Last week President Trump signed the executive order barring refugee entrance into the U.S. for 120 days. As confusion descended and swept across airports and borders, one thing remained certain: time is not a luxury refugees can afford. Those who know this best are the heavily vetted children participating in the Central American Minors Program, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Many of these children have fled from brutal conditions in places like Guatemala or Honduras. They have gone through what Wendy Young of Kids in Need of Defense describes “extensive security vetting.” And though they have met the requirements necessary for legal entrance into the United States, now they wait for the Department of Homeland Security to decide their fate. If you want to learn more about the Central American Minors Program and the children who are now affected, please check out the Los Angeles Times’ story.
With less than 100 days until the election, Trump is working hard to do something that no previous president has ever done before: falsely claim that an election was fixed against him in order to discredit the vote. Trump has repeatedly — and incorrectly — claimed the election will be “rigged” against him.
The president has promoted crazy conspiracy theories and outright lies to whip up his core supporters to wrongly believe he is the victim of some unknown, shadowy “deep state” plot. In an interview that aired last week, he refused to commit to accepting the results in November.
From increased vote-by-mail to widespread fraud (which is essentially a non-factor in U.S. elections), Trump is already working to dispute the results of the 2020 election. With less than 100 days to go, we are careening toward an extraordinarily dangerous crisis of American democracy.
Recently, Trump seems to be trying to case the legitimacy of the 2020 elections into doubt.
Voting rights experts and political strategists on both sides of the aisle are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for a disputed presidential election in November, one in which one candidate openly questions the legitimacy of the results or even refuses to concede. These experts are keenly aware of President Donald Trump’s well-documented history of lying about voter fraud and claiming that elections were “rigged” when he doesn’t like the outcome.
And if he’s literally building a case against the election, it became clearer that Trump is absolutely willing to dispute the results. During a recent Fox News interview, Trump refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the election. “I have to see,” Trump replied, “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”
Trump seems to be hinging his doubts on the increase of mail-in voting in the age of Coronavirus.
Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, more Americans than ever are expected to case mail-in ballots this year, so it will definitely take longer for the results to be announced. There’s no denying that. Even elections experts are now replacing “election night” with “election week,” because it could take days for a winner to be announced. In fact, both presidential campaigns have set aside millions of dollars and recruited lawyers for the looming legal fights.
So there is good reason to brace for chaos. One has to look no further than the recent primary season, which broke new ground for how elections are conducted. States dramatically scaled up vote-by-mail options, using spring and summer primaries as a “dry-run” for the November election. There were successes, like Kentucky, with its sprawling “supercenters” where people could safely vote in-person. But there were disasters too, like Wisconsin and Georgia, which were plagued by missing absentee ballots and grueling lines.
Meanwhile, Trump has been very open about his views on main-in voting: He has repeatedly said it threatens his reelection chances and would hurt Republicans across the board, even though nonpartisan experts say neither party typically gets an automatic boost from postal voting. To prevent these perceived losses, Trump pleaded with states to restrict mail-in voting by falsely claiming it is plagued by “massive fraud and abuse” and leads to “rigged elections.” His efforts have been unsuccessful. Officials implemented reforms from Republican-haven Utah to liberal Vermont.
Trump’s already calling the election “rigged.”
As Trump slides in the polls, he already declared that his matchup this fall against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “will be the most rigged election in our nation’s history.”
Those are some serious accusations and, coming from a sitting president, do a lot to undermine American democracy and the integrity of our elections.
He’s also predicted massive fraud and suggested delaying the election.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted, offering no evidence for a debunked assertion. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Trump has a long history of denouncing election results he doesn’t agree with.
For at least the past eight years, Donald Trump has a well-established past of questioning the legitimacy of elections, even though there was no proof of widespread irregularities or fraud in any of these elections.
In 2012, in the race against Obama, Trump supported Mitt Romney and when Romney lost the election, Trump denounced the results as a “total sham” and tweeted, “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”
Then during the first contest of the 2016 primary season, Trump lost Iowa to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Trump responded by saying “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” and accused Cruz of committing “fraud.” Trump called for a new election, said Cruz’s results should be “nullified” and said “the State of Iowa should disqualify” Cruz.
