Donald Trump wants it known that he’s had a tummy ache, he left his good shoes at home, and while he’s clearly the fastest, this whole race is stupid anyway.
Politicians who are behind in a race—even far, far, far behind—are often reluctant to admit the all-but-certain truth: they’re going to lose. It’s also not unusual for losing politicians to start planting little rationalizations, extenuating circumstances, and plain old excuses for why the vast horde of voters who realio-trulio love them and no other, just happened to be otherwise occupied on election day. The difference between those politicians and Trump is simple enough—Trump’s response to losing is to rip up the legitimacy of democratic election.
In both tweets and speeches, Trump has moved from Breitbart-based crazy theories about the Clintons, to Infowars-based crazy theories about the whole of humanity. The most damaging of these rants are Trump’s assault on the first amendment, and his increasingly prominent declaration that election results can’t be trusted.
No study has found large-scale, or even more-than-minuscule, voter fraud. However, Republicans have been passing off this idea for years a pretense for voter ID laws, making this fertile ground for Trump’s conspiracy crop.
Donald Trump is going to fall, he knows it, and he wants to take democracy down with him.
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Trump’s constant hammering on the issue is driving up doubt in the electorate.
The American electorate has turned deeply skeptical about the integrity of the nation's election apparatus, with 41 percent of voters saying November's election could be "stolen" from Donald Trump due to widespread voter fraud.
It’s no coincidence that the 41% number is more or less equal to the level of Trump support, when Trump constantly hitting this issue. Over the weekend, Trump surrogates attempted to walk-back the GOP nominee’s position.
Pence sought to play down Trump’s rhetoric, saying, “We will absolutely accept the result of the election,” during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” But he also appeared to embrace, at least partly, the notion of a “rigged” election.
“The American people are tired of the obvious bias in the national media,”Pence said. “That’s where the sense of a rigged election goes here.”
But Trump was having none of that.
Trump followed up with the tweet about large-scale voter fraud, and built on his previous threats to jail his opponent. His rants are lighting a fire that may be hard to extinguish.
Not even the country’s more than two centuries of peaceful transitions of political leadership were sacrosanct as Trump accused the media and the Clinton campaign of conspiring against him to undermine a free and fair election.
The idea that Donald Trump doesn't plan to admit defeat has been around for months, along with the suspicion that Trump intends to turn his campaign into a ongoing tent-revival low-boil revolution.
It’s increasingly clear that for Trump to sustain his movement, he’s willing to sacrifice anything. Even the nation. Trump has called himself an existential threat to the establishment. If establishment means government of the people, by the people, for the people, then yes, this is one time when Trump is telling the truth.