Donald Trump is widely regarded by anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of coming in contact with him as a vindictive piece of work. In particular he has built a reputation of “getting even” with any human being who doesn’t bend to his will or dares challenge anything he does. Billionaire Richard Branson related a story where Trump told him he would move the proverbial heaven and Earth, and spend the rest of his life trying, to destroy the 5 people who failed to “help him,” and he is now out to cause misery to Americans who oppose his corrupt voter suppression “commission.”
There is only a “voter integrity commission” because Trump cannot tolerate the idea that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by about 3 million votes. Remember, Trump still claims he lost 3 to 5 million votes to fraudulent (illegal immigrant) voters; a claim that has been so widely and often debunked that even Republicans know Trump is lying. But they also know that Trump’s fragile ego will allow them to go to extreme lengths to launch robust voter suppression tactics based on Trump’s claim and they are moving at breakneck speed to enact legislation restricting the right to vote to their white evangelical base. As of March of this year there were 20 Republican states enacting severe voter suppression laws and using Trump’s claim of “massive voter fraud” as justification.
When Trump tasked Mike Pence and voter-suppression expert Kris Kobach with demanding states hand over all voter data from the past ten years, including highly personal and confidential information, only a fool believed there was not a typical Republicans’ untoward motive behind it.
In fact, even Republican state election officials opposed the “demand” and were not bashful about telling the “commission” to go to Hell, or “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.” Trump’s response to 46 states refusing to cooperate was that even Republican election officials were afraid the results would show that he, Donald J. Trump, really won the popular vote and won by historically unheard of majorities.
What Trump discovered after foolishly calling for public comments on the request for their personal and private data was that it wasn’t just 46 state election officials who opposed the illegal maneuver, the public went ballistic. And, as if to justify every public commenter’s worst fears that the commission would publicize voters’ sensitive personal information, the commission duly publicized voters’ sensitive personal information.
Pence and Kobach released the contact information, along with some really angry comments, of everyone who responded on the White House website.
As noted by nearly everyone with a pulse, Mike Pence and Kris Kobach’s decision to publish the emails containing the names, phone numbers, home addresses and places of employment of Americans who were concerned that Trump’s voter integrity commission was a nefarious plot to make such information public was no accident. In fact, there are already reports, and comments on the White House website, that many Americans are “deregistering to vote” to keep their private data out of Pence’s and Kobach’s dirty hands. However, even though the “commission” cannot access their private data from the state election officials, their voter suppression ploy worked by frightening voters to take their names off voter rolls.
What the people probably didn’t know prior to submitting their “public comments” was that now the White House website includes a warning that the “Commission may post such written comments publicly on our website, including names and contact information that are submitted.”
One of the commenters actually expressed his fear that the commission’s request for his personal data and identifying information would make him a target. Subsequently, the commenters’ email, replete with his current identifying information including his home address, was published on the White House website.
There was no reason whatsoever to publish the comments, much less the respondents’ personal contact information, except to use the White House website and taxpayer dollars to inform Trump’s hateful supporters of who to harass and intimidate and precisely where to find them. And there is little doubt that Trump acolytes will rush to defend their fascist hero based on a sampling of some of the less brutal comments courtesy of Salon’s Sophia Tesfaye. These are only a few printable “excerpts” from angry Americans sans their email addresses or personal identifying data still on the White House website.
- Mr. Trump’s claims that millions of fraudulent votes were cast against him is the ravings of an egomaniac who can’t stand to lose
- I hope and pray that you fail
- The person reading this email should be ashamed to be supporting this effort.
- It is obvious that your commission will be using this information, especially voting history, to target people who are likely to vote Democratic, and use various, well-known techniques to suppress as many of their votes as possible. I am a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. He would never condone such un-American behavior
- P.S. I removed my name from voter rolls. And I’m a Republican!
That last comment about removing their name from voter rolls apparently is of no concern to the “king of voter suppression,” Kris Kobach, and one suspects that indeed was part of his voter suppression plot. Instead of being appalled that the administration’s actions would prompt even one registered voter to abandon participation in the democratic process, Kobach called it a “political stunt,” by a Republican voter no less. Kobach said that no matter that it is glaringly obvious Americans are so “fearful of what he’ll do with their personal information,” like making it public, that they are voluntarily “removing themselves from voter rolls.” The king of voter suppression said:
“It could be a political stunt ― people who are trying to discredit the commission and withdrawing temporarily because they are politically active but planning to get back on the voter rolls before the election next November,”
If those voters live in Republican states with harsh voter suppression laws, they may never be allowed to register again; a fact they are likely aware of and one that Kobach knows is a fact. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) didn’t designate Kobach as the king of voter suppression without good cause and it is just one of the reasons why there is such opposition to Trump’s voter integrity commission; that and the fact that even Republicans understand that giving anyone connected with Trump personal information about voters will be used to against them.
If any idiot was confused as to why other Americans, including Republicans, were highly suspicious of what Trump would do with their personal voting and private information, the revelation that his commission revealed the private contact information about commenters opposed to the “commission” should clear up any confusion; including any doubts that the Trump administration is being run by criminal fascists.