If I Lose, It Means It Was Rigged

Several news stories yesterday and today, including this one from the Washington Post, have reported on Trump’s most recent tirade not aimed at the Gold Star Kahn family: his dark warnings that the upcoming election looks to be “rigged.”

Translation: I might not win. And if I lose, the only acceptable explanation is that I was robbed.

Evidently, most of the “rigging” is being done by media outlets that–outrageous bias!–are reporting the things Trump says.

Trump’s effort to de-legitimize the (small-d) democratic process and the (big-D) Democratic candidate won’t surprise anyone who has watched the two-year-old that is Donald Trump. Any loss, any slight, is met with belligerence and the equivalent of a child’s “not fair” whine.

If this insistence that only a Trump victory would be “fair” were simply one more manifestation of Trump’s immaturity and narcissism, we could just add it to the list of self-destructive behaviors exhibited by this deeply-flawed candidate.

But although this particular line of attack is unlikely to convince anyone outside his rabid base, it could–like so much of Trump’s snake-oil– further destabilize American politics, and undermine the legitimacy of a President Clinton.

Trump and his supporters have now said in a series of new public remarks that the outcome of the election is likely to be “rigged.” Yesterday, on the campaign trail, Trump said: “I’m afraid the election’s going to be rigged. I have to be honest.”

Meanwhile, longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone is explicitly encouraging Trump to make this case to his supporters. “I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly,” Stone told a friendly interviewer, adding that Trump should start saying this: “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.”

Stone also said: “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.”

This attack is eerily akin to situations where a wife who has filed for divorce is murdered by her estranged husband, who says “if I can’t have you, no one can.” The Trump campaign is threatening that if he can’t win, he will create enough doubt about the legitimacy of the electoral process to ensure that the winner is unable to govern.

This isn’t new. It’s a continuation of a tactic employed by those who simply could not accept the reality that an African-American had been elected President. The “birther” movement–with which Trump was heavily involved–was an effort to de-legitimize President Obama, an effort to paint him as a pretender.

Ironically, while the Democrats have certainly not been angels, most recent electoral “rigging” has been done by Republicans.

The GOP has long used allegations of voter fraud to justify efforts to suppress the votes of constituencies most likely to vote Democratic. (During the last few weeks, courts have invalidated voter ID laws in four states, noting that these laws have been carefully targeted to suppress the votes of African-Americans, Latinos, and poor people.)

In-person voting fraud has never been a genuine problem; its incidence is, in the words of one election scholar, “vanishingly small.”

Given the GOP’s persistent efforts to game the system through Voter ID laws and gerrymandering, not to mention the shenanigans in Florida that gave us George W. Bush, it takes some chutzpah to characterize Donald Trump as the victim of election “rigging.” (But if there is one quality Trump undeniably has, it’s chutzpah.)

If the election is close, Trump’s supporters–already divorced from reason and reality–will believe he was robbed, and while that belief may not lead to Stone’s “bloodbath,” it will certainly hobble efforts to restore productive bipartisanship.

If, however, he loses by a landslide–an outcome devoutly to be desired–that conspiracy theory won’t gain traction.

We need to help generate that landslide.


  1. Sheila,

    “If the election is close, Trump’s supporters–already divorced from reason and reality–will believe he was robbed, and while that belief may not lead to Stone’s “bloodbath,” it will certainly hobble efforts to restore productive bipartisanship.”

    “If, however, he loses by a landslide–an outcome devoutly to be desired–that conspiracy theory won’t gain traction.

    We need to help generate that landslide.”


  2. Prof Says:
    “We need to help generate that landslide.”
    I could not agree more.
    The 70 year old Toddler should never be our President.

  3. I watched some footage of Trump from the last week. It is clear from his interactions with an interviewer that he has no knowledge of many of the topics that a presidential candidate should be expected to understand. He makes a response (likely a test response) and then changes it depending on the interviewer’s follow up. Example – Russia is not in Crimea. Then: Yes I know Russia is in Crimea, but it happened on Obama’s watch. I don’t believe he is intellectually rigorous enough for the job; further his commentaries indicate that he isn’t interested in learning anything about the rest of the world, policy-development, strategic planning, or really anything that will position the US to succeed in the many challenges facing it.

  4. I would point attention to the national movement on the restrictive voting laws by the courts which is an evolution happening right now.

  5. Trump’s continual blustering and mistakes are taking a toll on his support. It is now appearing that the people who planned to vote for him as a vote against Hillary have changed their mind. Trump’s childish personality will continue to destroy any possibility he might have ever had to win.

    Now, we must get to work on ridding our state government of republicans and ALEC.

  6. For those of you who may be interested, yesterday’s blog post was still being commented on after midnight.

  7. Top headline in the Star today; “Pence plays role of Trump’s clarifier”. Aha! We were originally told, by Trump, Pence was picked to unify the party. The article was in politicalese, not “filled with sound and fury” but “signifying nothing.” Not even Trump’s attack on the Khans was clarified in a way to excuse Trump’s continuing objectionable comments.

    I watched a film clip on MSNBC of Trump “kicking a crying baby out of his rally”; I believe that happened before the interview with Pence to “clarify” anything Trump has said. So now we know Trump is against babies unless they don’t disturb his soliloquy.

    This morning on “Morning Joe”, Joe and Mika interviewed a retired military general, primarily to get an answer to their question regarding any safeguards to prevent Trump – or an American president – from using the code to deploy nuclear weapons. The general had trouble and never responded directly; the closest he came was, “the discretionary action does not allow time for discussion”. The general seemed more concerned with the possibility of a break in relations between the president and the military. When Joe repeated his question, stating he still wanted an answer, he was again told “the discretionary action does not allow time for discussion.” That is an answer, hedging, but an answer. He did state he will NOT vote for Trump.

