There hasn’t been a time in recent history where we’ve had to prepare ourselves for potential violence if a sitting president fails to secure enough votes to be re-elected, but here we are. Trump supporters were angry before their president was elected, and they were angry after he was elected. And they will be angry if presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeats Trump in November. And as the election neared in 2016, Trump supporters at his rallies threatened violence against Hillary Clinton if she defeated Donald.
Trump is flailing in the polls, so a victory doesn’t look possible at this point as the president continues on his path to try to start a race war. The Independent reports that extremist authoritarianism experts and veterans of Republican politics are concerned that there won’t be a peaceful transition of power.
“Brian Klaas, a University College London professor of global politics who studied political violence in non-western nations as part of his doctoral fieldwork, told me he ‘would be surprised if there is not at least some sporadic low-level violence around the election’ in the event of a Trump loss, as a result of his frequent promotion of conspiracy theories and explicit arguments against Biden’s legitimacy as a candidate,” Andrew Feinberg reports.
“In modern American history, there has never been a major mainstream political figure who has argued that his opponents are not legitimate,” said Klaas. “People who have really worked themselves up in this vortex of disinformation … may take Trump’s tweets literally and say: ‘OK, they’re my enemies, they’re committing treason, they’re part of the Deep State, and it’s time to be a patriot and stand up against them.’ That would be very, very dangerous.” The “high concentration of weapons among Donald Trump’s supporters,” plus the “steady diet of information that tells them that they are the last defense for America against some conspiracy against them” could result in an unstable individual to respond to a Trump defeat by lashing out violently.
Jonathan Lockwood, a veteran Republican operative, warned of a descent into chaos.
“I think we should fear a violent uprising… All it takes is for Trump to say one line or post one tweet,” he said.
“I think you could see takeovers of every [state] capitol, since the president seems to enjoy watching that from DC, and the country can descend into a chaos that we’ve never seen,” he added. “People are gravely underestimating how pervasive these conspiracies and the de-legitimizing of Democrats governing truly are.”
What’s incredible is that we even need to discuss this. Trump has a dedicated base, although it is dwindling. The president has displayed to the world that he’s unstable, but he has a following that is still stuck in the fog. And again, they are angry.
You can read the entire report here.
Featured image via Political Tribune gallery
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