Sept. 9, 2020

Why the Orange Man Has Recently Gone Completely Off the Rails

The Orange Man in the White House has a long history of flouting norms and standards – often snubbing rules, regulations and even the law – so we shouldn’t be taken totally off guard by the upsurge in his deplorable behavior in recent weeks.

Ignoring for the moment the new revelations from Bob Woodward, Atlantic magazine and another in his long line of sexual victims, he seems to have unburdened himself of all constraints as we approach what he himself has called “the most important election in American history.” (That may be the only statement of his I’ve ever agreed with.)

Having made it abundantly clear that something he’s been slowly and carefully moving toward since 2015 is now a reality we have to prepare for, i.e., he won’t step down even if he loses the November election, he is doubling down on his worst instincts in a game of Catch Me if You Can. He is daring the Republic to find a way to stop him.

It’s a win-win deal for him. If he needs to break the law to stay in office, he’ll have already shown us that we are powerless against him and that this is what we have to look forward to under his rule. Not merely lies and distractions, but actual policies enacted to harm minorities and immigrants, to further enrich the rich at everyone else’s expense, and to ensure public unrest that will lead inexorably to a police state.

Remember, history has shown us that in turbulent times, otherwise reasonable people tend to turn to an authoritarian leader to “maintain law and order” at any cost (and I do mean “any”).

Meanwhile, his aggressive moves in that direction now are just the thing to excite his followers, perhaps making him the actual winner in November. It’s a brilliant play in his way of thinking.

So whether Vlad “the Impaler” Putin is teaching him how to destroy American Democracy, or he’s studied the Mussolini method, we need to: 1) be sure he loses the election; 2) understand that a Civil War is in his interest if he can manage to incite one; and 3) be prepared to frog-march him out of the White House next January.

Greater minds than mine will need to figure out how to accomplish this, but we all can vote, organize, and contribute to our chosen candidates. Make sure you do.

On a more personal note, I have been a pollworker for a few years now and I can tell you with authority that, here in California at least, the safeguards against fraud by mail-in ballot are terrifically strong and virtually fool-proof. Voters who’ve received a mail-in ballot are instantly identifiable at every polling station on Election Day and if they try to “vote twice” as the Orange Man has suggested, their ballot goes into a separate bucket so that the one they mailed in will be destroyed. Easy.