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This is a dark and dangerous moment for American democracy.

A sitting president has spent months telling lies about non-existent electoral fraud. Now that his re-election bid is in great trouble – but the outcome is still uncertain – he has sparked a new stream of falsehoods claiming the other side was cheating. He has requested that the Supreme Court intervene to rule the election in his favor.

His supporters hold protests in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania to disrupt the legitimate vote count. In Phoenix, some showed up with guns at the State Capitol (as you can see in this short video shot by my colleague Simon Romero).

The worst democratic outcome – where judges appointed by the president’s political party intervene to override the obvious will of voters – seems to be avoided. The Supreme Court has shown no sign of the vote stalling, and Joe Biden’s leads in the crucial states could be large enough to avoid the elections depending on the type of ballot paper (like hanging chads) that got the outcome from 2000 decided Florida.

But President Trump’s actions are still causing significant damage. They undermine the confidence of his supporters in the country’s government. They also undermine United States’ credibility around the world. And they force election officials, journalists, and social media platforms to choose between truth-finding and impartial sound. It is impossible to do both against Trump’s electoral claims.

In the simplest sense, the President of the United States is attacking American democracy in order to stay in office.

For more: Dahlia Lithwick, Slate: “We are just as confused about the lies today as we were in 2016. We ignore them at the risk of democracy. We engage with them at the risk of our mental health. “

Susan Glasser, The New Yorker: “For the past four years, reporting on Trump’s Washington has often felt like an overseas assignment, never more than while driving through the capital in the past few days and seeing myself nailed up Shop windows and streets cordoned off for blocks around the White House in anticipation of unprecedented post-election violence. I’ve seen scenes like this before, including in Azerbaijan and Russia. This is Trump’s America. It’s not America that I have known. “

Steve Vladeck, Law Professor at the University of Texas: “For anyone complaining about the ‘late’ move in the totals towards Democrats in MI, PA, and WI, most of those votes actually came * first *. “But the Republican-controlled state legislatures declined to allow postal ballots to be counted on arrival.

Nicholas Kristof, a Times Op-Ed columnist: “If Biden wins after this poisoning of the chalice, he will inherit a severely divided country and it will be harder for the United States to govern and for the United States after an election many believe is illegitimate more difficult states to exert influence worldwide. “

Tomorrow reads

  • Lived life: Three decades after his appointment as the first president of the black student body at Penn State University, H. Jesse helped Arnelle found one of the first minority law firms in the United States. “It was a bold plan,” Arnelle told The New Yorker in 1993. He died at the age of 86.

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This chicken marsala is easy to prepare thanks to a quick mushroom and shallot sauce. Serve over some linguine or with fried potatoes.

The latest Netflix series is about chess. “The Queen’s Gambit” is set in the 1950s and 1960s and follows an orphanage prodigy who becomes an elite player. Inspired by a 1983 novel, the series depicts a world that is both glamorous and gripping, as Beth – played by Anya Taylor-Joy – excels in a male-dominated sport while struggling with addiction.

“If you’ve done it as a movie, it becomes a sports movie, ‘Will she beat the Russian?'” The show’s co-creator Scott Frank told The Times. “And that’s not what the book is about. For me, it’s about the pain and the cost of being so gifted. “

The pangrams from yesterday’s Spelling Bee were archived, archrival and chivalrous. Today’s puzzle is up – or you can play online if you have a game subscription.

Here’s today’s mini crossword and a clue: Snowman’s Ties (five letters).

Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. Until tomorrow. – David

PS The word “Reshook” – about the twists and turns of Election Day – first appeared in The Times yesterday, according to the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.

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