakest they’ve been in generations, and it would be foolish to pretend that’s not the case.

Donald Trump is trying to effect a coup RIGHT NOW. He is clearly, openly doing it, man. Now, you and HMS can say “ha ha, what a dope, he will fail” and that may be true but ht every fact it’s happening and half the country is just fine with it and wants him to succeed is the sign of a constitutional republic that’s teetering on failure. If George H.W. Bush had tried this when he lost the 1992 election, he would have been 25th-Amendmented, or just laughed out of the White House, in fifteen minutes. That was just 28 years ago.

Welcome back, @Cervaise .

Post can’t be empty.

Pretty damn good post for someone who hadn’t posted in a while.

Post more often.

He’ll proclaim himself “The People’s President”, the way ex-Princess Diana renamed herself The People’s Princess".