NYT Op-Ed: We May Need ‘International Intervention’ Because of Trump

Posted: Oct 26, 2020 12:45 PM
NYT Op-Ed: We May Need ‘International Intervention’ Because of Trump

Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

It’s an older op-ed, published earlier this month, but it’s still insane. Apparently, we might need foreign intervention during this election. I’m not kidding. That’s what Peter Beinart was advocating in his October 6 piece. We need some oversight from the United Nations or something. Beinart cites President Trump’s refusal to accept the election results, which was coated in sarcasm and jest, and previous pleas for foreign interference from anti-slavery activists as proof that what he’s calling for is not so different. I mean, here’s what he said. Keep in mind, it was written around the time when the president was diagnosed with COVID:

No one knows how Donald Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis will affect his presidential campaign, but before falling ill, he repeatedly suggested that he won’t accept the results of the election, should he lose. In that case, Joe Biden should follow Ms. Tikhanovskaya’s example and appeal to the world for help.

For many Americans — raised to see the United States as the natural leader of the “free world” — it may be hard to imagine requesting foreign intervention against tyranny in our own land. But as historians like Gerald Horne and Carol Anderson have detailed, there’s a long history of Black Americans doing exactly that.

From 1845 to 1847, Frederick Douglass delivered more than 180 speeches imploring British audiences to intervene against American slavery. After World War I, when President Woodrow Wilson unveiled the Fourteen Points that he hoped would structure the postwar world, the National Equal Rights League, led by William Trotter and Ida Wells-Barnett, asked the Paris Peace Conference to adopt a 15th: The “elimination of civil, political and judicial distinctions based on race or color in all nations.”

After World War II, the sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois edited a 94-page pamphlet that the N.A.A.C.P. presented to every ambassador to the new United Nations. “Peoples of the world,” it declared, “we American Negroes appeal to you; our treatment in America is not merely an internal question of the United States. It is a basic problem of humanity; of democracy.”


Democrats must now win the popular vote by three, four or even five percentage points to be assured of winning the Electoral College. They must achieve that margin in the face of a strenuous Republican effort to ensure that many Democratic ballots are not counted. And even if they overcome both of those obstacles, Mr. Trump may still not concede.

That’s why Du Bois’s appeal to the world remains so relevant. By impeding Black voters, the United States still violates the democratic principles it has helped enshrine into international law. After observing America’s 2018 midterm elections, a team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe cataloged a long list of undemocratic practices, from the disenfranchisement of former prisoners to the District of Columbia’s lack of congressional representation to discriminatory voter identification laws, and concluded that, in critical ways, American elections “contravene O.S.C.E. commitments and international standards with regard to universal and equal suffrage.”

What Mr. Trump is doing this year, the election-monitoring expert Judith Kelley, the dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, recently told The Boston Globe, is the kind of activity that international election observers “would go to countries and write up huge reports about and say, ‘Red flag! Red flag!’” 

Oh, so it’s one massive flank march to bring up the voter suppression point because we’re somehow like Belarus, China, or any other authoritarian country because…Democrats can’t win elections. The call for an international intervention bit was already nuts. The reasoning behind it in this piece is even more insane. Also, have you seen the early voting totals? There’s no voter suppression going on here. It’s a liberal myth and another crutch they lean on when they lose; the other being Russian collusion. These insane theories are from the minds of those who think they’re entitled to win every election merely for being politically liberal. That’s not how any of this works.

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