Robert Reich: The end of Trump’s Fifth Avenue

Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts after signing an executive order on September 24, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Trump's trip to North Carolina marks his fifth time in the state in the last 30 days. Brian Blanco / Getty Images
I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn't lose any voters, "Trump boasted in 2016.
Trump's 5th Avenue Principle is being tested like never before. To date, more than 214,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, one of the highest death rates in the world. This is partly because Trump first downplayed his dangers, then denied responsibility, encouraged quacks for it, and silenced government experts over it. Urging states to open up anyway and preventing people from wearing masks.
Even so, around 40 percent of Americans stayed with him. They have stayed loyal even after turning the White House into a hotspot for the virus, even after discovering it himself, and even after claiming a few days ago that it was less deadly than the flu. A recent bipartisan study concluded that Trump's overt disinformation was the biggest driver of COVID misinformation around the world.
They stuck with him even though more than 11 million Americans have lost their jobs, 40 million are at risk of being evicted from their homes, 14 million have lost health insurance, and almost one in five Americans with children at home cannot afford it to adequately feed them children.
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They stuck with him despite more Americans seeking unemployment benefits this year than they voted for him in 2016, even after Trump cut off talks on economic relief despite urging the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was $ 20 million causes more to lose health insurance.
Trump is actually standing in the middle of 5th Avenue killing Americans.
But here we are, just weeks before the election, and his supporters still haven't moved. The latest polls show that he has 40% to 43% of the electorate while Joe Biden has a slim majority.
The most egregious test of Trump's 5th Avenue Principle is yet to come if it tries to kill American democracy. He relies on his supporters to keep him in power even if he loses the referendum.
He is ready to claim that mail-in ballots made necessary by the pandemic are full of "scams like you've never seen before," as he claimed during his debate with Biden - although Americans have been shown to be more likely are affected by lightning as commit election fraud.
He will likely claim fraudulent election results in any Republican-led state he is losing by a narrow margin - like Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin.
Then he will rely on the House of Representatives to overdo it.
"We'll be counting the ballots for the next two years," Trump warned recently at a rally in Pennsylvania. "We have the advantage if we go back to Congress. I think it's 26-22 or so because it counts one vote per vote." Status."
He was referring to the 12th amendment to the Constitution, which provides that the decision goes to the House if state voters are stuck or cannot agree on a president. There each of the 50 states of the nation receives one vote.
That means that small Republican-dominated states like Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming (each with a house member who is Republican) would have the same clout as large Democratic states like California (with 52 house members, 44 of whom are Democrats) .
Trump currently has the advantage: 26 State Congress delegations in the House of Representatives are now controlled by Republicans and 22 by Democrats. Two - Pennsylvania and Michigan - are essentially related.
But he won't necessarily keep this advantage. The decision would be made by legislators elected in November, who will be sworn in on January 3rd - three days before they come together to determine the election winner.
Because of this, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is focusing on races that could affect the balance of state delegations - not just in Pennsylvania and Michigan, but in other countries that are within reach.
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"It's sad that we have to plan like this," she wrote in a letter to her colleagues last week, "but it is what we have to do to make sure the elections are not stolen."
Trump's 5th Avenue Principle has kept him in power despite privation and deaths that would have doomed the presidency of others. But as a former New Yorker, he should know that 5th Avenue on the Harlem River ends at 142nd Street and the end is near.

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