Many people have already expressed the fear that however Donald Trump is removed from office — whether by impeachment or by the voting booth — he will not leave quietly or easily.
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Comedian and political talk show host Bill Maher is one of the leading proponents of this conjecture which posits the probability that Trump will contest any election that he loses by claiming that massive voter fraud affected the outcome negatively for him and rally his supporters to help him retain power through violence in rejection of our democratic norms.
Given his utterly false claims of thousands of ballots being cast by illegal voters in the last presidential election which he nominally won – if only due to thin margins in a handful of swing states — it is virtually certain that — despite all evidence pointing to both Russian hacking into states’ voter rolls and proven Republican voter suppression efforts and election fraud as the primary problems with the American electoral system — Trump will attempt to discredit any election that removes him from office and leaves him vulnerable to the indictments that he’s only avoided because of his status as a sitting president.
While even many Democrats have considered fears such as those expressed by Maher to be too exaggerated to be conceivable, President Trump helped bolster their likelihood today through a series of tweets that should have every American both outraged at their implications on the rule of law and the Constitution and fearful of a right-wing coup.
First, Trump retweeted a post from Jerry Falwell Jr. — the televangelist who is as much of a distillation and diminution of his own famous father as Don Jr. is to the president — that suggests that Trump deserves “reparations” for the two years “stolen” from his term by the Mueller investigation, or as Falwell calls it, “this corrupt failed coup.”
After the best week ever for @realDonaldTrump – no obstruction, no collusion, NYT admits @BarackObama did spy on his campaign, & the economy is soaring. I now support reparations-Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup
— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) May 5, 2019
The outrageous unconstitutionality of this suggestion is so obvious as to provide Democrats a perfect weapon with which to bludgeon Republican supporters of the president by simply asking whether they agree with Falwell on his proposal.
Anyone who would agree with Falwell’s statement can immediately be labeled as an enemy of democracy and a strict un-constitutionalist.
As if a retweet of Falwell’s comments was not enough of an endorsement of the idea by Trump himself, the president made his support of the extra-constitutional addition of years to his term in office quite clear in a subsequent tweet of his own which repeated Falwell’s concept of his having had two years “stollen” from his presidency.
….The Witch Hunt is over but we will never forget. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2019
If anyone still believes that Trump is not attempting to set up conditions for a fascist coup to retain power after reading this series of tweets, they probably will readily accept the president’s claims to be a “stable genius” despite his inability to spell “stolen,” using the term for a German fruit bread in its place.
True conspiracy theorists will see the reference to the “stollen” years as a hidden signal harking back to the Reichstag fire in Berlin that helped consolidate Nazi rule in Germany before World War II.
While it is unlikely that the president has the historical knowledge to concoct such an elaborate hidden message, the threat of the ambitions embedded in his tweets is equally dangerous.
Expect Fox News to be blaring the idea of reparations owed to Trump as their main talking point over the next few days as the Democrats in Congress continue to pursue the presidential wrong-doings revealed in the Mueller report.