The president versus democracy

By Nov. 5, 2020

Good morning. Biden’s position remains strong, and Trump tries to stop vote counting.

This is a dark and dangerous moment for American democracy.

A sitting president has spent months telling lies about non-existent voter fraud. Now that his re-election bid is in deep trouble — but with the outcome still uncertain — he has unleashed a new torrent of falsehoods claiming that the other side cheated. He has demanded the Supreme Court intervene to decide the election in his favor.

His supporters are staging protests in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania meant to interfere with legitimate vote counting. In Phoenix, some have showed up at the State Capitol with guns (as you can see in this short video taken by my colleague Simon Romero).

The worst democratic outcome — in which judges appointed by the president’s political party intervene to overrule the apparent will of voters — seems likely to be avoided. The Supreme Court has shown no signs of halting vote counts, and Joe Biden’s leads in the decisive states may end up being large enough to avoid the election hinging on the sort of ballot-counting minutiae (like hanging chads) that decided the 2000 result in Florida.

But President Trump’s actions are still causing significant damage. They undermine his supporters’ faith in the country’s government. They also undermine the credibility of the United States around the world. And they force election officials, journalists and social-media platforms to choose between telling the truth and sounding nonpartisan; it is impossible to do both about Trump’s election claims.

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In the simplest terms, the president of the United States is attacking American democracy in an effort to remain in office.

Read more at www.nytimes.com