A silent rebellion against Trump is happening amongst people who say they still support him. There is also a silent rebellion happening amongst Republican senators who pretend to still support him publicly, but who can’t wait to vote against him in private when they are alone with their ballot. Their win- win strategy is to pretend to support him, avoid his retaliation, and in private vote against him in loyalty to democracy and decency.
Trump’s out of control debate performance revealed how desperately insecure, indecent, and corrupt he is, but it also damaged America’s standing as the beacon of democracy. In response to the embarrassing debacle of a debate, Russian and Chinese media have commented that the United States is no longer the strong democracy it once was. CNN reported that Trump’s constant public assault on our democratic norms and the Constitutional rule of law has handed autocratic and Communist countries a narrative to discredit the reputation of the United States as no longer being the once admired model of democracy.
Trump’s shout-out to the white supremacist group The Proud Boys during the debate was a disturbing moment for millions of Americans. He used a cadence when shouting, ” Stand up and stand by” when addressing the group which sounded like a directive to get violent should he need them if he loses the election. When asked to denounce white supremacy, Trump refuses to reject these groups by name. In response to a violent neo- Nazi rally in Charlottesville in 2017, Trump said, ” there were good people on both sides” of the demonstration. Additionally, he has denied the existence of systemic racism and has done nothing to address the disproportionate level of police brutality towards black men taken into custody. Trump is aware he is the candidate of choice of racist, white supremist groups and he blatantly panders to their arrogance and hateful bigotry.
Aside from the persistent interrupting of Joe Biden and Chris Wallace during the debate, Trump showed a cruel, rageful side of his character and personality. When attacking Biden personally about his education and years of government service, he appeared to enjoy doing it. He also attacked Biden’s son, Hunter, falsely claiming he was dishonorably discharged from military service. While on the attack, his demeanor was vicious and disturbing to witness. This display of emotional instability unnerved the nation and portrayed a president who is incapable of compassion, self-control, and positive leadership. Prior presidential debates have been contentious based on policy differences. However, prior candidates did not suffer from severe narcissism, pathological insecurity, and rageful impulse control, therefore vindictiveness and cruelty were not part of the discourse.
As the election approaches, Trump is continuing his attempt to suppress the vote by damaging the efficiency of the USPS and making false claims that vote-by-mail is fraudulent. The United States has never had a president that was directly responsible for trying to interfere with our democratic election process. Trump and Russia do not want America to remain the kind of democracy that was created by our founding fathers. This president has taken the country towards an autocracy where propaganda, misinformation, and division have been normalized and the rule-of-law has been exchanged with corruption. Americans need to vote country over party or America’s descent into autocracy is inevitable.