Will a Hillary Win Lead to Violence?
One of our commenters, “revrnjim,” warns that there will be violence if Trump loses the presidential election, saying, “if a rigged election should make her president, that would be akin to the first shot fired at Ft. Sumter in 1861: secession and civil war would ensue.”
Revrnjim isn’t the first to voice that warning. During the primaries, Donald Trump warned that there would be riots if he was denied the Republican nomination, according to the Washington Times, on March 16.
Donald Trump warned Wednesday against trying to award the Republican presidential nomination to another candidate if he heads into the convention with the most accumulated delegates, calling on the party to rally around him or risk riots. . .
“I think it would be — I think you’d have riots. I think you’d have riots.”
MediaIte reported in August that Trump thinks the system is rigged against him now.
Trump has complained plenty of times in the past that the political election system has been against him from his campaign’s beginning. Today, Trump proceeded to talk about how managed to run through his Republican primary competitors, though he expects that the “totally rigged” system will again try to thwart him in favor of Clinton.
The next day, Trump went on the Hannity show on Fox and repeated the warning.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump warned Fox News host Sean Hannity Monday night that he believed the November general election would be rigged. . .
“I hope the Republicans get out there and watch very closely, because I think we’re going to win this election, but if it’s rigged like anything else — look, it was rigged I thought a little bit for me, and we won in landslides. I think it was rigged against Bernie Sanders…” he continued.
“I’m telling you, November 8th, we’d better be careful because that election’s going to be rigged,” Trump stated. “And I hope the Republicans are watching very closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.”
Two weeks later, The Hill reported that Trump warned of upcoming cheating in Pennsylvania.
“The only way we can lose, in my opinion, I really mean this, Pennsylvania, is if cheating goes on. I really believe it,” he said Friday during a rally in Altoona, Pa.
Trump said law enforcement and his supporters have to be on the lookout for voter fraud to keep Trump from getting “cheated out of a win.”
“That’s the way we can lose the state, and we have to call up law enforcement and we have to have the sheriffs and the police chiefs and everybody watching,” he said.
“The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, is if in certain sections of the state they cheat.”. . .
Clinton leads Trump by about 10 points in Pennsylvania, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.
That’s what led to the final question of the first presidential debate. Thanks to Fortune Magazine for the transcript.
HOLT: Mr. Trump, very quickly, same question. Will you accept the outcome as the will of the voters?
TRUMP: I want to make America great again. We are a nation that is seriously troubled. We’re losing our jobs. People are pouring into our country.
The other day, we were deporting 800 people. And perhaps they passed the wrong button, they pressed the wrong button, or perhaps worse than that, it was corruption, but these people that we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens. Ended up becoming citizens. And it was 800. And now it turns out it might be 1,800, and they don’t even know.
Since Trump hadn’t answered the question, Holt repeated it, and Trump finally answered.
HOLT: Will you accept the outcome of the election?
TRUMP: Look, here’s the story. I want to make America great again. I’m going to be able to do it. I don’t believe Hillary will. The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her.
The worry about violence is not without reason. Trump’s friend, Roger Stone, voiced it in August.
Roger Stone sat with Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos, and the two discussed how the general election will almost certainly be hijacked by acts of voter fraud. Several recent polls suggest that Hillary Clinton is even with, if not slightly ahead of Trump, and Stone said that the “fix” is definitely in, and it starts with the manufacturers for electronic voting machines. . .
“If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, 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.”. . .
“I think he’s gotta put them on notice that their inauguration will be a rhetorical, and when I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath… We will not stand for it.”
The Blaze reported that Stone was not alone in this warning, last month.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said over the weekend that patriots may need to “shed blood” if Hillary Clinton is elected president. . .
Bevin said. “The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood. Of who? The tyrants, to be sure. But who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren.”
“I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically,” Bevin said, according to the Washington Post. “But that may, in fact, be the case.”
“Bloodshed” and “blood bath” are frightening threats.
Politico reported that there has been a lot of talk of violence this year, including Trump’s veiled warning about NRA action if, as president, Hillary tried to nominate a liberal judge.
In May, the Secret Service investigated Donald Trump’s butler over a Facebook post saying that President Barack Obama “should be shot as an enemy agent.”
Secret Service agents also interviewed a Trump campaign adviser last month, after he said that Hillary Clinton “should be put in the firing line and shot for treason.”
In December, Trump himself appeared on the radio show of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has warned that the federal government might round up gun owners “like Jews in Nazi Germany.”
And refrains of “hang the bitch” and “kill the bitch” have grown increasingly common at Trump rallies.
Even before Trump’s Tuesday remark that “Second Amendment people” might stop Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court appointments, his associates and supporters had repeatedly called for violence against Clinton and Obama, while right-wing leaders and militia groups that support Trump speak of an armed response to federal gun control efforts.
It appears that talk of violence seems to have begun by Trump’s joke that he’s so popular that he could commit murder with impunity, and a more recent comment that Hillary could commit murder and not be convicted. As much as politicians candy-coat words, there’s also some problem with having someone “shoot from the hip,” so to speak.
[Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center] and others blame Trump for legitimizing talk of violence throughout the campaign, including his jokes about punching and roughing up protesters, his defense of torturing terrorist suspects and even his infamous crack — complete with a pantomimed gunshot — that he could “shoot somebody” in midtown Manhattan and not lose any political support.
Business Insider also noted that Trump encouraged violence at a rally.
During a Sunday interview on “Meet The Press,” the real-estate mogul criticized the protester, who was allegedly hit as he was being escorted out of Trump’s Wednesday rally in North Carolina. . .
When pressed by host Chuck Todd to confirm whether he would cover the legal fees for the supporter, who is now reportedly facing assault and battery charges, Trump said he was considering it.
“I’ve actually instructed my people to look into it, yes,” Trump said.
Last month, Trump pledged to pay the legal bills for supporters who “knocked the crap” out of anyone who was considering throwing tomatoes at the former reality-television star.
“If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them,” Trump said. “Just knock the hell — I promise you, I’ll pay the legal fees.”
To be fair, there has been violence by radicals at Trump rallies. In fact, I condemned the protestors as being, not only wrong, but counterproductive—since violence turns people off. It doesn’t win support.
There has been a lot of talk about Russian involvement in our election. Some say Vladimir Putin is trying to throw the election for Trump. But the real concern is that we might lose our faith in our system. Putin was incensed when Hillary Clinton said the Russian elections were rigged to elect Putin. That was a strong condemnation, because the United States has been revered for being the most stable and longest lasting Democracy in world history. Putin would love it if we began doubting the integrity of our own elections.
Yes, there was concern that John Kennedy election may have been “stolen” in Chicago in 1960, and George Bush’s election may have been stolen in Florida in 2000, but neither case became a constitutional crisis, because candidates have always had more reverence in the American political system than avarice for their own advancement. At least until now.