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He knows he’s losing, and it freaks him out

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Sitting at home on Tuesday evening, sipping a crisp, delicate Vino Verde, one thing is clear to me. What we’re witnessing, live on T.V., is the penultimate attempt by this rogue regime and its clerical-fascist supporters to hold onto power before the election strips it away from them.

We know, from multiple polling results, that Trump would lose the election if it were held today. We know, also, that Democrats would keep the House, possibly adding to their majority, and that they would probably take back the Senate, albeit narrowly. Trump sees the same polls. He also has access to his private, internal polls. If the public polls are as bad for him as they are, imagine how bad the secret ones are. Trump knows he is going to lose. Bill Barr knows it too. Pence knows it. They all know it, all the Republican mafiosa. And, like mafiosa everywhere, they’re not about to let it happen without a huge fight.

They have a number of ways to fight it. One is the usual Republican modus operandi: voter suppression. This is why the Trumpites are so opposed to mail-in voting. Trump himself said, in March, that if Democratic plans to vote-by-mail were permitted, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” There it is: sometimes a pathological liar tells the truth. Let that sink in. The Republican Party, through its chieftain, just admitted that universal suffrage would result in the extinction of the Republican Party. So the Trumpites will do their best to prevent it, and to keep voter turnout everywhere as light as possible, by making it harder for minorities to vote no matter where they live.

But that’s not the only tool in their arsenal. Trump is also, in his inimitable way, poisoning the national conversation with red herrings and shiny objects that are complete, utter lies; but he knows they will appeal to his neo-fascist base, and he knows also—and this is very sad for a former journalist like me to say—that the media is going to have to cover his absurd allegations, in their attempt to be “objective” and report “all sides.” For example, Trump is now throwing out a brand new lie, which he has personally dubbed Obamagate.” The details are ludicrous and not worth explaining, but the point is that the media now are going to have to devote time and energy into looking into Trump’s lies, and they’re going to have to give precious T.V. moments to it, even if they’re debunking it. But Trump knows that time spent debunking the lie of Obamagate is time not spent on exposing his lies, incompetence and criminality. And that is precisely the point.

Trump’s approval rating, according to 538.com, is now at its lowest in at least a year. Why? It can only be his response to coronavirus. He’s tried his best to portray himself and his regime as “successful” and in leading the world in testing. But people aren’t stupid. Well, I take that back. His supporters are. But they represent only 30% or 35% of the American electorate. The rest of us have watched with increasing discomfort how Trump first ignored the warnings of his own healthcare experts and then peddled lie after lie in order to avoid having to respond responsibly, as any normal President would, even as Americans died in numbers now approaching 100,000. People, even some who voted for him, are asking themselves, “Why has he done what he did?” or, more acutely, “Why hasn’t he done more?” They don’t know the answers—neither do I. But it’s clear that Trump has now joined the Presidents-Who-Failed-In-A-National-Emergency Club, same as W. Bush did with Katrina. It’s an ineradicable part of his legacy, a permanent stain on his regime, just as is Impeachment and the fact—also understood by most Americans—that Trump was elected with the help of Russian meddling.

These are facts that keep Trump up at night, which explains the tweetstorms the occur around the clock. The most desperate drive in his frantic psyche is to go down in History as the legitimately elected and re-elected President, but he hears the dire footsteps over his shoulder warning him that History’s judgment will be exactly the opposite: illegitimately elected, losing his bid for a second term, the President who divided the American people more than any other in History, who failed to respond to a pandemic that resulted in mass death and the collapse of the U.S. economy. What a horrible legacy, one his descendants will eternally be ashamed of. No wonder he’s willing to lie, cheat, steal, and even to kill to avoid going down as the worst President in U.S. history. Sadly for him—happily for us—he will be so regarded, and he will lose in November. I guarantee it.

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