The next election is eight months away, but President Donald Trump is already trying to suggest that there will massive amounts of voter fraud.

Bloomberg News reports:

“According to a leaked recording of a Trump campaign official, Trump is all in on the ‘voter fraud’ theme this year. ‘We’ve got a guy that’s committed to this, who is able to short-circuit media attention on stuff,’ said Trump campaign senior counsel Justin Clark last November to a meeting of the Republican National Lawyers Association in Madison, Wisconsin. ‘Let’s start playing offense a little bit. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program.'”

How will that play out? Here’s the plan for a frontal assault on American democracy the likes of which we’ve never seen before:

  • Trump will foment hysteria about voter fraud — “the issues that come up” — to justify GOP suppression tactics, AKA the “program.”
  • Possible dirty tricks such as Election Day power outages in Democratic cities that are key in swing states such as Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
  • Increased intimidation by so-called “poll watchers” who try to harass and discourage voters — especially voters of color — in an attempt to drive down participation by minorities.

Even worse will be what recourse is available to Democrats if they suspect that Republicans have deliberately sabotaged the election. What could Democrats do if Trump wins a razor-thin reelection but there are widespread reports of voter suppression and intimidation across the country?

“The choice in that case is to accept that the election was stolen, and accept Trump’s ensuing assault on democracy and rule of law, or plunge the nation into an electoral civil war with no clear endgame. The terminus of any legal process is a very Trumpy Supreme Court.”

November 3 is drawing closer with each day we mark off the 2020 calendar. And as we’ve already seen, Trump and Republicans are willing to do just about anything to stay in power. But that may wind up destroying the most basic foundations of our republic.

Featured Image Via NBC News