The election for president is over. Nearly all the millions of votes are counted as we await final official certification by the 3,141 counties, the 50 states, and our several territories by Dec. 14.
Despite Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security announcing this election was “the most secure in American history,” Trump is propagating the lie that dozens of local county agencies and states have falsified hundreds of thousands if not millions of votes.
A dozen or so lawsuits proclaiming fraud have been quickly dispatched by the courts as frivolous and unsubstantiated.
The greatest threat to Americans is not the coronavirus, which has already killed a quarter-million to date and is on track to kill another half a million by summer.
The greatest threat is destabilizing our democracy. Trump’s claims that he won the election despite the vote attacks political stability and incites rebellion, a possible coup, and even an attempt at secession.
We all know Trump, a perpetual sore loser and often sore winner, is inciting protest movements and civil revolt. Despite Trump threats and fear mongering, we have not seen challenges to our democracy from anarchists, the far left, communists, socialists, rioters, Black Lives Matter, or looters.
It is pro-Trump white nationalists, fascists, armed right-wing militants, “Against the Steal” crowd, QAnon, Trump-Forever folks, and cowardly Republican governors and senators who today encourage the very disruption and destabilization that Trump has warned about as coming from “the left.”
I warn that the three primary conditions necessary for insurrection and open armed rebellion have already been embraced by too many who blindly follow Trump’s doctrine and believe his lies.
The first is getting a popular movement to believe that power or control was wrongfully misappropriated. This has manifested as a hoax that proclaims that each person who voted for Trump was personally damaged by a vote miscount. Trumpers are urged to consider this false claim as an attack on themselves.
The second condition is that there are conspiracies and enemies, to include “the deep state” and “Antifa,” that must be overpowered and overthrown to restore righteousness, faith and freedom, fairness, and order. These deep state and conspiracy themes are promoted by Trump and perpetuated by his social media supporters.
Trump’s “enemies” include liberal Democrats, the far left, socialists, communists, anarchists, terrorists, illegal immigrants, Antifa, the Chinese, NATO, the fake media, Hillary Clinton, the Bidens, Barack Obama, NAFTA, the Squad, the Paris Accords, Black Lives Matter, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Iran deal, Democratic governors, Democratic mayors, the Deep State, attorney Michael Cohen, the polls, the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control, Mitt Romney, secretaries of state of any state where he is behind in the vote, and virtually every official who left his cabinet and senior staff.
The final condition is that those who would carry out violent insurrection and unleash mayhem have the weapons, resources and manpower to enact such treasonous acts. I am holding my breath that no acts of terror by Trump-supporting “militias” transpire.
A war against established law and order, i.e. against “the government,” was the mindset the secessionists held in 1860. Trump has been cultivating his followers to believe that our current government, although his government, is taking away entitlements and freedoms. This is reminiscent of the Confederacy, which branded the North as an enemy who was attempting to diminish Southern freedoms and threaten their way of life.
Incited by an outgoing president who will not accept election results from his own government, Trump’s rhetoric and hate speech is instigating crowds and signaling unlawful militias to engage in battle with the very law enforcement agencies and against the very Constitution that supposedly they hold dear.
What are the odds? An attempted coup? Succession? Rioting and burning? Clashes with police?
We already know Trump will not be a gentleman and fade away. Trump seems anxious, almost delighted, to keep vitriol and bitterness alive.
Trump appears to want to drag the willing down with him into the gutters of rebellion as a last scream of bitter defiance. That way Trump can re-emerge the hero of his own story. He can be the savior of the very chaos he has sown. He can re-establish law and order after he dismantled it.
To Trump, it was always about him. It was never about us.
Let’s pray Trump’s popular support will fade. Then, it will just be him, ever bitter — a sad footnote to history as another wanna-be autocrat who lost to democracy and was ousted by the rule of law.
Jonathan Kraut directs a private investigations agency, is the CEO of a private security firm, is the COO of an acting conservatory, a published author, and Democratic Party activist. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.