Last night constitutional law scholar Lawrence Douglas joined #ShutDownDC via Zoom to talk about his new book: Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020. If you missed it, you can watch the recording online.
During our discussion, Professor Douglas laid out some very troubling - but also very plausible - ways that we could see an election meltdown this fall. We’re not just talking about Trump losing overwhelmingly but refusing to leave office. The real risk, Professor Douglas argued, is the possibility of:
Massive organized voter suppression by the GOP and the administration (which is already happening),
The Trump campaign pushing to end the vote count in some states while he’s ahead, leaving millions of mail-in ballots uncounted (remember when Roger Stone and GOP staffers rioted in Miami-Dade County to stop the vote count in 2000?!?),
Republican legislatures and Democratic governors in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin disagreeing about who actually won the election in their states and sending two different sets of results to Congress.
And that’s not even scratching the surface of some of the more dramatic possibilities like a natural disaster, foreign interference, or Trump trying to cancel or postpone the election (an idea he just floated today!).
We’re not waiting for Trump to refuse to leave office. We’re making plans to take direct action right now to confront the coming election meltdown.
Taking direct action to confront the election meltdown between now and January of 2020 can mean lots of different things to different people, ranging from:
Shining a light on the offices, organizations, and forums that the Trump campaign and its supporters are using to plot their attack on the democratic process,
Monitoring polling places to make sure that right-wing thugs, ICE officers, or anybody else cannot scare people away from the polls,
Actively putting our bodies in between people who are going to vote and the goons that are trying to intimidate voters,
Mobilizing to confront right-wing agitators who try to prematurely shut down vote counts before every vote is counted,
Shutting down business as usual until every vote is counted,
Shutting down business as usual until Trump leaves office.
And obviously we’re not going to stop there. The crises of racism, patriarchy, climate change, inequality, xenophobia, and many more all existed well before Trump came into power, and getting him out of office certainly won’t fix them by itself. So this is only one step in our fight to build a more just and equitable world.
The crew from #ShutDownDC is starting to make plans for how we are going to organize and rise up in this moment. We know that others are having conversations as well. If this is something you’re thinking about we want to hear from you! Here’s a quick questionnaire with some questions about what you’re up to and what you need in order to be ready to take bold action. Or if it’s easier, just drop us an email at info@ShutDownDC.org.
And even though we’re just starting to make plans, we know that organizing at the scope and scale we’re going to need to confront this current crisis is going to take resources. So if you’re able, please consider making a donation to help make this essential work possible.
This isn’t going to be easy, but the stakes have never been higher. Let’s get ready to rise up and fight back!