Editorial | Trump wrongly flirts with election ‘delay’ as poll numbers and U.S. economy sink — but he can’t cancel anything

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the news media before departing on Marine One for travel to Midland, Texas from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 29, 2020. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)

In possibly the most alarming Tweet issued in his four-year reign, President Donald Trump suggested today that the November 3 election should be delayed.

Of course he cannot do this, the Constitution does not allow it and only Congress would have the power to make such a disruptive call.

For 230 years, American presidential elections have been held in the first week of November, as required by the Constitution. These elections have taken place against the backdrop of a civil war, global wars, depressions and pandemics.

Furthermore, under the 20th Amendment of the Constitution, the president’s term expires Jan. 20, 2021. If this election heist is somehow pulled off, and there is no elected president or vice president come Jan. 20, 2021, the presidency falls to the Speaker of the House. Perhaps to his political arch nemesis, Nancy Pelosi.

It becomes ponderous that our president didn’t really think this through. How uncharacteristic…

A particularly niggling point to pay attention to is the media’s coverage of this Tweet so far. Many reports add an aside that perhaps this Tweet wasn’t serious. Perhaps it was a joke. And this reminds us of the shocking reality that flippant, often highly irrational Tweets are our mainline to the mind of our Commander in Chief — a mind that seems increasingly unstable.

It should be apparent to all that this is a shameful ploy made by a desperate and power hungry man who is trailing in the polls to Biden, facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, with hundreds of thousands of deaths on his hands and therefore in need of more time to think of an ideological strategy other than the economy — his go-to until COVID hit — to weasel himself a win. He himself, not mail voting, is the fraud.

And this is not the first time Trump has made dictatorial claims. We remember his declaration of “total authority” back in April when threatening to manhandle state governments in their strategies for dealing with the pandemic.

He was taken to task then, and he must be taken to task now. Trump should quickly get used to the fact that the Constitution’s authority over the American electoral process is the only totalistic aspect of this debate—lest we descend into tyranny.

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