That same year, the won Trump actually won the presidency, Trump infamously refused to commit that he would accept the results. Instead, he said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.” Even after Trump won, he falsely claimed there were millions of illegal votes in California and other states, creating a false narrative to explain why he lost the popular vote to Clinton.
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Looking back at my days back in school, I remember plenty of kids who bragged about their IQ results or how they’re smarter than everyone else. They wanted everyone to know they were a genius and that they had the hard data to prove it. I don’t remember ever taking an IQ test and I was always skeptical of those kids who said they were. I mean who’s parents had the time to be dragging their kids off to tests that in reality mean very little?
So when Trump claimed in an interview this week that he “aced” a “very hard” cognitive test, I couldn’t help but look back at my high school days. But I also wondered, “How hard could this mysterious cognitive test really be?”
Well, here’s a hint: it’s ridiculously easy.
Trump says he aced a cognitive test but what exactly does that mean?
On Fox News Sunday, in an interview with Chris Wallace, President Trump bragged about acing a test that proves just how incredible and smart he is. There’s only one issue – it’s not an IQ test and it’s not meant to be difficult unless you suffer from a cognitive disability.
Also, once again Trump blatantly lied about the test and what it is. He said he “answered all 35 questions correctly” on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which actually has just 30 questions. That means the president was giving himself credit for filling out the top five lines of the test: his name, education, sex, date of birth and the current date.
Though this shouldn’t come as a surprise from a president who has uttered more than 20,000 falsehoods or mischaracterized claims since taking office. Though with this particular case, it’s more likely that he’s misrepresenting about how hard they were, in order to look “smarter” than Joe Biden.
The claim came during an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace – which was full of other interesting tidbits.
Not even including the whole cognitive test topic, Trump’s Sunday interview with Fox News was a doozy. Chris Wallace – the only slightly less bias anchors at the network – didn’t give Trump the softball interview that he was probably expecting.
Wallace challenged Trump on everything from his poor performance in polls regarding the November election – including one from Fox News itself – to his poor handling to the Coronavirus pandemic and racial inequality.
So what is this test Trump claims to have done so well at?
The test is called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and was created by the neurologist Dr Ziad Nasreddine in 1996. The test was created to help diagnose cognitive difficuties in those experiencing some form of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Therefore, if you’re not suffering from either of those conditions then the test is literally meant to be easy.
Talking to MarketWatch, the test’s creator stressed that the test “is supposed to be easy for someone who has no cognitive impairment.” He also added that this is not an IQ test and has no bearing on how skilled a person is. Sorry to break it to you Donald.
However, Trump is right about the start of the test being very easy. But when it comes to the last five questions, his claim that they’re “very hard” is unsettling (although not surprising) in what it reveals about his relationship with reality.
Here are a few examples of questions on the test, how well can you do?
Lets start off right where the test starts off: with these simple activities meant to demonstrate your cognitive abilities. It’s not challenging at all, unless, of course, you’re suffering from a cognitive disability.
The first question involved drawing a line between numbers and their equivalent letters (1 to A, A to 2, 2 to B and so on). Then you have to draw a cube, and a clock at 10 past 11. I will say it took me a minute to understand exactly what I had to do here – blame it on not seeing an actual clock in probably years – but once I realized what I needed to do, it was done in a few seconds. Didn’t require no bigly geniusness to get it done.
This is supposedly the hardest part – according to Trump.
In Trump’s interview with Wallace, the president bets Wallace that he “couldn’t even answer the last five questions” of the test. But for a mentally healthy person, the last five questions should be as simple as the rest.
The fifth-to-last question on the test asks you to repeat a sentence out loud, before naming as many words as you can starting with F. In the following “abstraction” section, you have to spot the similarity between different objects such as trains and bicycles (modes of transport), or a watch and a ruler (measuring devices).
Next, you have to recall the random words that were included in the earlier memory section. This may be the part that’s easiest to trip over. And finally, for the orientation part of the test, you have to … say what the date is.
The now infamous elephant question.
If you’re lucky enough to not have any cognitive impairment, this part is also easy. There are three drawings – a lion, rhino and camel. As mentioned, there are a few versions of the test with very minor differences – for example, the test Fox News showed during the interview had an elephant on it (you can see it here), but the latest test has a rhino instead.
If you’re interested in trying out more questions of the test, you can find the full version here.
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