Americans would be right to wonder – and worry about – Donald Trump’s end game. His campaign is hurrying toward disaster in November. His rate of saying stupid things seems to grow exponentially, racing the rate at which our sea levels are rising. And he has predicted his own failure, not as a result of the incredibly stupid things he has said and continues to say, but because of an imagined plot to keep him out of office.
“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged,” he said last week in Ohio. On Friday, he added to this dystopian scenario the claim that,
“We’re going to watch Pennsylvania. Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times. If you do that, we’re not going to lose. The only way we can lose, in my opinion — I really mean this, Pennsylvania — is if cheating goes on.”
In truth, this is more likely a sign of cognitive dissonance: He can’t lose because, as he claims, he speaks for the silent majority. A defeat when numbers make it impossible to lose, can only mean the election was rigged.
Katrina Pierson, when asked on CNN Saturday morning for evidence of a rigged election, claimed that a lack of evidence is somehow evidence:
“There is no evidence because the election hasn’t occurred yet. This is not far-fetched. Election fraud has been a concern for a very long time.”
On the other hand, it could be argued that Trump knows he is going to lose and is just making excuses ahead of time. He’s even added a cry for help on his website:
“Help me stop crooked Hillary from rigging this election.”
Presumably, the people whose help he wants are the same people he is asking to employ Second Amendment remedies in case of a Clinton win. If they can’t help him now, they will right the scales later. And his supporters – who have already demonstrated a propensity toward violence – have not been shy talking about armed insurrection.
His Second Amendment remedies for a Clinton victory come to mind.
So what does Donald Trump think will happen when he loses? Trump clearly sees himself surviving the experience (if not Hillary Clinton) so he will reap the whirlwind, whatever the result is. But does Trump see it as being good, or bad?
Bernie Sanders found good in his own defeat. He moved the Democratic Platform (and Hillary Clinton) further to the left, and he has created a movement he intends to survive him. Trump’s “movement” seems to lack any viability beyond his own person.
Pat Buchanan wrote in a column Thursday that he agrees with Trump about his rigged election theory, asking, if Clinton defeats Trump, “would that not suggest there is something fraudulent about American democracy, something rotten in the state?”
Well sure, maybe, if Trump was right about the “silent majority” thing or if there were as many angry Americans as he claims. But…
A big reason things aren't working out for Donald Trump: Americans aren't as as angry as he thinks. https://t.co/DphdleGBsp
— Luke Brinker (@LukeBrinker) August 13, 2016
If you look at their respective poll numbers and Trump’s crazy rhetoric, you would think if Clinton defeats Trump that Trump lost because he was perceived as too erratic and too crazy to run the country; a Trump defeat would follow logically from his campaign.
According to Buchanan,
“If 2016 taught us anything, it is that if the establishment’s hegemony is imperiled, it will come together in ferocious solidarity – for the preservation of their perks, privileges and power.”
Trump himself is all about privileges and perks of power but Buchanan isn’t about to mention that. Instead, he presents Trump as an opponent of the establishment:
This longest of election cycles has rightly been called the Year of the Outsider. It was a year that saw a mighty surge of economic populism and patriotism, a year when a 74-year-old socialist senator set primaries ablaze with mammoth crowds that dwarfed those of Hillary Clinton.
It was the year that a non-politician, Donald Trump, swept Republican primaries in an historic turnout, with his nearest rival an ostracized maverick in his own Republican caucus, Sen. Ted Cruz.
More than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980, were sent packing. This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille.
But if it ends with a Clintonite restoration and a ratification of the same old Beltway policies, would that not suggest there is something fraudulent about American democracy, something rotten in the state?
A more obvious explanation is that as Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman write in The New York Times today, “the effort to save Mr. Trump from himself has plainly failed.”
And then Buchanan introduces the Second Amendment remedy:
“Specifically, the Republican electorate should tell its discredited and rejected ruling class: If we cannot get rid of you at the ballot box, then tell us how, peacefully and democratically, we can be rid of you?”
He asks, “You want Trump out? How do we get you out?”
“The Czechs had their Prague Spring. The Tunisians and Egyptians their Arab Spring. When do we have our American Spring?”
Buchanan gives us his answer to that question in a quote from John F. Kennedy:
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
It is perhaps all wishful thinking, this dream that if Trump loses it proves their conspiracy theories accurate and they can, in good conscience, act. Perhaps nothing of the sort will happen, and they’ll all go home and put their tinfoil hats back on and tune into Fox News to wait for the next demagogue.
If not, America could be looking at a wave of violence at the hands of a bunch of deluded, heavily armed Trump supporters who see violence as the only alternative to a completely legitimate and unsurprising Clinton win in November.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.