Similarly, we will all be judged by what we do — or do not do — at this moment in American history. This is not in any way to compare the atrocities of the Holocaust with what we are seeing in the US today, but there are similarities to this moment and the rise of Nazism in the 1930s
. Today, we stand at a precipice, yet unlike Germans in the lead-up to World War II, we have the chance to vote a rising authoritarian out of power.
For four years, President Donald Trump has increasingly threatened our country and our future. He has assaulted
, undermined, and weakened our democracy, using hatred and disinformation
to divide Americans, sow confusion, and incite
domestic unrest. He has repeatedly aligned
himself with America’s adversaries and alienated
our allies. Amid an unprecedented public health crisis, he has demonstrated
a wanton disregard for human life, intentionally misled
us, and denied
science as Americans die in record numbers. He’s explicitly threatened Americans exercising their First Amendment rights, including his political opponents
and the media, issued statements widely viewed as calls to arms
Trump has a clear record of fanning the flames of hatred, including equating neo-Nazis
with peaceful protestors in Charlottesville, using racist epithets
, repeating anti-Semitic tropes
, and fueling xenophobic
conspiracy theories, which I have argued contributed
to the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history. At the first 2020 presidential debate, Trump had a chance to demonstrate to the American people where he stood on the issue of racially motivated violent extremism, which his own FBI director recently warned
is one of the greatest threats facing Americans.
The threat posed by Trump to our democracy has become even clearer in the lead-up to the election. In July, he suggested
the illegal postponement of the election. Despite constitutional term limits, Trump has asserted
he’s entitled to more than two terms as president. He’s refused
to commit to the peaceful transfer of power if he’s defeated, and questioned the validity, without proof, of mail-in ballots, which he himself previously used to vote.
He has baselessly repeated claims of voter fraud,
as the Justice Department has loosened its 40-year policy
on launching an investigation on voter fraud during an election cycle, and indicated
he expects the Supreme Court to rule in his favor if the election is litigated. All of this comes at the end of a presidential term that was rife with illegality, impropriety, and his impeachment by the House.
Now, on the eve of the election, reports
indicate that Trump plans to prematurely claim victory if it looks like he is close to 270 electoral votes on election night. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany
have denied that the claims are true, but Trump and his team have signaled
their plans to litigate the counting of mail-in ballots after Election Day.
But if the President is indeed planning on do this, it would improperly disregard postmarked mail-in ballots in states like Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania secretary of state
, there may be as many as 10 times the number of mail-in ballots in 2020 than there were in 2016 in this critical swing state, which can legally accept
mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day until November 6. The dubious legal groundwork for this position was recently laid by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh
, who served on the Republican legal team that stopped the presidential election recount 20 years ago
Though some of us have become numb to the daily outrages, we cannot forget this simple fact: Trump’s behavior is that of an authoritarian. What may feel like a tumultuous and frenetic daily news cycle is the clear erosion of our democracy during Trump’s presidency.
As this monumental election comes to a close, it’s important to remember what’s at stake and how future generations will view the choice facing Americans at this critical crossroads. Will we choose the path of authoritarianism and hatred with Trump, or will we choose decency and democracy with Joe Biden? While we cannot know the outcome at this point, we do know that history will judge those who abandon their values and allow rise of bigotry and hate. Your children and grandchildren will someday ask whether you stood up for your values or whether you were a passive bystander, and a vote for Biden must be part of your answer. It’s the only decent choice.
#Opinion #decent #choice #election