One of the more concerning things about this US election is Trump‘s escalating rhetoric that the whole thing is rigged – either by the media, voter fraud, or actual tampering of the ballots or all of the above. Considering his fairly bad polling, it’s more likely than not that he will lose, so it’s been raising questions of something you might consider unthinkable in modern American politics: a losing candidate not conceding the vote.
Even in 2000, when there was a massive upset with the Florida vote which many thought handed the election illegitimately to George Bush over Al Gore, everything proceeded somewhat rationally. The idea of an elected government and a loyal opposition is how republican democracy works.
But Trump might buck that trend. He was asked directly during today’s debate in no uncertain terms whether he would concede if he lost. He wouldn’t answer – and said he’d keep everyone in suspense.
— CNN (@CNN) October 20, 2016
There are two things that could be happening here. Either Trump is a legit maniac with a revolutionary bent and has no plans to actually hand the reins of power to Clinton if she wins, or he’s just trying to rile up his supporters, who already think this is an everything or nothing election.
My take? I reckon it’s option 2. Trump literally has nothing to gain from a revolution like that. In fact, the status quo has been quite kind to him overall. But regardless of what he’s doing, getting a lot of very angry people who think the system has failed them thinking undemocratically is a real worrying move.
In any case, it’s time to fix the damn hats:
— Polly Monster (@polly) October 20, 2016
Photo: Getty Images.