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Opinion | Trump Has Never Believed in Democracy

All the while, Trump has continued to use the division and deception he has created to raise money. He has now collected more than $200 million in donations in support of his bogus election recounts.

But, as The New York Times reported earlier this month:

“Mr. Trump’s campaign apparatus has continued to aggressively solicit donations under the guise of supporting his various legal challenges to the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr., but as of now 75 percent of donations goes to a new political action committee that Mr. Trump formed in mid-November, up to the PAC’s legal limit of $5,000. The other 25 percent goes to the Republican National Committee. Only if a donor gives more than $6,000 do any funds go to Mr. Trump’s formal ‘recount’ account.”

Trump has realized that trying to steal the presidency is more lucrative than actually being president, so he won’t stop. We are witnessing one of the greatest grifts in the history of the presidency.

The presidency gave Trump something he always craved but never possessed: constant attention and real, legitimate power. And, once tasted, power is craved forever.

Trump has never believed in American democracy. He was never a student of history. He was never really a patriot.

When he foreshadowed his current behavior in 2016 by refusing to say that he would accept the results of that election as legitimate if he didn’t win, we knew. When he cozied up to the world’s dictators and spurned our allies, we knew. When he winked at hate groups by refusing to immediately and fulsomely condemn them, we knew.

Trump wants to operate a dictatorship behind a veil of democracy. He wants to wield power without winning it legitimately. He wants to manipulate his mob and prioritize it above the masses who oppose him.

Yes, Trump is attempting a coup, whether or not you want to call it that. But, no matter what you choose to call something, it will still be what it is.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

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