How to stop America's slide toward tyranny
Without a shred of evidence, Trump claims that mail-in ballots are rife with fraud. Rubbish. Mail-in ballots, also called absentee ballots, have been used for years across America. They have proven safe and secure.
Even the right-wing Heritage Foundation, after examining 36 years of mail-in ballots, found only 1,285 cases of voter fraud out of nearly two billion votes cast – a rate of .0000007 percent. That's about the same probability of being hit by an asteroid. Or to put it another way, you are 10.5 times MORE likely to be struck by lightning than for anyone to commit voter fraud.
Trump is raising doubts about mail-in ballots during this pandemic – when no one should have to choose between their health and their right to vote – because Trump is intent on contesting this election if he loses, and he knows that polls are showing him trailing Joe Biden.
Trump even refuses to commit to a peaceful transition of power. He claimed, "the only way we're going to lose this election is if the election is rigged."
He's also threatening to have states that he loses declare the votes invalid and certify their own slate of Trump electors in January.
His consigliere Roger Stone urges him to declare "martial law" if he loses. Michael Caputo, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, warns "the shooting will begin" when Trump refuses to stand down. And the white supremacist Proud Boys have already taken Trump's words from the debate, "stand down and stand by," as a signal to stoke violence in the coming weeks.
Never before in the history of our country has a presidential candidate suggested he wouldn't abide by the results of an election. Never before has a candidate refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power – the hallmark of our democracy. This alone makes him unfit to serve a second term.
What can the rest of us do? We need a blow-out election – a vast wave of Joe Biden voters that will make it almost impossible for Trump to claim he's the winner.
Here's what you can do right now to make it happen, at MoveOn.org/ActNow:
1) Check your registration, and read over your state's rules and deadlines for voting by mail, and in person.
2) Make a plan to vote. There are many options for how to cast your ballot this year, so make sure you know exactly how and when you're going to vote.
3) Do your research and make sure you're informed about the measures and candidates down the ballot
4) Help your friends and family make a plan to vote, too.
5) If you're healthy, and feel safe doing so, consider volunteering to be a poll worker. Being a poll worker will help mitigate long lines and keep the in-person voting process running smoothly.
This is our chance to change our nation's terrifying course. We can deliver a resounding defeat to Trump and every single one of his enablers, and stop our slide toward tyranny. But it's going to take each and every one of us.
Robert Reich, is the Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the the twentieth century. The author of many books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations, Beyond Outrage and, Saving Capitalism. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." Reich's newest book is "The Common Good." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.