Post-election scenarios — violence, unrest, and Trump's refusal to leave

Terrifying post-election scenarios — violence, unrest, and Trump’s refusal to leave

Trump looking to the side

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

What if Donald Trump does not accept the results of the election? Democrats are not only scared that Trump could win another term, but many also fear that the President —and his supporters — will not take defeat lightly.

Trump cheats at golf. He cheats on his wives. And he cheats his business partners. Why would cheating in an election be surprising?

Trump has made no bones about his stance on mail-in voting. It will be “the greatest scam in the history of politics,” he warned. The latest polls show that a quarter of Republicans will choose absentee ballots, while nearly half of Democrats also plan on mailing in their votes.

When will we know the results of the election?

Side by side photographs of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Wikimedia / Flickr

If all Americans were to cast their ballots in person at a polling center, the election results would be near-instantaneous, and the red or blue balloons could fall from the ceiling that same day. Counting postal votes is much slower, however. Each envelope must be opened by hand and the identity of the voter has to be verified.

Will Trump and his MAGA army concede defeat gracefully?

Truck with a Trump flag streaming in the wind

Screenshot / YouTube

Experts warn that the mail-in vote debate could spark social unrest. Trump could argue that Democrats are trying to steal the election through electoral fraud, and his MAGA supporters could take it to the streets.

Florida is one of many states that will begin processing absentee votes three weeks before the election. If more states follow suit, the result could be announced on the third of November, even with the high numbers of mail-in ballots. Several states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, refuse to begin the process until Election Day.

Rick Hasen is a University of California law professor and expert in U.S. elections. He warned:

What’s the worst that could happen? The election will likely spark violence — and a constitutional crisis.

The longer the wait until the result, the greater the possibility of unrest.

The Fight Back Table is ready

Demonstrator holding a sign that says 'Resist'

Flickr / Alisdare Hickson

After Donald Trump won the 2016 election, a group of progressive groups formed the Fight Back Table. The initiative began as a way to get liberal movements to coordinate more closely. Today, the coalition is made up of 50 organizations.

The Fight Back Table is preparing for various scenarios where the Trump team loses – but do not leave. As the election draws nearer, the joint effort took a new name: the “Democracy Defense Nerve Center.”

Fighting misinformation during an election

Typewriter with Facebook misinformation written on the paper

Flickr / Trending Topics 2019

In the digital age, information is rife, but the truth is scarce. Images can be doctored, and scandal is shared while the truth decays. Organizations like Bellingcat, Snopes, and Politifact are fact-checking controversial stories. With both the Republican and Democratic election campaigns in full swing, the tidal wave of “click-bait” outrageous information saturates public opinion.

Over a two-hour zoom call, the Democracy Defense Nerve Center discussed how to combat the age of misinformation and fake news.

Voting booths mysteriously closing

People standing in line to vote wearing face masks

Screenshot / YouTube

The 45th President of the United States publicly admitted he would cut funding to the USPS in the lead-up to the election. This flagrant attempt to prevent people from posting their votes violates the Constitution and is in blatant disregard of democracy.

Donald Trump does not care.

Critics warn that come election day; poll locations could mysteriously disappear — it was a tactic used during the midterms. Roadblocks could be put in place to prevent people from accessing their nearest voting center.

The FBT proposed quick transportation options be put in place as a backup.

The ‘Law and Order’ campaign

Make sure your vote counts! How to vote on Election Day — even if Trump tries to stop you

Screenshot / Twitter

Another chilling scenario is that Trump is fuelling dissent and racial violence to create a situation in which he can impose ‘law and order’. He has already sent in federal troops to Portland to “restore order.” Trump cheered on the “cruise rally” of MAGA supporters into Portland, tweeting “GREAT PATRIOTS.” Many of them were carrying hidden arms.

If Trump encourages violence, his tough stance on law and order will look more attractive to voters.

Right-wing militia entering voting zones

Man holding a sign that says "Trump is a fascist!"

Wikimedia

America sees a dangerous rise in vigilanteism.

As Portland heads towards its 105th day of protests, the unrest continues to spark violence. Buses and parades of MAGA supporters descended en masse in Oregon, and clashes between right-wing members and Black Lives Matter protestors are getting out of hand.

Two people have been shot. One of them by teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who Trump defended, saying “He probably would have been killed” had he not shot two people.

One source familiar with the Democracy Defense Nerve Center explained what this could mean for the election, and the difficulties of combating it:

“I don’t know what the strategy is when armed right-wing militia dudes show up in polling places. This [Kyle] Rittenhouse guy is being lionized on the right, right now. If it is being unleashed that you can shoot people and be a hero, I don’t know what preparation we can possibly do for that.”

Restricting internet activity

A tablet with the Google homepage on the screen

Canva

If the President invoked ’emergency powers’ he would have alarming free reign. Last year, the Atlantic published an article warning of the extraordinary power Trump could wield if he declared an emergency.

He could restrict internet activity, censor content, and ensure pro-Trump articles appeared first. Trump could deploy troops against American civilians.

Only a Biden landslide will prevent the nightmare

Biden standing with a microphone

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Critics fear that a Biden victory will lead to an outcry of electoral fraud from Trump supporters. The Washington Post published a summary of four simulations: an outright Biden victory, a narrow win, a murky win, and a Trump Electoral College win without the popular vote.

The results? The election will almost certainly be contested. Should Biden win, his road to the White House will not be smooth but paved with corruption and Republican roadblocks.

The Washington Post analysis was based on a 22-page document by the Brooks’ Transition Integrity Project. The authors agreed on one thing; the simulations demonstrated that: “the Trump campaign was “consistently more ruthless than Team Biden.”

There is speculation that if Biden wins the election, Trump will invoke some crisis in order to contest the results. Even advisors close to the President have warned he could resort to extreme measures to stay in power.

Mass mobilization is the only way

7 signs the tide may be turning against Trump

Canva / PNGItem

The Democracy Defense Nerve Center is making no assumptions about how Trump would react to defeat. Their overarching strategy is to facilitate change by organizing people.

Participants of the discussion agreed that mass mobilization was the only way to protect against many undesirable post-election scenarios.

The Electoral College System has polarized opinions across the nation. If Biden wins the popular vote but loses the election, it will be the third such Democrat defeat in 20 years.

Radical solutions include abolishing the Electoral College and the division of California for better representation in the Senate. States like Washington and Oregon could secede from the Union altogether.

Until the third of November ( or possibly longer), the nation is tense, and the world is watching. Make sure you are ready to vote!

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