Is Trump Preparing To Substitute Bullets For Ballots?

By   /   August 9, 2016  /   30 Comments

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AS TRUMP’S NUMBERS slump, and Hillary’s surge, the worst elements of the American Right are mobilising in his defence. The Republican Party’s most notorious political saboteur, Roger Stone, is urging Trump to prepare his followers for a “rigged” election. And Trump is listening.

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AS TRUMP’S NUMBERS slump, and Hillary’s surge, the worst elements of the American Right are mobilising in his defence. The Republican Party’s most notorious political saboteur, Roger Stone, is urging Trump to prepare his followers for a “rigged” election. And Trump is listening. To the alarm of election observers and commentators of every political stripe, Trump has taken to dropping the “R” word into his recent stump speeches.

“November 8th, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged,” he told American television viewers on Monday, 1 August, “and I hope the Republicans are watching closely, or it’s going to be taken away from us.”

Fears are growing in the Democratic camp that the prospect of losing to Hillary fills Trump with such terror that, rather than concede defeat, he will not shy away from doing irreparable damage to America’s 240-year-old system of representative democracy.

Roger Stone, who has a portrait of Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, is nothing if not explicit. In an interview with Alex Jones (a far-right extremist broadcaster and conspiracy theorist) he issued a chilling warning to Trump’s opponents:

“Well you have to let them know in advance that you’re not going to stand for it. That if there’s any solid evidence of election irregularities you’re prepared to challenge her swearing in and create a constitutional crisis.”

Or something much worse. According to the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher:

“In a podcast last week, long-time Trump advisor Roger Stone said that if the election results in November don’t match opinion polls, the Republican nominee should challenge the validity of the election and warned that the unrest could end in a “bloodbath”. “If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate,” he said. “The election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.”

Threats of a similar nature were made in the lead-up to the Republican Convention. Even if, back then, they were directed at the leadership of the Republican Party itself! Historically-speaking, such overt references to political violence are alien to the presidential election process. At the state and local level of American government, however, “election irregularities” are commonplace.

Stone’s reference to “voter fraud” is telling. For nearly a decade Republican-controlled state legislatures have been passing legislation specifically designed to make it harder for voters more likely than not to support the Democratic Party to both register to – and cast – their vote. The standard political justification for these so-called “voter suppression” laws is the alleged incidence of fraudulent voting. Expert examination of such claims has pronounced them groundless. Proven examples of voter fraud in the United States are extremely rare.

The strongly contested presidential election of 2000 is, however, proof that, even at the presidential level, things can go very badly wrong with the election process. The irregularities surrounding the Florida vote were legion – including strong prima facie evidence of Bush family involvement (in 2000, George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb, was the Florida Governor) in a comprehensive plan to suppress the participation of the state’s African-American voters.

A more reckless and less patriotic Democratic Party presidential candidate than Al Gore might have done considerably more to prevent the 2000 election being stolen from him. His party had, after all, won the popular vote by a comfortable margin, and election day exit polls had shown him ahead (albeit narrowly) in Florida. Rather than call his followers into the streets, however, Gore allowed the US Supreme Court to determine the outcome of the election. By the narrowest of margins, the Court voted to declare Bush the winner.

Can Donald trump be relied upon to go quietly if the election is won narrowly (or even decisively) by Hillary Clinton? Or will he goad the losing side of the most heavily-armed citizenry on earth into substituting their bullets for their ballots?

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30 Comments

  1. Historically-speaking, such overt references to political violence are alien to the presidential election process.

    Not, unfortunately, to the American psyche, which seems to revere violence.

    Whether it be Hollywood movies; military adventurism; local acts of terroristic mass-shootings; or teaching five year olds how to use a firearm – Americans are mired in violence.

    When the killing of twenty young children at a school fails to galvanise Americans into abandoning their self-destructive gun-culture, the down-ward spiral becomes like a doomed astronaut falling into a Black Hole. There is no going back.

    Extrapolating this into the political arena becomes almost a natural consequence.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      Exactly.

      The USA was founded on land theft achieved through extreme violence.

      The socialist movements of the1800s were repressed via extreme violence.

      The empire-building phase involved extreme violence and repression.

      The post-WW2 phase has been characterised by toppling socialist governments around the world by extreme violence and support for evil dictators and other sociopaths.

      And throughout its history the USA has been noted for assassination attempts on candidates and presidents, and actual successful assassinations.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_assassination_attempts_and_plots

      America has gone too far down the path of consumerism, corruption and violence to ever recover.

    • Priss says:

      +1 Frank!

  2. Afewknowthetruth says:

    ‘doing irreparable damage to America’s 240-year-old system of representative democracy’

    America does not have a 240-year-old system of representative democracy. Initially only land-owning males of European descent made the decisions. By the time women and non-Europeans had the vote banks and corporations had already captured the system and were running it for the benefit of the ‘1%’.

    American politics is now a just puppet show, rigged by banks and corporations to ensure that warfare and transfer of wealth upwards are promoted at the expense of the general populace. Hilary is the pro-war, pro-banker-bailout candidate the bankers and corporations want installed, which is why so much corporate money is going into her campaign.

