With the vote tabulation section of the election drawing to a close, and Joe Biden looking to overcome Trump leads in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, the President's supporters are becoming more incensed. They can’t grasp how the President could be leading a couple of days ago and now losing. The only answer to them is fraud; because the President says so.
Traditionally, this confusion can take two paths: begrudging acceptance or violent outburst. One is rooted in reality, even one they might disagree with. The other is rooted in an inability to admit defeat and be convinced that only through illegality could this result happen.
In 2016, the Democrats and liberals watched in tears as Hilary Clinton shockingly lost to Trump. They were sad, depressed, dumbfounded, but they never questioned the legitimacy of the election or that there were ‘millions of illegal ballots.’ In the end, they respected the result, even if they vehemently disagreed with it.
In the days following November 3rd, Donald Trump and his supporters have taken the second path. Spreading lies and disinformation about voter fraud, finding votes, and several different ‘-gates.’ Undermining the election's integrity is straight out of the Authoritarian Handbook, and the President and his supporters are screaming in their echo chambers right now.
The danger this concept presents is unfathomable for a democratic country that depends on the people's will to make decisions. Every year, from small townships to the federal government, elections are held to decide leadership, policy changes, and new social programs. All predicated on the voice of the people deciding which way we go.
What Donald Trump and his supporters are doing right now is the most egregious, damaging tactic that could be utilized to get their way. It is unbecoming. It is unpatriotic. It is un-American. If they don’t stop soon and realize that their path will lead to violence in the streets, we will become completely unbuttoned as a nation.
We will see nationalists, tricked into thinking they are fighting for the soul of the country, murdering other Americans in the streets. We’ve seen this start already in cities like Kenosha, Wisconsin. Domestic terrorists parading as patriots will be the country's death knell, believing the whole time that they are somehow saving the country.
On November 5th, police in Philadelphia stopped an attack on the convention center where they are counting votes still. Two heavily armed men were found inside a vehicle from the state of Virginia after the police received a credible tip of a potential threat to the convention center. This is just the beginning, an appetizer of what is to come if Trump loses.
At vote counting locations around the country, particularly in states with close elections or races that haven’t been called yet, Trump supporters are showing up en masse, wanting to uncover corruption and demand that they stop the count. In Detroit, a group of Trump supporters tried forcing their way into the counting area because they believed fraud was taking place.
All of this is fueled by a President who goes on Twitter and holds press conferences to tell the American people that illegal ballots are being counted. That Democratic-run states and cities are stealing this election from the American people. Every time he does this, he increases the chance of violence from his supporters. He increases the chance of a civil war.
And it isn’t just the last few days. Trump has been convincing his cult that the election will be rigged for over a year now. That the only way he will lose is if Democrats cheat. On social media, I can see the hints, the drumbeats, of unrest, of the seeds of violent action.
Friends from high school, and college acquaintances in other parts of the country, sharing misinformation or blatantly false evidence of fraud. They see what they want to see, guided by the rhetoric of the President. They say things like, ‘we don’t have a choice now’ and, ‘this country will die if we don’t fight back.’ The whole time, they think they are being patriotic.
But the reality is they have been gaslit for so long, deep in their echo chambers on social media, that they are becoming the thing they are fighting against. They are on the precipice of becoming domestic terrorists manipulated into this delusion that they are fighting for America.
They are not. They are being lied to by a petulant man-child that is drunk on power, doesn’t want to give it up, and is one of the biggest sore losers we have witnessed. He will never concede. He will never go quietly. The Secret Service will have to peel him out of the White House on January 20th.
And on January 21st, Joe Biden will assume command of the military where millions of spun up, armed to the teeth, convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt Trump supporters will be plotting ways to violently take back their country for their rightful leader. We have heard a lot of ‘it could never happen here’ rhetoric the last five years. It’s about time we start to realize anything could happen here.
Only one party and its supporters are undermining the integrity of the election. Only one party is attempting to silence legal, valid votes to get their way. Liberals cried in 2016, but they begrudgingly accepted the results. If Biden wins, it’s time for Republicans and Trump supporters to swallow that hard pill of losing as we did four years ago.
Instead of starting a civil war to get their way, maybe a sincere taste of losing would bring the two sides together because of their shared experience. We can be sore losers together. It is either that, or we will watch Americans killing Americans in middle-America all in the name of America.