Donald Trump can feel the 2020 election slipping away from him.
With every new poll that shows Joe Biden leading in almost every key battleground state, Trump and his campaign team get more desperate, leading him to try and question the legitimacy of the votes that will be cast via the U.S. mail.
The constant attack on absentee voting is clearly meant to sow doubt in the minds of the public, especially those who support Trump, so that if he does lose, he can try and stir up trouble and even declare that the entire election was, to use one of his favorite words, “rigged.”
But the real endgame for Trump lies in the federal courts, which he has packed with right-wing ideologues who believe a president has absolute power that cannot be questioned or reviewed by Congress or the courts. And Trump made it clear Saturday evening that he has every intention of fighting the 2020 presidential race in the courts.
During one of his campaign rallies in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Saturday night, Trump told the adoring crowd:
“We’re going to have a victory on November 3rd the likes of which you’ve never seen. Now, we’re counting on the federal court system to make it so that we can actually have an evening where we know who wins. Not where the votes are going to be counted a week later or two weeks later.”
All of those tweets from Trump about mail voting being rife with fraud (despite any evidence to support such a claim) have also been to lay the groundwork for a protracted battle the president plans to fight in the courts. He believes he can get judges he’s appointed to declare that all votes counted after election night are invalid. That way he can claim to be the winner before all the ballots have been tabulated. That’s what authoritarian leaders across the globe have been doing for centuries. It’s the same sort of crap that Russian President Vladimir Putin does when he’s not busy having his henchmen poison his opponents with nerve agents like Novichok.
For Donald Trump, the voters don’t matter. All that matters is his victory. And he’s trying to assure the outcome favors him no matter what the vote totals say.