Journalist and author Masha Gessen, a longtime critic of Donald Trump, believes the Democratic Party could be in for a rude awakening this November if voters don’t turn up at the polls in huge numbers to oust the president.
Appearing on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” Wednesday, Gessen explained the view that it will take more than a thin Democratic victory on Election Day for Trump to voluntarily leave office.
“Perceived legitimacy is based on the vote count,” said Gessen, who is transgender and nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/them. Elaborating on the need for “a landslide” Trump loss, they added, “If he loses by the same (electoral-vote) margin that he won by in 2016, he’s not going anywhere.”
Trump carried states accounting for 306 electoral votes, while those that Hillary Clinton won totaled 232; a candidate needs 270 to claim the White House. (Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes ― a 2.5-percentage-point advantage over Trump.)
The Russian-born Gessen ― who released their latest book, “Surviving Autocracy,” last month ― famously predicted that the U.S. was in danger of a “nuclear holocaust” in the early days of Trump’s presidency.
Check out “Doomcast with Masha Gessen” below:
In spite of the current state of the world, however, they’re feeling cautiously optimistic for the future. For one thing, there’s the ongoing protests against racial inequality, which they believe will be seen as a watershed moment for years to come.
“We are seeing a well-organized, well-thought-out, inspired and inspirational movement of people who actually have a vision for the future ― the biggest protest movement in this country’s history,” they said. “We’re seeing ideas that would have, under normal circumstances of political stability, taken years to penetrate the public consciousness.”
“We have this amazing chance to just vote the motherfucker out of office,” they added. “Other people who are living in autocracies have no hope of being able to use their voice and their vote to change their lives fundamentally, and we still have that option.”