    Surely the wrong question has been asked. Surely the question is: will Trump be assassinated if the bankers and corporations fail to get their puppet installed? After all, we are living in a totally Orwellian world in which ‘War is peace, ignorance is strength and freedom is slavery.’

    • elle says:

      1000% A F K T T.The American media are determined Clinton should win because they can make her do their bidding. the corporates will do anything to keep controll
      Trump threatens their controll ,some republicans are reluctant to lose their cushy jobs,they would rather risk a government with Hillary.
      The media and the democrats (corporates) are the ones who demonise Trump by searching out anything they can to stop his success.
      At the same time they make excuses for Clinton whatever she does,she is a criminal but they cover for her for their own agenda.

      Rigging of elections in America is rife. polls show Trump is losing in the polls, but he is doing much better than is stated ,if the riggers can make voters think the votes are close its easier to rig result than if there is a wide margin.
      Wikileaks promises some damning evidence from recovered Clinton emails in October,the ones she deleted and lied about .
      The corporates and Clintons are ruthless in their need for power.
      Trump will need to protect himself and his family.

      • Nick says:

        Exactly! 1000% bullshit AFTTT.
        Conspiracy paranoia and wild assertions are our only weapons against the monstrous Satana that is H (ILL) ary. She is indeed the Devil incarnate as only you, Elle and those 2nd Amendment folk know but dare not say, because the Clinton machine is everywhere… they’re coming for us…in fact – what’s that sound? …there’s SOMEONE OUTSIDE THE WINDOW …wearing a…pant-sui…..aaaargh!

        • Afewknowthetruth says:

          And where is the evidence to confirm your conspiracy theory?

          After all, anyone can write silly drivel that does not match well documented historical facts or irrefutable scientific facts.

      • Sally's Husband says:

        Elle, sorry, but I can’t agree with your views. The media doesn’t need to “demonise” Trump, he does it all to himself.

        The man is barking mad. But worse still he is incendiary to the right-wing nutters, all armed with military-style weapons, who could harm innocent people.

  3. Samwise says:

    Trump represents everything that is wrong with Western “democracies”. He is populist, shallow, and skirts around the real issues confronting us.

    He’s not just a demagogue, he’s a demagogue with a following of rabid rednecks armed to the teeth. His claim that the elections will be “rigged” suggests he will not accept defeat quietly and with grace.

    This is what the Republicans have wrought with their politics of division.

    • Nick J says:

      Samwise you mistake cause and reaction. The Republicans and the Democrats and Wall St et al are responsible for all that is wrong.Hillary stands as the Statue of Illiberty representing the whole neolib nexus. Trump appears to represent one alternative reaction. Another represented by Sanders has been crushed.

  4. Garibaldi says:

    Come on Chris , isn’t it only logical for Trump to use this line after witnessing what happened to Bernie ? We know about the way Bush stole the election – it’s just that it is disheartening to realize that the Dems are every bit as bad and have been since the skulduggery over Wallace in1944.

    • Andrew says:

      GARIBALDI: You’re correct! Anyone who has faith in the US elector process is severely misguided.

      For example, many historians now say that JFK only got into office via a dirty deal with the Chicago Mafia. It guaranteed him the extra couple of percent that allowed him to defeat his opponent – Nixon.

      In supreme irony, Nixon is quoted as saying after his defeat: “That’s the last time I run a clean campaign!”

      Oh and consider this: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/06/will-the-us-elections-be-hacked

      As an American friend of mine said “My father voted Republican all his life but has been voting Democrat ever since” 🙂

      As for the right wing taking up arms. Yeah/Na. Most right wing conspiracy nuts are too fat to even get out of their Laz-e-Boys.

      • mikesh says:

        “As an American friend of mine said “My father voted Republican all his life but has been voting Democrat ever since” ”

        No doubt he will be regretting it till his dying day, if he ever lives that long.

  5. Nick J says:

    Im not sure which polls to trust here. The MSM polls are firmly in Hillarys camp and given her impassioned screeching I figure she and her camp are running scared. I believe Trump will do a Truman whistle stop tour concentrating on his core voters that the polls wont pick up.
    So anythings possible.

    As far as violence goes under both parties the police have become militarised. And as Frank says above theres a deep culture of violence ranging from fantasy to reality. But to suggest we are facing predetermined armed insurrection is a long shot. A bigger fear for Americans and the world is Hillarys track record as Sec of State with its propensity to armed force. I have no doubt she would deploy this on her own nation. Regarding Chris’ concerns about the US Right they are not “Brown Shirts”. Yes they do have their shared of Waco wierdos but these are hardly unified. Should the Right unite to insurrection you can be sure the cause will reflect the deep divisions that all of our neolib polities have.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Yes Nick one day is a long time in politics right?

      I have seen recent polls that now show Hillary slipping over last week after the bump she got from the DNC convention so one cant tell where it is really going until “the fat lady sings”

      90 days and counting for Clinton/Trump D day.

