There is no political gain for Biden. Trump will never abide by rules. Biden is not going to change the mind of anyone who watched that shitshow tonight and didn't conclude Trump is a dangerous man. There should not be any more debates. It is not about whether Trump will look strong or Biden will look weak. It is about the message Trump is sending to people in this country who are itching for armed conflict. No network should be giving him that platform again.
In the coming weeks, Trump is going to send his Gestapo into Democratic cities to hunt undocumented immigrants. Erik Prince is going to send his shadow army into Democratic cities to threaten protestors. They are going to ignite a fire and bait protestors into conflict. The last thing this country needs is more Trump infomercials to throw gasoline on a fire.
Nobody should pretend that we are living in normal times by going through normal election debates or rituals. People need to understand that getting back to normal is going to be a herculean task. They should not feel comfortable. They should not believe Trump is going to go quietly into the night if he loses. They should not even pretend that counting all the ballots will end this nightmare. It will only be the beginning of a new phase and people need to start preparing for that.
That does not mean everyone needs to go buy barbed wire or guns. It means that thoughtful discussions should already be taking place about organizing mass actions whether they are national strikes or mass sustained protests. That means you must prepare yourself to go to the street and refuse to leave if Trump attempts to steal an election.
What was on display tonight was a totally unhinged, trapped animal who knows he must keep the White House or go to jail. He is like every other fanatic without guardrails that you have learned about in history class. He will not go quietly. His cult will not go quietly. They will only go when people get off the couch and refuse to let them take over the public square and destroy our democratic institutions. This is not Democrat or Republican any longer. This is a fight for the survival of democracy.
Tonight, was not only a national disgrace, it was a national security disaster as well. America's enemies will double down on their plots against this country. Russia will fuck with our politics to the point we don't even know who we are any longer. They will continue to sow division on social media and other platforms. They will continue to pay rightwing militias and wannabe militias to stir up trouble. Russia will further radicalize people in this country with an endless stream of disinformation and lies. While we are distracted at home, they will act abroad. Our allies will continue to question what kind of country this has become. Our alliances will continue to weaken as our allies’ trust in our institutions is diminished by the day. We have one main security blanket left and that is us; the majority of the American people.
There is no secret sauce to fix this. There is no military or police agency to call upon to save us. There are fewer and fewer courts to work with for justice. Trump has packed the judiciary with unqualified judges and fanatics as he bragged about tonight. He will continue to triumphantly boast as he drives every independent prosecutor out of government. He will gloat as each institution dissolves into a shell of itself. We live in a country right now where the rule of law is being dismantled and replaced by the cult of personality.
Americans have lived too long with the myths of exceptionalism. We are not exceptional. We are like every other country in the world that has faced a dangerous insurgency. We are not special or God's special project. It is time Americans faced up to this. Go vote. Get everyone you know to vote. Have a plan to vote. And start planning to protect that vote. If we do not, we will slide into a fascist dictatorship which will require immense bloodshed to escape.
This election isn't about Joe Biden any longer. This election is about the survival of democracy. We can fix what is wrong with it when we secure our institutions. Without those, we have nothing. And that includes your 401K which will go into a freefall in a constitutional crisis, along with your job, the dollar and foreign investment.
⏩ Julie Brown is a US citizen.