Early on Wednesday morning, President DonaldTrump appeared in the East Room of the White House to claim falsely that he had already beaten Democrat Joe Biden, and the election was being stolen from him in an act of fraud. He affirmed to mount a challenge in the Supreme Court and announced that he had already won states that were still counting votes, including North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.
No one hasn’t won the election yet, and the President and the former vice president are still in a tight battle for the decisive states with millions of votes still being counted.
Trump’s remarks essentially amounted to a demand for the lawfully cast votes of American citizens not to be recorded in a historic act of disempower. And they brought closer the potential constitutional night terror that many have been afraid since Trump started to tarnish an election that he apparently worried he could lose months ago.
Trump’s comments were especially extraordinaryas it appears that the President has a good probability of winning outstanding states in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin,North Carolina and Michigan, which could hand him a second chance. And the suggestion of his authoritarian remarks was that the President wants vote counting to stop in those states but to go on in Arizona, where he trails Biden.
They were also a warning sign of the kind of behavior that might be expected in a second chance from a President who has survived impeachment and may be heading for a new mandate that he would view as a validation of his behavior. In some ways, Trump’s assertive response to a night of nail-biting tension and a yet-to-be-decided result could also take the gloss from what would be a stunning political winning if he wins re-election despite expectations that his handling of the pandemic would cause the country to turn against him.