Exhibit 1A in the case for Trump’s irrational self-destructive impulse is the way he urged his supporters to challenge the Covid-19 pandemic and go vote for him in person on Election Day. According to Georgia’s Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, this strategy backfired
as more than 24,000 Republicans who participated in the state primaries did not vote at all on November 3. Trump’s margin of defeat in the state was about 13,000.
“In effect, what you’re doing is you are suppressing your own voters,” Raffensperger told Bloomberg
. “I have no control over what campaigns do, and if they do ill-advised actions that suppress their own vote, what can I do?”
Trump was advised that his vote-in-person idea could backfire
because voters who favor his party had a strong habit of voting by mail. By casting doubt on the mail-in system telling supporters to vote in person instead, Trump may have been depending on the fact that some states tally the votes cast on the day of the election first, which would cause TV news networks to show him leading on election night. This Red Mirage
, as it was called, was likely part of a larger scheme to set up a false claim, to be made as his rival’s votes were tallied, that something nefarious was afoot.
If the Georgia Secretary of State is correct, it could help explain how Trump not only became a rare first-term president not to win re-election but also lost Georgia — the first Republican to do so since 1992.
Trump’s commitment to downplaying the pandemic, with the excuse that he wanted to protect the economy from public panic, was consistent with his tendency to stay stubbornly committed to a choice
, even when it turns out to be wrong. For him, admitting an error and changing directions seems to be worse than any actual failure. Even one that costs American lives. So when he saw he might lose the election, he didn’t change his tune about mail-in voting but poured enormous effort into discrediting the process that might hand him a loss.
Just as Trump’s emotional attachment to his failed pandemic policies planted the seed of his defeat at the polls, his commitment to discrediting the election itself is assuring that he will be viewed as a destructive child and not as a man equal to the dignity of his office. Proof of this — Exhibit 1C — is his firing of the Department of Homeland Security official
who led a most successful effort to secure an election that saw record numbers of Americans voting, despite…
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