As Americans, we cherish our right to vote. Too many of us do not vote. This election may decide the future of America. Please vote.
Trump is intentionally undermining confidence in voting as president has ever done. He declared that voting already underway was “a fraud and a shame” and proof of “a rigged election.” He encouraged his supporters to intimidate voters. Sadly, voter fraud is the cornerstone of Trump’s efforts to cast doubt when he loses.
He refuses to accept the legitimate result of the election. His unwillingness to say he would abide by the result, and his disinformation campaign about the integrity of the American electoral system is disturbing and un-American. Trump’s remarks convince his supporters that if he loses, it is only because the election was unfair.
He wrongly claims the vote will be fraudulent despite no evidence of widespread problems. But he also declined not to declare victory until the election was certified.
Thomas Carothers is the senior vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He said that “it is unprecedented in modern U.S. history having a sitting U.S. president attack the integrity of the election before an election — there is no parallel.”
Mr. Carothers said that the president’s call for his supporters to go into the polls to watch raised concerns about possible voter intimidation.
“He’s preparing the ground for violent conflict over the election, and preparing the ground for a lack of legitimacy for the process,” he said.
The President refused to denounce violent white supremacists and white nationalist supporters. Trump’s own F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, said that “racially motivated violent extremism” from white supremacists are the vast majority of all domestic violent terrorist threats.
“Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?” Chris Wallace asked Trump. “White supremacists and right-wing militias,” the moderator clarified, as Biden specifically mentioned the Proud Boys, a violent far-right gang of white nationalists that encourage violence.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said.
Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other Trump supporters heard the call. Gang members called the president’s comment a tacit endorsement of their violent tactics. The Proud Boys even made patches for their uniforms and celebrated online. They posted in private social media channels calling the president’s comments “historic.” In another message, a member commented that the group was already seeing a spike in “new recruits.”
Biden sent a different message to the Proud Boys: “Cease and desist.” “My message to the Proud Boys and every other white supremacist group is cease and desist,” Mr. Biden said. “That’s not who we are. This is not who we are as Americans.”
Please exercise your constitutional right to vote. Be safe.