President Donald Trump generated backlash on Twitter Thursday morning when he floated the idea of postponing the 2020 United States election.
The incendiary tweet was the latest development in Trump's months-long campaign to discredit voting by mail ahead of an election that's expected to see stratospheric levels of absentee voting in the face of the pandemic.
The tweet was alarming not just because the President has no constitutional power to decide the election date, but because delaying the election has never been done, even in the hardest times faced by the United States. Not during the Civil War. Not during the Great Depression. Not during the World Wars.
On Friday, the government of Hong Kong announced that it would postpone its September elections due to the virus.
President Donald Trump's latest White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, strongly condemned that:
"We condemn the Hong Kong government's decision to postpone for one year its legislative council elections and to disqualify opposition candidates. This action undermines the democratic processes and freedoms that have underpinned Hong Kong's prosperity, and this is only the most recent in a growing list of broken promises by Beijing, which promised autonomy and freedom to the Hong Kong people until 2047 in the Sino-British joint declaration."
The day after her boss floated postponing the election in the face of the virus, McEnany decried China for postponing its election in the face of the virus, claiming that it undermined "democratic processes and freedoms."
People thought that was quite rich.
Irony free zone https://t.co/cqMETj0ja4— Susan Glasser (@Susan Glasser) 1596218781.0
And people were excited to see the return of McEnany's "binder of lies."
@sbg1 I love her "Liars Binder" with all the legally approved quotes in it. When has anyone been so prepared to spout BS to the press?— Donald Sinclaire (@Donald Sinclaire) 1596219321.0
@sbg1 (flips through binder aggressively)— w.r. craig (@w.r. craig) 1596218879.0
@sbg1 If you're just gonna make stuff up, why do you have to keep flipping through a three-ring binder?— Jeff Unger (@Jeff Unger) 1596221174.0
Trump's calls to postpone the election have rattled Americans across the country who fear he'll only continue to sow mistrust in the electoral process.