Last night during the last presidential debate, Donald Trump would not commit to accepting the election results if voters choose Hillary Clinton. This lack of commitment comes after Trump has spent days calling the election “rigged” and perpetuating a myth created by Republicans (and now denied by them) that “massive voter fraud” exists.
Today, during a rally in Ohio, he told his fans:
“I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election. . . if I win.”
This type of talk is extremely dangerous to the foundation of our democracy. Never have we seen a presidential candidate speak out before an election saying if the results don’t go their way, they simply will not accept the will of the people. This is the stuff dictatorships are made of, not democracies.
And, what exactly does it mean if Trump doesn’t accept the results? Well, it could be something as simple as lip service. Or, it could be something much greater.
For months Trump has been tapping into the desperation felt by poor, uneducated, predominately white, voters. These are the people who have lost their jobs while the money hoarders ship their manufacturing overseas. They are poor. They feel powerless. They don’t trust the educated. They don’t trust the government. They look to Alex Jones and Sean Hannity for the truth, and they would kiss the ground Donald Trump walks on if they were given the chance.
These citizens are also the same citizens who are heavily armed and cling to their version of the Second Amendment with the same moxie as Charlton Heston when he said he will give up his gun when it’s pried from his “cold, dead hands.” Tyranny is the reason they need to be armed to the teeth, and now, they have a leader who is basically saying the tyrannical government may be rigging the election against them.
We’ve already seen reports of his supporters claiming to prepare for an armed rebellion. We’ve seen individuals say they are prepared for bloodshed, and even call for the assassination of Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s antics are disgraceful. They are anti-American. His words will have consequence. While many may just become further disenfranchised with participating in the electoral system, others may take it a step further. He is furthering the chance for a violent consequence should he continue to spout conspiracy theory rhetoric that will only serve to further grow the violent tendencies of a desperate people. And, that is a risk for us all.
These are not the actions of a leader, they are the actions of an attention-seeking narcissist who either doesn’t know the risk in what he is doing, or he simply doesn’t care. Either way, these are not the actions of anyone deserving of a seat in the White House.
Watch Donald Trump say he will ONLY accept the election results if he wins, here:
Featured image via video screen capture