Contributed by Jim Hayes
Donald Trump continues to hedge his bets on the coming U.S. Presidential election. Fearful of bombing out on the polls, he has been ratcheting up his raving against fraud in the postal balloting system.
Postal balloting simply means that ballots are mailed out to voters, they in and return them. But Trump insists that they may be falsified to turn out a result that goes against him. He dragged his feet as long as he could, on negotiations over the funding needed by the postal service to cope. Then he blamed state legislatures for need being up to the task. Now he is saying that sheriff and lawyers will be dispatched to protect the votes against the fraud he is claiming.
The President doesn’t have the authority, on paper at least, to do any of these things.
Undaunted, Trump made it clear last week, on his latest Fox Sean Hannity interview, that he may not recognise an election outcome against him.
Trump tears into Democrats pushing for mail-in voting on ‘Hannity’
After a list of unverified claims with the like minded interviewer, Donald Trump comes out ans says it.
Video from Fox News
But there is more to this than the ambitions of an individual. Donald Trump is where he is, because behind him, there is a well healed and connected caste permeating the institutions of power. This is a ruling class extending form Wall Street, into the judiciary, political institutions, military, media, and culture. If this ruling class wants to deny the vote, it will do so regardless of what it’s supposed to do on paper.
Trump’s problem is much less the legal niceties than that the dominant class is divided on whether it wants him to continue as the President. It’s a matter of different strategies to protect the same interests, in the context of the economic, political, health and climate crisis.
Crisis is polarising the nation in terms of experiences, wealth, and politics. As the Black Lives Matter movement has shown, a spark can quickly ignite the underlying tension.
The call for significant change among Americans has grown. On the other hand, so has the politics of hate, most visibly represented by the spectacle of gun toting pro Trump vigilantes.
The pro-Trump camp faction increasingly leans towards controlling the situation through its version bending the rules and tough policing. The other faction sees that the situation is best served through a minimal compromise now, so as to be in a better position down the track.
Both factions share the objective of protecting their collective dominance. They differ on how to do this.
The election battle is largely over which faction will prevail. This is shown in the fact that when you take the electioneering away, the differences in policy are marginal. This near bipartisanship at the top exists, despite the sharp political divide in American society.
It can happen because the self-praised democracy of the United States is really a manipulated system. Both the republicans and Democrats ultimately have their leaders chosen by committees of their largest donors. Individuals are elevated through their connections. The political system is thoroughly corrupt. In no other countries do representatives of corporations openly hand over payments to buy votes of elected representatives.
The United Sates has the unique electoral college system. The result is not necessarily determined by the candidate with the most votes form the citizens. The vote of 270 representatives selected by the political machine can counter the political will of the population, and has done so more than once. Thee last time, when it went for Donald Trump in 2016.
But these are unusual times. The edifice is significantly less stable than it was. This makes this coming presidential election more important than most. At stake, is whether the nation is going to take a sharp turn towards a much more pronounced authoritarianism or a limited accommodation to the growing demand for a new course.
Meanwhile, the Trump machine has been busy looking for ways to delete names from the electoral rolls. Who knows what else might happen?