The talking point has been omnipresent this weekend: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump never said he wouldn't accept the results of a fair election but-oh-by-the-way doesn't it seem impossible that the election is going to be fair?
“He didn’t say he wouldn’t accept,” Eric Trump said. “My father will accept it 100 percent if it’s fair. If it’s fair.”
He rattled off statistics that reportedly show "2 million people on the voter rolls right now who are dead" and "14 percent of all non-citizens in this country are registered to vote."
Those are the exact talking points echoed by campaign manager Kellyanne Conway today, and repeated ad nauseam by whichever other of the campaign grifters have managed to wedge themselves in front of a camera. They have been debunked, which means approximately nothing a Trump crowd far more likely to believe that the fact-checkers are themselves part of the global conspiracy against them.
Let us please, please not give the slightest bit of credit to any Republican who promises that Donald Trump will accept the results of a "fair" election while simultaneously pushing the narrative that the election will not be fair. The first bit is intended to sooth pundits and luminaries stunned that an American presidential candidate is threatening not to accept the outcome of our nation's democratic process; the second bit is meant to dismantle the first bit, and sow claims that the next Democratic president will be just as illegitimate as Republicans have pretended the current president to be.
It is what they do. It is why Sen. John McCain even now is hedging on whether a future President Clinton would be allowed to fill the Supreme Court slot left in limbo for, come the next inauguration day, nearly an entire year. It is why Donald Trump, birther, became the party's candidate to begin with. It is why even now top Republicans do not distance himself too far from his rhetoric or his bizarre claims.
No matter how soundly the Trump candidacy is crushed at the polls come election day, his voters will believe it was because the whole nation plotted against him, and legislators like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell plan to use this paranoia to their advantage as they have "death panels" and countless other similar false claims.
Trump will lose the election. All that's left is for the party to either distance themselves from the movement that spawned him or continue to embrace it, and we all know very damn well which of those they've already decided to pick.
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