Even Trump admits that Democracy hangs in the balance

While out on bail from charges in four different jurisdictions, Republican Presidential darling, and criminal defendant Donald Trump riled up the crowd in South Dakota with comments strikingly similar to the ones he delivered on January 6th, before directing them to the Capitol. Most interesting to me was his admission that depending on the election, we may not have a country. He might have a country, but we won't.

Even a broken clock? Is that the adage I want? I think we disagree on which outcome is which, but this election is shaping up to be super important. I worry that our elections have become routinely so off-the-hook and packed with sitcom-style bullshit that we're unable to have a Presidential election where Democracy no longer hangs in the balance.


Characteristically, Trump also turned criticism of his behavior against his political foes, implicitly arguing that the true peril for America's political freedoms did not spring from his attempt to invalidate a free and fair election, but from efforts to make him face legal accountability for doing so. "It's really a threat to democracy while they trample our rights and liberties every single day of the year," he said.

"This is a big moment in our country because we're either going to go one way or the other, and if we go the other, we're not going to have a country left," he told supporters in South Dakota. "We will fight together, we will win together and then we will seek justice together," he added. This followed a March rally in which he billed his 2024 campaign and potential second term as a vessel of "retribution" for supporters who believe they've been wronged.

Trump is a highly skilled demagogue whose facility for injecting falsehoods and conspiracies into the country's political bloodstream creates a swirl of chaos and acrimony in which he alone seems to prosper. And his words shape public opinion. In a recent CNN poll, for example, only 28% of Republicans thought Biden legitimately won sufficient votes to win the 2020 election. This comes after years of Trump incessantly denying he lost, and despite courts throwing out his multiple challenges to the result.