Will ‘Autocratic’ Trump Rig Election?

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Late Night host Seth Meyers long ago shed the role of comedian who will mock both sides. He then shifted to political activist. If Wednesday’s show is any hint, the constant isolation and staying at home may be turning him into even more of a far-left conspiracy theorist.

Talking to liberal author Sarah Kendzior, Meyers hinted at a dark future for America: “You had studied autocratic regimes, and how they, you know, have this way of sneaking up on people, exactly what is happening to the, you know, systems they rely on. You obviously wrote this book. You couldn’t have imagined, sort of predicted that if things don’t change, this is the sort of thing we were going to end up with, right?

 

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Meyers than suggested that (unnamed) individuals might bump her off for anti-Trump writings: “Some journalists not only fear, you know, the shutting down of access for projects that they do in the future but also, you know, for personal safety…. Do you ever fear for your safety when you write?”

 

Talking about former Ukranian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Kendzior claimed that the Trump administration “ordered a hit on her.” Well, no. She was removed. But that’s close to a “hit,” right?

I mean, of course of course I fear for my safety and we’ve seen a lot of examples of this administration and people connected to it threatening people you know, we just had an impeachment hearing where the ambassador to Ukraine basically said that Trump and his goon squad ordered a hit on her.

This isn’t knew for Kendzior. In 2018, she appeared on MSNBC and stated that Trump has “the mindset of a dictator.”

Later, Meyers worried about Trump rigging the 2020 election: 

You talk a lot, not just in the book but also on your podcast, about the elections in November. How much confidence do you think the American people can have in a fair election right now? And I do think, you know, sometimes we talk about it, it’s a little dangerous, because obviously the Trump administration, based on the outcome, will also speak to the idea that it was not fair. So how do you frame it so that it just doesn’t become a thing that everyone can sort of use for their own best interests?

When liberals in the media talk about the divided state of America, they blame conservatives. But Seth Meyers is a guy who has compared George W. Bush to a serial killer and called the current president a “sociopath.” Clearly, he’s not interested in half the country.

A partial transcript is below:

Late Night With Seth Meyers

5/6/2020 (5/7/2020 on east coast)

1:17 AM ET

SETH MEYERS: Our next guest is a “New York Times” bestselling author her new book, Hiding in Plain Sight, is available now please welcome back to the show Sarah Kendzior how are you, Sarah?

SARAH KENDZIOR: The book itself is about the danger of this administration, and the erosion of stable institutions, not just in the present, but over the last 40 years. so paradoxically, this is a good time for the book to come out.

MEYERS: The last time you were on, you were talking about your book “The View From Flyover Country. And it was a lot about, sort of — you had studied autocratic regimes, and how they, you know, have this way of sneaking up on people, exactly what is happening to the, you know, systems they rely on. You obviously wrote this book. You couldn’t have imagined, sort of predict that if things don’t change, this is the sort of thing we were going to end up with, right?

KENDZIOR: Yeah. I mean, I didn’t predict that I would be talking to you during a plague from our self-quarantine. But in terms of malice, in terms of kleptocracy, in terms of the profound erosion of institutional stability and social trust, this is what I expected from the Trump administration because we’ve had this kind of facetious, unearned reliance on checks and balances that were never really there they were not applied at the start of his administration. And he has spent the last four years annihilating them, purging agencies, packing courts, you know, basically stripping this country down and selling it for parts. And so, yeah, here we are.

MEYERS: You point out that the media sometimes will focus on Trump’s ineptitude, but you think the mistake there is it ignores the more sinister side of it.

KENDZIOR: Yes, absolutely. I think that the media, as well as many people are just comfortable thinking of him as a buffoon that stumbled into the presidency, like it was an accident. But that’s not true. And as I lay out in the book, he ran or nearly ran for president five times: 1988, 1996 he ran in 2000 he ran in 2012. He ran in 2016 and one of his enduring strategies has been to cover up his crime with scandal and to cover up his malice with incompetence. A lot of people are shocked by his reaction to the pandemic, that we haven’t had a national mourning, that the flag hasn’t even been lowered to commemorate the victims and the people who tried to save them.

But that’s completely in line with his character you know, when 9/11 happened his first reaction was to say it made his buildings look taller. When the 2008 financial collapse happened he said that it was a good thing for him, that he would profit. And back in 2014, he went on fox News and said that he wanted economic collapse, and he wanted riots and violence in the street because that’s what makes America great again.

MEYERS: You don’t hold back in your book, as far as naming names.

KENDZIOR: No.

MEYERS: And I think the way a lot of times, some journalists not only fear, you know, the shutting down of access for projects that they do in the future but also, you know, for personal safety. Do you — when you are specific about people, do you ever — do you ever fear for your safety when you write?

KENDZIOR: I mean, of course of course I fear for my safety and we’ve seen a lot of examples of this administration and people connected to it threatening people you know, we just had an impeachment hearing where the ambassador to Ukraine basically said that Trump and his goon squad ordered a hit on her. That’s a huge deal and there’s a long history of that kind of action. You know, so yeah, I worry about my safety. But I’m more worried that the truth of this administration and its history isn’t being told and so that’s what, you know, I have chosen to do in this book and through my other work. And I don’t care about access. You know, I live in Missouri I’m not worried about not being invited to a cocktail party or whatever the hell people do in D.C and so that’s never really been an issue for me. And then, you know, perversely, it gives me a certain kind of freedom.

MEYERS: You talk a lot, not just in the book but also on your podcast, about the elections in November. How much confidence do you think the American people can have in a fair election right now? And I do think, you know, sometimes we talk about it, it’s a little dangerous, because obviously the Trump administration, based on the outcome, will also speak to the idea that it was not fair. So how do you frame it so that it just doesn’t become a thing that everyone can sort of use for their own best interests?

 

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