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Democracy or Dictatorship? You Choose.

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Trump mug shot
Donald Trump is planning retribution against his opponents if he wins his bid for the White House. Do we really want a strong man dictator as our president?

Donald Trump and his pals are reportedly plotting ways to use the U.S. Justice Department to retaliate against President Biden and his supporters if Trump regains the White House, but voters Tuesday sent another message: Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.

On an election night Nov. 7 with much at stake, Republicans were trounced leading to calls for the firing of GOP Chair Ronna McDaniel. Meanwhile, Trump is making it clear that a repeat term of his presidency would result in revenge and retaliation against his opponents, including former Trump insiders who have turned against him. Such actions would make the U.S. little more than a third-world dictatorship, and Republican leaders seem just fine with that idea.

"This is why Americans needs the RULE OF LAW," wrote former Nixon counsel John W. Dean on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Politics should not be about REVENGE and RETRIBUTION, rather governing a diverse nation of free people. Elect Trump and our democracy ends! His planning for his future presidency are all about a military dictatorship!"

So, democracy or dictatorship? You choose.

Here's what The Washington Post wrote November 7:

"In private, Trump has told advisers and friends in recent months that he wants the Justice Department to investigate onetime officials and allies who have become critical of his time in office, including his former chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and former attorney general William P. Barr, as well as his ex-attorney Ty Cobb and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley, according to people who have talked to him, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Trump has also talked of prosecuting officials at the FBI and Justice Department, a person familiar with the matter said.

"In public, Trump has vowed to appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” President Biden and his family. The former president has frequently made corruption accusations against them that are not supported by available evidence."

All of this comes as recent public opinion polling shows Trump leading President Joe Biden in head-to-head matchups, with Biden support softening significantly among young voters and people of color -- polling that has many Democratic supporters and pundits suggesting that Biden should step aside in favor of a younger, more viable candidate.

“I am concerned,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told The Washington Post. “I was concerned before these numbers. I am concerned by the inexplicable credibility that Donald Trump seems to have despite all of the indictments, the lies, the incredible wrongdoing.”

The Post quoted Cliff Albright, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, as saying that Biden's support among Black voters in 2020 was less than enthusiastic, but they chose him over Trump as the lesser of two evils.

Albright told The Post that many Black voters, especially younger ones, have been disillusioned by Biden’s policies, especially on student debt — his effort to forgive borrowers was overturned by the Supreme Court — and his fervent support of Israel. Albright said he expects many Black voters to still support Biden, but that Biden needs to do some work to keep them in the fold.

If what Albright says is true about young Black voters being pissed because Biden has not succeeded in rolling back their student loans, that is incredible. What do they expect him to do when the Supreme Court ruled against his plan? Do they not remember that the Court is now dominated by Trump's appointed justices? Even with that ruling, Biden has tried via executive orders to reduce economic hardships caused by student debt. He deserves credit for that effort.

The Stench of Mitch McConnell

Election night November 7, however, provided Democrats with some good news, and results in many states, including conservative Ohio, gave them reason for optimism and ammunition for success next November.

Despite Biden's apparent unpopularity (largely because of his age, I suspect), Democrats won crucial victories. Kentucky voters easily re-elected Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, putting him in the conversation as a potential presidential candidate. In fact, Beshear's victory over Trump's chosen candidate, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, prompted Trump to blame Cameron's loss (he once had a 25 point lead) on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).

"Daniel Cameron lost because he couldn't alleviate the stench of Mitch McConnell," Trump wrote on Truth Social. "I told him early that's a big burden to overcome. McConnell and [Utah Senator Mitch] Romney are Kryptonite for Republican Candidates."

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Daniel McCaffery won an open seat on the state Supreme Court; and in Virginia, Democrats maintained their state Senate majority and recaptured the House of Delegates. That likely dooms Gov. Glenn Youngkin's hopes for curbing abortion rights, and most likely any hopes he might have of running for president if Trump fails.

In fact, Democrats opposing Republican efforts to restrict abortions did well. In ruby red Ohio, voters approved by a margin of 56.6 to 43.4 percenan amendment adding abortion rights to the state constitution. Clearly, the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last year is motivating voters, and Democrats are capitalizing on that.

