I find this Twitter thread from Teri Kanefield insightful; therefore, I reposted here to make the reading experience easier. Kanefield writes:
I didn’t want to respond to the Atlantic piece about how Trump can steal the election by flipping electors in states with GOP held legislatures, but I will.
Here’s my take.
A few weeks ago, a theory that Trump could steal the election in this manner made the rounds. For this to happen, a string of very unlikely and highly improbable things would have to happen. The story died down.
The press right now is very bad for Trump.
Next thing we know, a legal advisor to the Trump campaign tells a reporter that this extremely unlikely event WILL happen because the states will line up and do what Trump wants (overturn the will of the people).
The Trump campaign wants this in the headlines.
“The state legislatures will say, ‘All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power. We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate, so here’s our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state.’”
I’m pretty sure everyone knows Trump would cheat, lie, steal, and even let 200K people die if he thought it would help him win.
There are several ways to respond to this story, but we have to begin by wondering why the “legal advisor” wants us to have this information.
First, remember that each state has rules that govern the certifying of their elections.
Yes, laws still matter. The Trump legal advisor wants you to think they don’t. Why? Because when enough people lose confidence in democracy, democracy will fail.
That’s why, as Clint Watts reminds us, a goal of active measures is to get you to lose confidence in democratic processes. Trump is trying his best to get you to lose confidence in democratic processes. He is trying to make you think he can pull this off.
New polls came out today showing that Trump is ten points behind nationally. The Strongman needs you to think he’s strong. He doesn’t want you talking about the polls. If he was winning, he’d want you talking about the polls. He’s losing so he needs to present a situation that makes him look strong. He wants you to think state legislatures will do whatever he tells them to do, including overturning the will of their own constituents because Trump ordered it.
This is not to say that very real things can’t go wrong. Polls showing a close race in Florida worry me. The fact that more than 45% of voters willingly choose Trump, despite everything we know worries me. The fact that so many people don’t vote worries me.
Here’s the thing about democracy: If a majority of voters no longer want it, it will cease to exist. If a majority of voters don’t put in the work, it will cease to exist.
Another thing to remember: These states with GOP-held legislatures that the Trump advisor wants you to think will do whatever Trump wants are getting hit very hard right now from COVID. People like Stuart Stevens tell us most GOP officials know Trump is unfit.
For about a dozen reasons, the scenario is highly unlikely. If Biden’s win across multiple swing states, getting hit by a meteor is more likely. But Trump wants the headline to be: Trump can steal the election! Being rather perverse, my response is, “Trump wants this headline, so let’s not give it to him.”Trump’s talent is controlling the national conversation. He manipulates everyone. Look how easy it is. His ‘legal advisor’ puts something like this forward…
Then most of Twitter takes the bait. Twitter peeps instantly (and obediently) begin discussing whether he can. People begin arguing for why it might be possible. Then everyone starts wondering how to prepare for this worst-case scenario. And Trump succeeds. Trump manipulated everyone. He transformed himself from a loser (in the polls) to a scary strongman. He’s a genius at manipulating the media and controlling the conversation.