Courtesy of CNBC:

President Donald Trump refused Wednesday to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the 2020 election to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“Well, we’ll have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster,” Trump said at a news conference at the White House. It appeared Trump was referring to mail-in ballots, which he has repeatedly condemned, without evidence, as susceptible to massive fraud.

The president had been asked by a reporter if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power, “win, lose or draw.”

When the reporter noted that “people are rioting,” Trump replied: “Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very – you’ll have a very peaceful – there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation.”

“The ballots are out of control,” Trump said, adding, “The Democrats know it better than anybody else.”

So Trump is now declaring, quite forcefully, that if he loses it will definitely mean election fraud and that he will not voluntarily leave office in that case.

If that were not scary enough behind the scenes Trump has been making plans to completely bypass the election.

Courtesy of The Week:

President Trump’s campaign is discussing “contingency plans” that would involve bypassing the result of November’s election, reports The Atlantic.

The report delves into possible scenarios if Trump apparently loses the 2020 presidential election but doesn’t concede, noting that although we’re used to electors being selected based on the popular vote, “nothing in the Constitution says it has to be that way.” Citing Republican Party sources, The Atlantic says that Trump’s campaign is “discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority.”

The campaign would reportedly assert that this step was necessary due to claims of supposed voter fraud, which experts have noted is extraordinarily rare, ahead of the “safe harbor” deadline to appoint 538 electors on Dec. 8.

“Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly,” The Atlantic reports. “The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.”

A Trump campaign legal adviser who spoke to The Atlantic said that in this scenario, “the state legislatures will say, ‘All right, we’ve been given this constitutional power. We don’t think the results of our own state are accurate, so here’s our slate of electors that we think properly reflect the results of our state.” Lawrence Tabas, chair of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, also told The Atlantic he has discussed the direct appointment of electors with the Trump campaign, saying, “I’ve mentioned it to them, and I hope they’re thinking about it too.” The Trump campaign said it is “fighting for a free and fair election.”

I have been worried about this election every since Trump first took office, but now I am quite terrified of what might happen. 

Every defense we believed we had in place to keep this very thing from happening seems to have failed us, and now we are on the brink of having our first American dictator take power and crush our democracy under his foot.