July 13, 2020

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Donald Trump’s re-election playbook: 25 ways he’ll lie, cheat and abuse his power

<figcaption class="C($c-fuji-grey-h) Fz(13px) Py(5px) Lh(1.5)" title="Photograph: Carlos Barría/Reuters” data-reactid=”12″>

Photograph: Carlos Barría/Reuters

Donald Trump will do anything to be re-elected. His opponents are limited because they believe in democracy. Trump has no limits because he doesn’t.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Related: Trump bruised as polls favour Biden – but experts warn of risk of dirty tricks” data-reactid=”18″>Related: Trump bruised as polls favour Biden – but experts warn of risk of dirty tricks

Here’s Trump’s re-election playbook, in 25 simple steps:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="1) Declare yourself above the law.” data-reactid=”20″>1) Declare yourself above the law.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2) Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs”, “lowlife” and “rioters and looters”. Describe Covid-19 as “kung-flu”. Retweet posts from white supremacists. In your campaign ads, use a symbol associated with Nazis.” data-reactid=”21″>2) Use racist fearmongering. Demand “law and order” and describe protesters as “thugs”, “lowlife” and “rioters and looters”. Describe Covid-19 as “kung-flu”. Retweet posts from white supremacists. In your campaign ads, use a symbol associated with Nazis.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="3) Appoint an attorney general more loyal to you than to America, and politicize the Department of Justice so it’s lenient on your loyalists and comes down hard on your enemies. Have it lighten the sentence of a crony convicted of lying under oath. Order investigations of industries you dislike.” data-reactid=”22″>3) Appoint an attorney general more loyal to you than to America, and politicize the Department of Justice so it’s lenient on your loyalists and comes down hard on your enemies. Have it lighten the sentence of a crony convicted of lying under oath. Order investigations of industries you dislike.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="4) Fire US attorneys who are investigating you.” data-reactid=”23″>4) Fire US attorneys who are investigating you.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="5) Fire independent inspectors general who are looking into what you’ve done. Crush any whistleblowers you find.” data-reactid=”24″>5) Fire independent inspectors general who are looking into what you’ve done. Crush any whistleblowers you find.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="6) Demean and ignore the intelligence community. Appoint a director of national intelligence more loyal to you than to America. Demand that the head of the FBI pledge loyalty to you.” data-reactid=”25″>6) Demean and ignore the intelligence community. Appoint a director of national intelligence more loyal to you than to America. Demand that the head of the FBI pledge loyalty to you.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="7) Pack the federal courts with judges and justices more loyal to you than to the constitution.” data-reactid=”26″>7) Pack the federal courts with judges and justices more loyal to you than to the constitution.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="8) Politicize the Department of Defense so generals will back whatever you order. Refer to them as “my generals”. Have them help clear out protesters. Order the military to surveil protesters. Tell governors you’ll bring in the military to stop protesters.” data-reactid=”27″>8) Politicize the Department of Defense so generals will back whatever you order. Refer to them as “my generals”. Have them help clear out protesters. Order the military to surveil protesters. Tell governors you’ll bring in the military to stop protesters.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="9) Purge your party of anyone disloyal to you and turn it into a mindless, brainless, spineless cult.” data-reactid=”28″>9) Purge your party of anyone disloyal to you and turn it into a mindless, brainless, spineless cult.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="10) Get rid of accumulated experience and expertise in government. Demean career public servants. Hollow out the state department, the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and public health.” data-reactid=”29″>10) Get rid of accumulated experience and expertise in government. Demean career public servants. Hollow out the state department, the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and public health.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="11) Reward donors and cronies with bailouts, tax breaks, subsidies, government contracts, regulatory rollbacks and plum jobs. Put their lobists in charge of your agencies. Distribute $500bn in pandemic assistance to corporations in secret, without any oversight.” data-reactid=”30″>11) Reward donors and cronies with bailouts, tax breaks, subsidies, government contracts, regulatory rollbacks and plum jobs. Put their lobists in charge of your agencies. Distribute $500bn in pandemic assistance to corporations in secret, without any oversight.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="12) Coddle dictators. Don’t criticize their human rights abuses. Refuse to work with the leaders of other democracies. Withdraw from international treaties.” data-reactid=”31″>12) Coddle dictators. Don’t criticize their human rights abuses. Refuse to work with the leaders of other democracies. Withdraw from international treaties.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="13) Create scapegoats. Demonize migrants and lock up asylum seekers at the border, even if they’re children. Put a white nationalist in charge of immigration policy. Blame Muslims, Mexicans and Chinese.” data-reactid=”32″>13) Create scapegoats. Demonize migrants and lock up asylum seekers at the border, even if they’re children. Put a white nationalist in charge of immigration policy. Blame Muslims, Mexicans and Chinese.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="14) Denigrate and ridicule all critics. Describe opponents as “human scum”. Attack the mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.” data-reactid=”33″>14) Denigrate and ridicule all critics. Describe opponents as “human scum”. Attack the mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people”.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="15) Conjure up conspiracies supposedly led your predecessor and your opponent in the last election. Without any evidence, accuse your predecessor of “treason”. Fabricate a “deep state” out to get you.” data-reactid=”34″>15) Conjure up conspiracies supposedly led your predecessor and your opponent in the last election. Without any evidence, accuse your predecessor of “treason”. Fabricate a “deep state” out to get you.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="16) Downplay real threats to the nation, such as a rapidly spreading pandemic. Lie about your utter failure to contain it. Muzzle public health experts. Urge people to go back to work even as the pandemic worsens in parts of the country.” data-reactid=”35″>16) Downplay real threats to the nation, such as a rapidly spreading pandemic. Lie about your utter failure to contain it. Muzzle public health experts. Urge people to go back to work even as the pandemic worsens in parts of the country.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="17) Encourage armed supporters to “liberate” states from elected officials who disagree with you.” data-reactid=”36″>17) Encourage armed supporters to “liberate” states from elected officials who disagree with you.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="18) Bribe other nations to investigate your electoral opponent and flood social media with lies about him.” data-reactid=”37″>18) Bribe other nations to investigate your electoral opponent and flood social media with lies about him.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="19) Use rightwing propaganda machines like Fox News and conspiracy-theory-peddling One America News to inundate the country with your lies. Ensure that the morally bankrupt chief executive of Facebook allows you to spread your lies on the biggest media machine in the world.” data-reactid=”38″>19) Use rightwing propaganda machines like Fox News and conspiracy-theory-peddling One America News to inundate the country with your lies. Ensure that the morally bankrupt chief executive of Facebook allows you to spread your lies on the biggest media machine in the world.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="20) Suppress the votes of people likely to vote against you. Intimidate voters of color. Encourage Republican governors to purge voter rolls, demand voter ID and close polling places.” data-reactid=”39″>20) Suppress the votes of people likely to vote against you. Intimidate voters of color. Encourage Republican governors to purge voter rolls, demand voter ID and close polling places.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="21) Seek to prevent mail-in ballots during the pandemic. Claim they will cause voter fraud, without evidence. Threaten to close the US postal service.” data-reactid=”40″>21) Seek to prevent mail-in ballots during the pandemic. Claim they will cause voter fraud, without evidence. Threaten to close the US postal service.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Related: Covid-19 survivors could lose health insurance if Trump wins bid to repeal Obamacare” data-reactid=”41″>Related: Covid-19 survivors could lose health insurance if Trump wins bid to repeal Obamacare