"Voters came out in droves to send a clear message: Ohioans believe women’s health care decisions should be between them and their doctors, not politicians," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) at the top of a fundraising email distributed Wednesday.

Key Election Results

Here's a summary of the Nov. 7 election results as provided by the Biden-Harris campaign:

  • Abortion was considered “the running theme of the night” as Republicans were “dogged by abortion positions to the right of the electorate, even in red states.”

  • In Ohio, despite Republicans’ best efforts to mislead voters and distract from the issues on the ballot, Ohioans decisively voted to protect reproductive rights. It’s the seventh state since 2022 where abortion access has been on the ballot directly – and every single time voters have overwhelmingly voted in favor of reproductive freedoms.

  • In Kentucky, which Trump won by 26 points in 2020, voters rejected Cameron’s support for the commonwealth’s abortion ban that has no exceptions for rape and incest, sending Andy Beshear back to the Governor’s mansion.

  • In Virginia, where Youngkin spent nearly $15 million to try to take total control of the Virginia government to pass an abortion ban, Virginians soundly rejected his efforts, holding the state Senate and flipping the House of Delegates into Democratic control.

  • In Pennsylvania, voters across the commonwealth blocked Republican Carolyn Carluccio – who was endorsed by extreme anti-abortion groups – from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and elected Democrat Daniel McCaffery to safeguard reproductive rights.

Voters rejected Republicans’ dangerous anti-democracy agenda:

  • In Pennsylvania, voters rejected Carolyn Carluccio – the Republican candidate for Supreme Court who refused to say who won the 2020 election – in support of Democrat Daniel McCaffery who campaigned on protecting voting rights.

  • In Kentucky, Cameron, who refused to denounce Donald Trump’s dangerous election denials, significantly underperformed candidates who strongly rejected stolen election conspiracies.

Voters rejected Republicans’ MAGAnomics agenda:

  • In Virginia, Youngkin and MAGA Republicans relentlessly campaigned on giving tax breaks to the wealthy – and lost.

  • In Kentucky, Republicans spent $30 million focused on attacking Joe Biden in an attempt to defeat Governor Beshear – they even attacked him for supporting Bidenomics. It didn’t work.

  • Cameron closed his campaign for Kentucky governor with Donald Trump campaigning for him – and he lost. President Biden and Vice President Harris endorsed 23 Democratic state legislature candidates in Virginia – two-thirds of them won.

The Biden-Harris coalition is energized – and they’re turning out to vote:

  • In Pennsylvania, the number of absentee ballot returns for youth voters statewide more than doubled since 2021, campus precincts saw substantial increases in student turnout compared to 2021, and Philadelphia County far surpassed 2021 turnout

  • In Ohio, more than 70% of Hispanic voters and more than 80% of Black voters and voters under 30 years old voted to protect reproductive rights.

  • Republicans had a turnout/enthusiasm problem even in states like deep red Kentucky.

Many a Slip 'Twixt the Cup and the Lip

So what does all of this mean? Are these polls showing Trump ahead of Biden fully a year out from next year's election a cause for concern?

During this coming year we will learn if Trump continues to be a viable candidate considering his indictments, trials, and the clear possibility that he could be convicted and even sent to prison. What will Republicans do then? Who will they turn to?

Biden on bike
Who's old?

And remember, Trump is only three years younger than Biden, who will be 81 on Nov. 20, but as fat as he is, he appears to be in much worse physical condition than the president. So, if voters buy into the GOP messaging that Biden is unhealthy and too old, that really doesn't wash when compared to Trump, despite Trump's makeup which is supposed to make him appear younger.

Meanwhile, Biden's achievements have been remarkable, and he continues to do his job and he does it well. And, he is unalterably committed to preserving and defending our democracy.

Trump? Do you really want to turn our country over to a twice impeached, four-times indicted ego maniac who is determined to exact retribution against his perceived enemies and use the power of the government to exact revenge?

The bottom line is this: Do you want to continue to live in a Democracy or in a dictatorship where one man rules with an iron fist?

So, once again. Democracy or dictatorship? You choose.

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