Whatever suspense attends the vote itself, the greater suspense should be what might follow it … Rex Murphy
I gotta post this in entirety , save clickin’ the link !!! …
Some quarters are making a lot of hay of the idea that if the American election is a close call, especially if Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden wins by a narrow margin, that President Donald Trump will refuse to accept the result. They believe that Trump is a fascist dictator who will ignore the vote and use all his wiles to stay in the White House.
Believing the worst about Trump is as popular as soccer, and like soccer, it’s a sport that’s played worldwide. And so it is that the speculation that he won’t step away from the White House unless ruinously defeated in the vote gets easy purchase in the minds of many.
However, this view does wander a bit from the actual experience of the 2016 election and the Democratic response to Trump’s victory. Who has, as they say in horse racing circles, a history of reluctance to accept an electoral verdict?
Almost within hours of the wildly mispredicted results of 2016, those in the Hillary Clinton camp were astir with speculations and accusations that the election was “stolen,” or that it had been undermined by treacherous foreign actors — those nefarious Russians — and, in particular, that Trump himself was an agent of the steel-eyed, ex-KGB manipulator, Vladimir Putin.
After that, Hillary Clinton almost made a career out of devising new reasons why the election had been stolen from her, and every account was an implicit impugning of the electoral process itself.
The whole Russian collusion experience, which absorbed the attention of the American and international media for three years, was the product of a fake, opposition-sourced document — the Steele Dossier — and was stoked by the intense unwillingness of the Democrats, American intelligence agencies and anti-Trumpers to accept the normal processes of American democracy.
So the thought that Trump is the one who will not abide by Tuesday’s vote is pure projection on the part of people who had such difficulty, and went to such lengths, to delegitimize him.
That effort, as we all know, failed, the Mueller report was a dud, the long investigations came to nothing. It failed but that is not to say that it was without effect, as it gave great currency to the idea of a “resistance movement” against Trump. It led the wilder partisan minds to believe that it was acceptable to go beyond the accepted boundaries of politics. Certainly some of the Antifa and Black Lives Matter excesses, the riots and arson that have been visited upon a host of American cities, were a symptom, at least in part, of the adamant refusal to accept Trump’s legitimacy.
Which brings us to the current moment. This election could, whichever way it goes, unless it is an indisputable majority win, produce a very unhealthy reaction. U.S. politics has been ramped up to an unprecedented intensity. The violence in the streets, which was already present before the election, is a worrying sign.
It has been noted that throughout the country — mainly in the cities such as Washington, D.C., and New York — businesses are boarding up ahead of the vote.
I think it’s reasonable to say that should Donald Trump be the victor, it will not be, let’s speak gently, easily received. This will be especially the case because for weeks, the American public has been told that Biden is way ahead in the polls. That Trump won in 2016 in spite of similar polling predicting Clinton’s victory was — even then — a seismic shock from which many have not recovered.
Should there be a repeat of that this week, shock will not adequately describe the response.
The other element comes from the Trump side. In the last week or so of the campaign, he has been showing up to rallies that are huge in both size and enthusiasm. He has brought out larger crowds than former president Barack Obama, and his were record-setting.
Biden, by contrast, either has stayed home or, when he did travel, attracted remarkably sparse audiences. It is hard to reconcile, in other words, what the polls have been saying with what people are seeing on the ground. A Trump loss will look to some, let’s speak gently again, to be extremely dubious.
There is tinder here for a blaze. Maddened partisanship, overt violence in the streets, the politicization of the media, politics itself becoming a badge of personal identity and virtue: all these combined have introduced a perilous volatility into American democracy.
Whatever suspense attends the vote itself, the greater suspense should be what might follow it.