  6. dennis dorney says:

    Why should Trump not think the election will be rigged? They always have been. Objectively neither candidate is fit to be President, if you weigh up all the evidence, but for some reason, Chris Trotter can see no bad in Hillary Clinton. My faith in Chris Trotter is waning fast.

    • It will only be “rigged” if Trump loses…

      Then again, it could safely be argued that First Past the Post elections are, by their very unpredictable outcomes, “rigged”. “Rigged”, as in producing weird, undemocratic results.

      • Nick J says:

        Dont know if it really matters who wins Frank, rigged or otherwise. Voting for either props up faith in the moribund nexus of “democracy” neo-lib corporatist style. The Left loses either way which is why I cannot get excited. Hot air about Trump being a “fascist” etc etc, all hot air.Chris gets this one very wrong, point is the status quo will be maintained whoever “wins”. By corollary the Left loses. Maybe a more constructive dialogue is in order.

      • Nick J says:

        Dont know if it really matters who wins Frank, rigged or otherwise. Voting for either props up faith in the moribund nexus of “democracy” neo-lib corporatist style. The Left loses either way which is why I cannot get excited. Hot air about Trump being a “fascist” etc etc, all hot air.Chris gets this one very wrong, point is the status quo will be maintained whoever “wins”. By corollary the Left loses. Maybe a more constructive dialogue is in order.

  7. fatty says:

    Still surprised some people on the left think Trump is worth voting for. His vague economic policies have been exposed as a sham – and this was predictable. Yesterday Trump announced his economic policies and all he’s doing is rehashing Reagan.

    Reduced taxes and reduced services. I’m with Killer Mike, I’m glad Reagan’s dead. Trump has fooled the fools. I hope Reagan doesn’t get resurrected.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lIqNjC1RKU

  8. adam says:

    Is this not an easy fix,

    Independent election monitoring.

    All h.r.c has to is say is, “let’s have Independent election monitors”,and if trump does not agree, he’s done.

    So much stress over a simple fix.

    • elle says:

      Trump would agree to in independant monitoring, the republicans are not the riggers in this instance.

  9. adam says:

    One other thing, If Gore had won his home state he would have won the presidency – he did not, so he lost. He lost – not Bush, Nader, or anyone else. Al Gore lost that election, all by himself.

  10. Jamie says:

    You might like to look the other way and play dumb on this one Trotter….

    “In an interview with Democracy Now, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is now stating that 1,700 emails contained in the Clinton cache directly connect Hillary to Libya to Syria, and directly to Al Qaeda and ISIS.”

    Julian Assange “So, those Hillary Clinton emails, they connect together with the cables that we have published of Hillary Clinton, creating a rich picture of how Hillary Clinton performs in office, but, more broadly, how the U.S. Department of State operates. So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gaddafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that’s there in those emails. There’s more than 1,700 emails in Hillary Clinton’s collection, that we have released, just about Libya alone.”

    Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/wikileaks-confirms-hillary-sold-weapons-isis-drops-another-bombshell-breaking-news/#ixzz4Gt5xzL00

    That witch and everyone else willing to go along with this are guilty of high treason and deserves to hang from their necks.

    • Jamie says:

      Of course Hillary giving guns to ISIS is all just some crazy redneck Alex Jones extreme right-wing conspiracy theory?

      Right Trotter?

      Yeah just like I thought, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

  11. Takere says:

    It wouldn’t hurt to have one less Clinton in the World? At least some innocents in the Middle East will survive having less Drone Attacks because of her absence whilst Trump serves a sentence for inciting “Hate” or some kind of charge. Being a Dickhead?

  12. Pete says:

    The trouble for a sensible electoral process in the USA is to do with statistics.

    We have a population of about 4.7million while USA has about 320 million.
    It is said about 10% of a population has mental health issues. Obviously the range and seriousness of those condition is wide with ramifications for the individuals, their families and the whole of the societies.

    So that’s 470,000 here. And 32,000,000 over there. With due respect to those who are plainly ill, that group includes some who are absolutely barking mad. They will be at the heart of the Trump fan club and he is going to give them all the invites they need to come out to play.

  13. Mike the Lefty says:

    It always amazes me how a country with around 325 million people somehow can select such dismally bad examples to run for president.
    Actually there are far more presidential candidates than most people are aware of. The media circus only focusses on the Democratic and Republican nominees because they are the ones who have the money and influence among the filthy rich establishment.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      In other words the whole electoral process is rigged, just as is the case in NZ and other ‘democratic’ countries: those with money and power promote themselves or others who have money and power, to ensure that money and power continue to flow to those who have money and power.

      Add to that the fact that none of the fundamental issues that needed to be addressed long ago are even mentioned in so-called debates and we see that the whole electoral process is nothing but a rigged farce (just as is the case in NZ).

      No wonder increasing numbers of people have completely lost faith in the system and don’t bother to vote, even as the system makes everything that matters worse.

      Needless to say, a system as rotten as the present one cannot possibly endure much longer.

    • Andrea says:

      If only Bernie had taken up Jill Stein’s offer… Now THAT would have been both hopeful and interesting.

      Is he allowed to recant?