Imagine a white man going up to a black woman on November 8th of this year and having the gall, while she is walking to her polling place, to remind her that she is to vote only once.
Herr Trump, in his conspiracy-fueled paranoia and fundamental distrust of racial minorities, is calling on the most ghoulish and fanatical among his supporters, on election day, to “monitor” (presumably African American and Hispanic majority) polling stations for “fraud.” His call for an army of white poll monitors implies, and amounts to, not just extra-legal surveillance, but undisguised distrust of his fellow nonwhite Americans. And such surveillance can readily lapse into voter intimidation.
I regard this latest dog whistle to white racists as yet another major Trump misstep that is at once contrary to America’s pluralistic values and tone deaf–and it’s going to make white liberals, white moderates, and nonwhite voters even more determined to reach the polls on election day.
Here’s Daniel Politi at Slate on this matter:
[T]he Republican presidential candidate straight out told supporters on Friday that there’s only one possible explanation if he ends up losing the crucial state of Pennsylvania: through cheating. “The only way we can lose, in my opinion—I really mean this, Pennsylvania—is if cheating goes on,” he said late Friday. Nevermind that the Real Clear Politics polling average notes Hillary Clinton has a 9.2-point advantage over Trump in recent surveys. “We’re going to have unbelievable turnout, but we don’t want to see people voting five times, folks,” the Republican presidential nominee said. Particularly concerning about his warnings was how he noted that he’d “heard some stories about certain parts of the state, and we have to be very careful.” Trump added that there would be a lot of people watching on Election Day. “We have to call up law enforcement, and we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching,” he said. But law enforcement won’t be enough, he warned, and called on supporters to help detect any voting irregularities, expressing shock at the lack of voter ID requirements. “I hope you people can sort of not just vote on the eighth, go around and look and watch other polling places […]”