The cover story for the November 2020 issue of the Atlantic, The Election That Could Break America, has been making the rounds all day on social media along with dire predictions of how The Great Experiment, our United States, is doomed. My Twitter feed is completely covered with this and political pundits from all sides are weighing in on how this will be pulled off by Trump and the Republicans and there is nothing that can be done to stop this. They are wrong.
Trump is certainly up to his usual tricks by refusing to commit to accepting the results of the upcoming election unless, of course, he wins. There is no doubt that the Republican political machinery is in high-gear figuring out ways to try and steal the election with tactics ranging from outright voter suppression to back room machinations in the various battleground states. All their work will be for naught, unfortunately for them.
In his Atlantic article, Barton Gellman outlines the various ways Trump and the Republicans will try to steal the election. I won’t dispute a single thing in the article; his research is impeccable and the different scenarios he paints are extremely plausible. From having the Boogaloo Bois and other right-wing groups show up at the polls to intimidate voters to throwing out thousands if not millions of mail-in ballots, as well as all the other nefarious tricks that Trump and his supporters could possible use to subvert the will of the American people, Gellman’s article is like a Mike Tyson barrage, the end result being Trump getting another four years or the US Government grinding to a standstill with no exit strategy other than capitulating to Trump and his demands. Make no mistake about it, a second Trump term is the most dangerous prospect this country faces. The fact that Trump is actively trying to subvert the election now should be taken as a signal that Trump knows how precarious his position is. A large voter turnout would, as Trump himself has said, “be the end of the Republican party”.
So what is the source of my optimism that Trump’s efforts to steal this election will fail? Simply this: Back in August, Politico and the New York Times reported that Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson reached out to Trump regarding the Corona virus situation and the effects it was having on the economy. The conversation grew increasingly confrontational with Trump accusing Adelson of not contributing enough and Republicans are now very concerned that Trump has alienated Adelson and that Adelson’s cash has stopped flowing. Adelson, who is the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, was concerned because the revenues from his casinos had taken a significant hit due to the Coronavirus and the subsequent closing of the casinos. Adelson’s bio can be found here. While Adelson’s support has centered around getting legislation passed to further the interests of Israel, this spirit of philanthropy went right out the window when he saw the coffers of his casino empire starting to diminish. Hence the call to Trump. Trump, unaware of the tens of millions of dollars that Adelson has given in support of Republicans became antagonistic and, in typical Trump fashion, blamed Adelson for not contributing more. Adelson reportedly hung up.
While this story received very little coverage in the press and the little it did receive was quickly forgotten, the importance of the exchange is not diminished in the least. Adelson is a multi-billionaire and the huge transfer of wealth that we have been constantly hearing about has resulted in many millionaires becoming billionaires and billionaires becoming multi-billionaires. Most of this income growth has come through Wall Street, primarily the stock market. The stock market has a very fragile psyche and nothing causes investors to turn tail and run more than political unrest. If Trump makes good on his threats to undermine the democratic process the resulting backlash will render this country ungovernable and the economic hit will be catastrophic. Trillions of dollars will vanish with little or no hope of recovering it. You can be sure that all this wealth and power is not going to let a conman and huckster like Trump destroy their fortunes and the lifestyles they live. They will turn on him like they turned on Bernie Madoff who is currently serving a 150-year sentence in Federal Prison for running a Ponzi scheme that bilked these very same super rich clients. There will be no coup, the election will proceed as all elections have and, hopefully, the Trump nightmare will be over along with the Republican party.