By Tom Ehrich
The top GOP candidate sees his stock falling and begins to position himself as a sore loser, brought down by a “rigged” system, “vicious” attacks, “crooked” opposition. No surprise. Trump would rather crash the constitutional system than bear the label “loser.”
If it were just a bully taking his ball and slinking home, that would be one thing. But he would leave behind a large and angry mob, whose penchant for violent language could well feed a penchant for violent action.
I suspect that this will be Trump’s endgame. Reject me in November, he will threaten, and my people will take to the streets. Nice. Reject me, and I’ll sue you blind and prevent the orderly transfer of power in January 2017. Double nice.
One of the hallmarks of American democracy has been the peaceful transfer of power every few years. In any given election, roughly half the people will be disappointed. In a healthy system, led by healthy and responsible people, the losing side accepts disappointment and vows to try again in four years.
The GOP candidate, however, has no interest in democracy or national interest. His narcissism has no room for such values. He thrives on the mob’s adulation, swarming rage, readiness to do his bidding in assaulting the vulnerable. He will have no interest in lowering their intensity. Let them riot.
Then, if his career in business is any harbinger, Trump will abandon them, as he has fled creditors and consequences in bankruptcy filings. Imagine the mob’s rage when their champion joins the political establishment in betraying them.
I have three suggestions.
First, let’s make sure Donald Trump doesn’t get near the Oval Office. This is a primary national interest.
Second, let’s not demonize those who follow Trump. He has manipulated and exploited them. Their bigotry is despicable. But more than anything else, they are broken, the inevitable consequences of a broken system – a system deliberately undermined by the wealthy few, not broken by people of color or immigrants.
Third, let’s make sure voter fraud, voter suppression and Election Day tricks are seen, documented, pursued immediately, and kept from calling the election into question. Now is the time for a fair and honest election.