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="22) Get Vladimir Putin to hack into US election machines, as he did in 2016 but can now do with more experience and deftness. Promise him that in return you’ll further destabilize America as well as Nato. Let him even place a bounty on killing US troops in Afghanistan.” data-reactid=”42″>22) Get Vladimir Putin to hack into US election machines, as he did in 2016 but can now do with more experience and deftness. Promise him that in return you’ll further destabilize America as well as Nato. Let him even place a bounty on killing US troops in Afghanistan.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="23) If it still looks like you’ll be voted out, try to postpone the election.” data-reactid=”45″>23) If it still looks like you’ll be voted out, try to postpone the election.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="24) If you’re voted out of office notwithstanding all this, refuse to leave. Contest the election, claim massive fraud, say it’s a conspiracy, get your cult of a political party to support your lies, get your propaganda machine to repeat them, get your justice department to back you, get your judges and justices to affirm you, get your generals to suppress any subsequent rebellion.” data-reactid=”46″>24) If you’re voted out of office notwithstanding all this, refuse to leave. Contest the election, claim massive fraud, say it’s a conspiracy, get your cult of a political party to support your lies, get your propaganda machine to repeat them, get your justice department to back you, get your judges and justices to affirm you, get your generals to suppress any subsequent rebellion.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="25) Declare victory.” data-reactid=”47″>25) Declare victory.

Memo to America: beware Trump’s playbook. Spread the truth. Stay vigilant. Fight for our democracy.

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