Does Trump Know What the Word ‘Steal’ Means?

Donald Trump sent out an fundraising email on behalf of Karen Handel, the Republican who will be facing Jon Ossoff in a runoff this June for Georgia’s 6th District House seat.

Notice that in the first sentence, he accuses Democrats of spending millions of dollars in an attempt to “steal a Congressional seat from Republicans.” He goes on to suggest that they “will stop an nothing to tear down Karen Handel.”

That last sentence is probably in reference to the fact that both Democrats and the media are pointing out that Handel is best known nationally for a failed attempt to take cancer screening funding from Planned Parenthood – a decision for which she was eventually forced to resign from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. But as Trump has certainly demonstrated, bringing up someone’s history is just the way the game of politics is played.

It is Trump’s accusation that the Democrats are trying to steal the election that is outrageous. You have to wonder whether or not someone as morally bankrupt as this president has a basic understanding of what that word means. However, it lines up with a lot of the things he’s said and done that indicate he really doesn’t have any idea what democracy is all about either.

Remember the “lock her up” chants about Clinton that were so prevalent during the campaign? There was also that time during a debate when he suggested that as president, he’d have his attorney general send her to jail. He talked about changing this country’s libel laws so that he could sue the media for writing/saying things he didn’t like. When the president was angry about the fact that Clinton won the popular vote, he suggested that it was because 3-4 million votes were cast illegally. He went on to accuse his predecessor and Susan Rice of doing something criminal. Now he’s attempting to criminalize protests at his rallies.

What it comes down to is that Trump’s reaction to anything he doesn’t like is to define it as criminal. Back in January, Martin wrote about the 12 early warning signs of fascism posted at the U.S. Holocaust Museum. This tendency is embedded in several of them, but most notably this one: “obsession with crime and punishment.”

You might suggest that this time it was simply a fundraising email for one House seat in Georgia. But using rhetoric about “stealing” an election is serious business in my book.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.