If Trump loses, we know what to expect: anger, fear and disruption




 

Michael Cohen says the president will not go quietly if he is beaten in 2020. We should believe him

The United States is now headed by someone pathologically incapable of admitting defeat. This doesn't bode well for the 2020 presidential election.

Among the most chilling words uttered this week by Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, were "given my experience working for Mr Trump I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power, and this is why I agreed to appear before you today".

Cohen should know better than anyone, but we already had reason to worry. In 2016, when polls showed Hillary Clinton with a wide lead, Trump claimed the election was rigged against him.

He refused to commit to honoring the election results if he lost, warning that he'd "reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result." He added that he'd accept the results of the election "if I win".

Throughout the summer of 2016, Trump's claim of election rigging was echoed on Fox News. Newt Gingrich spoke of "a long tradition on the part of Democratic machines of trying to steal elections". Rudolph Giuliani declared "Hillary and [Tim] Kaine are right in the middle of the Washington insider rigged system".

Trump's campaign manager at the time, Paul Manafort, said federal officials couldn't be trusted to prevent voter fraud, warning that "if you're relying on the justice department to ensure the security of the elections, we have to be worried".

By early August 2016, according to a Bloomberg poll, 56% of Trump supporters believed the election would be rigged. (Among all voters, only 34% predicted a rigged election; 60% rejected the idea.)

Even after the election, Trump refused to accept that he had lost the popular vote. Still claiming election fraud, he established a presidential commission to find it. When the commission came back empty-handed, he abruptly dissolved it, saying - wrongly - that it had uncovered "substantial evidence of voter fraud". No such evidence emerged.

For Trump, losing is the deepest form of humiliation, and humiliation is intolerable.

Every time he has lost a legislative or legal battle during his presidency he has blamed the other side, and has lashed back: shuttering the government, declaring a national emergency, whipping up his followers against recalcitrant judges, Democrats, the media or whomever he holds responsible.

Imagine it's November 2020 and Trump has lost the election. He charges voter fraud, claiming that the "deep state" organized tens of millions of illegal immigrants to vote against him, and says he has an obligation not to step down.

Only this time he's already president, with all the powers a president commands.

In years past, Americans have trusted our system of government enough that we abide by its outcomes even though we may disagree with them. Only once in our history - in 1861 - did enough of us distrust the system so much we succumbed to civil war.

Typically, when an election is over, the peaceful transition of power reminds the public that our allegiance is not toward a particular person but to our system of government.

Five weeks after the bitterly contested election of 2000, and just one day after the supreme court ruled 5-4 in favor of George W Bush, Al Gore graciously declared: "I say to president-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country."

But what happens if an incumbent president claims our system is no longer trustworthy?

Trump's emissaries have already seeded the battlefield. Last April, Sean Hannity of Fox News predicted that an attempt to impeach Trump (or presumably remove him from office any other way) would cause "fighting and dividing this country at a level we've never seen … those that stand for truth and those that literally buy into the corrupt deep state attacks against a duly elected president".

Trump's former consiglieri Roger Stone has warned of "an insurrection like you've never seen" and claimed that any politician who voted to oust Trump "would be endangering their own life".

Just last week, Steve Bannon, another of Trump's bottom-feeders, predicted that "2019 is going to be the most vitriolic year in American politics since the civil war, and I include Vietnam in that". He didn't make a prediction about 2020, but we can guess.

We should take seriously Michael Cohen's admonition that if Trump is defeated in 2020, he will not leave office peacefully.

Republican leaders as well as supreme court justices and civic and religious leaders across the land must be prepared to assert the primacy of our system of government over the will of the man who refuses to lose.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump
Trump 'Go Back' Tweets at Progressive Congresswomen Spark Furor

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump sparked a furor on Sunday by suggesting that four progressive female Democratic lawmakers, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, should return to the "broken and crime infested places from which they came."Democrats said the president was being racist and divisive. Three of the four women Trump was apparently referencing were born in the U.S.; none are white. The comments, made in a three-tweet string early Sunday, seem aimed at first-term Representatives Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. "The Squad," as the quartet is known, has been engaged in an intraparty...

French President Emmanuel Macron announces creation of French space force
French President Emmanuel Macron announces creation of French space force

On the eve of Bastille Day celebrations, Emmanuel Macron announced the creation of a French space force command within the French air force.

There are 2 dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, but it
There are 2 dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, but it's really only a 5 person race

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg are the only 2020 candidates who have consistently polled viably.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump and an eco legacy not his own
AP FACT CHECK: Trump and an eco legacy not his own

President Donald Trump and his aides this past week celebrated an environmental legacy that is not theirs to claim. In large measure, the progress they cited pre-dates Trump's presidency. Trump's veterans affairs chief cited improvements in waiting times and quality of care at VA health centers

Trump says nationwide immigration arrests to begin Sunday
Trump says nationwide immigration arrests to begin Sunday

The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said efforts to deport families with orders to leave the country will continue after an upcoming national sweep that President Donald Trump said would start Sunday. Matthew Albence, the agency's acting director, said targets were on an "accelerated docket" of immigration court cases for predominantly Central Americans who recently arrived at the U.S. border in unprecedented numbers. "This family operation is nothing new," Albence told The Associated Press.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.