Will Trump try to steal the election, or are Dems projecting? An artificially extended contest is sure to include violence
Before the polls opened, it was almost certain that the election wouldn’t end Tuesday night. The ground has been seeded for extended ballot counting, legal battles, and renewed violence that could extend for days, if not weeks.
Coming after months of violence in cities across America, and amidst a lengthy coronavirus panic that has masked and pent up much of the country, signs pointed to a protracted election contest. O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, told reporters by phone on Monday that “[u]nder no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night, and that’s fundamentally how we want to approach tomorrow.” This statement echoes the early signals given by Hillary Clinton, who in August said that Biden should not concede “under any circumstances.”
Dillon’s threat Monday, backed by the candidate on Tuesday morning, handed the compliant Democratic boosters in the media complex its marching orders. That means nearly the entirety of mass media, as well internet search and social media platforms, will refuse to let the election be called until the Democrats say so.
The statement came even before the nation’s in-person voters, most of them Republicans, had begun to cast their ballots. Over a campaign season in which the media virtually proscribed the mention of good news for Trump or bad news for Biden, a Trump victory announcement on Tuesday night, no matter the results, has essentially been precluded. Anything Trump might say that remotely suggests victory will necessarily have him figured as an autocrat refusing to relinquish his office. Without a media announcement, there can be no winner, as a deleted tweet by the New York Times curiously revealed:
The New York Times deleted this tweet pic.twitter.com/aZZlr288Pj
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) November 3, 2020
Mail-in ballots are likely to benefit Biden and some swing states have extended the deadline, so the longer the counting goes on, it is thought, the better Biden’s chances. This is the rationale for pressuring Trump to restrain from declaring an early victory. If, on the other hand, early tabulations show Biden winning, the pressure will mount for Trump to concede.
Teams of lawyers for both parties are arrayed across the swing states, as hints of voting irregularities and lawsuits have already mounted. Allegations of electronic election tampering by Democrats are making the rounds on social media and beyond. A video posted to YouTube featured a former high-level intelligence official, Lieutenant General Tom McInerney, who claimed that the Democrats and the CIA have put in place a mechanism to alter the voting results of electronic voting machines in key swing states like Pennsylvania. The video was removed after just one day but remains on the source site. Trump has decried the counting of late-arriving absentee ballots that will continue for as long as two weeks in some states, changes in the rules enacted by Democratic governors that may impact results in the pivotal states of Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
The lengthened election battle will no doubt exacerbate the enmity between the Trump and Biden camps, while providing an alibi for promised leftist agitation and potential Trumpian backlash. And any police action taken to quell the unrest, as well as the unrest itself, will no doubt be blamed on Trump.
Trump’s huge and extremely enthusiastic base remains the wild card in such a scenario. After hundreds of thousands have attended massive rallies across the country, will they reciprocate and take to the streets, or remain at home, muzzled by social media outlets with their favorite news sites banned or down ranked by Google, Facebook, and Twitter? If they do take action, they will be further vilified as rightwing extremists and fascists, while the left will be exonerated by Democrats and the media.
A legitimate vote count would amount to a referendum on the political establishment. Trump, despite his flaws, or perhaps because of them, represents a veto on the performance of the professional political class and the entrenched bureaucracy. Biden, on the other hand represents a return to the establishment status quo, including its political malfeasance and corruption. Even while they engaged in “collusion” themselves, “deep state” Democrats accused Trump of partaking in it.
But no matter the outcome, the 2020 presidential election will go on record as one that inevitably left one side in utter disbelief at the results, while harboring an unremitting disdain for the “winner.”