    Here are the possibilities I see for November 8th; Trump will win in a landslide or…Hillary will win in a landslide and Trump will refuse to concede the election or…the election will close enough to demand a recount (remember 2000) and put into the hands of the Republican Congress who retain control until January 1, 2017. No need to enter my opinion as to how that ends.

  8. 9 year old comes home from a baseball game father asks how the game went. The child says they cheated. Concerned the father asks what did they do how did they cheat. I don’t know they just cheated. What was the score. 18 to nothing but they cheated.

  9. I wish the election could be today so we could all wake up from this National Nightmare!

  10. In “Citizen Kane,” when Charles Foster Kane ran for governor, there were two possible headlines for his papers to run the day following the election. One was to the effect of “Kane Victorious!” the other “Election Stolen!”

  11. While we do need the presidential election to end with a landslide for Hillary, we also need a Democratic landslide across the country for all of the congressional races AND state elections. We need to wash this country clean of the slime that tea baggers and religious nut jobs have smeared across our land.

  12. Jan,

    I wish the election could be today so we could all wake up from this National Nightmare!

    Great idea! Just what I was thinking. How about a stand-in for the November election…… A Recall Election of the “Tea Party Mayor” of Jacksonville. That process could start tomorrow. Anyone with a better idea on how WE might start a political landslide?

  13. If anyone needs to clarify between election fraud and voter fraud, google the “Brad Blog” who has covered these topics for a decade.

    I can’t tell you how frustrating, entertaining and infuriating it is to watch Trump implode. My goodness that toddler, that I now refer to as Thumple-thin-skin, is the worst I’ve ever witnessed. Seriously, I’ve never seen someone who is as unprepared for the Presidency like him and that’s saying a lot after W.

    And for s*its and giggles, I go to right-wing places like drudge, fox and the other sites to read the comments to get a handle on what the other side is saying. It’s always the “libtards or liberal media” they blame for reporting against this monster. And I thought thumplethinskin could never sink so low until he attacked the Khan family. It was my pleasure to see the military and gop heads explode in disgust. FINALLY! And President Obama knocked it out of the park yesterday at his press conference. Many of those people said Obama had no experience but man, has he shown the world how it’s done.

    In a couple of week, it will make me a bit nervous about holding my tongue when I visit my hometown in Indiana. I’ll try to defend my position of voting for Clinton, at the same time explaining how bad things could be if we get a duplicate of Berlusconi at the switch.

  14. What becomes more obvious as time goes by is that we desperately need to improve our educational system. We need to teach our children to think so that we don’t end up with another generation of citizens like those supporting Mr. Trump.

  15. Peggy, the education system of this country did not produce Donald Trump. His parents, particularly good old slum lord dad, did.

  16. It looks like there is no better support for “Hillary for President “, then The Donald.

  17. The following is from “The Trojan Horse in America” by Martin Dies, Jr. [former Head of the House Committee Investigating Un-American Activities] (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1940) page 13:

    “Out of the hundreds of Trojan Horse organizations which the Communists and the Nazis have set up in this country, not one of them will admit its subservience to its builders. [Who are we talking about here in 2016?] In fact, each one denies emphatically that it is in any way dependent upon or controlled by Communists or Nazis. We must be prepared for sweeping denials when we confront a Trojan Horse outfit with the evidence of its hidden connections.”

    “Despite the denials of stooges, whether they be persons of high rank or low, the Trojan Horse organizations are here. Communist and Nazis have both said pointedly that they advance their respective causes by the use of such organizations. Both have declared on occasion that they have succeeded in setting them up. Otto Kuusinen, member of the secretariat of the Communist International, declared:
    We must create a whole solar system of organizations and smaller committees around a Communist Party, so to speak, smaller organizations [LITTLE TROJAN HORSES] working actually under the influence of the Party.

    Such a “solar system” exists. The Communists have not been negligent in carrying out Moscow’s instructions; nor Nazis those in Berlin. It is our business to find these “solar systems” and all of their satellites.”

    “Deception is the chief characteristic of the Trojan Horse.”

  18. What Trump means is …

    If he does not win, “he” did not get it rigged in time.

  19. According to the generals, one thing we don’t have to worry about is a military coup. Trump has taken care of that for the time being. At least the military hasn’t gone over the edge, yet.

    Where is Mel Brooks when we need him?

  20. If Trump feels it’s appropriate to say and act the way he does as a candidate, what happens when he is Americas World leader with no restraints or cultural decorum?
    Trump as POTUS would be a global disaster.

  21. Is that a good lesson to teach our kids? If you lose, its because they cheated you Or, winners are cheaters and losers have been cheated. Does Trump lack all common sense and decency? He seems to have the sense of a five year old and the vocabulary of a seven year old.

  22. Far out prediction:

    Trump successfully campaigned against a dozen losers in the primary. It could be argued he was in fact the least bad choice. Now he’s campaigning again the most experienced political election machine arguably ever.

    Every day Trump doubles down on stupid, uninformed, mysogynic, rude, and clueless. People give him media attention for the same reason that we like train wrecks.

    Trump doesn’t want to be President. He apparently told VP candidates that they could run the country.

    Trump does want celebrity because with no effort or risk at all it can be turned into wealth. Remember he’s a failed businessman but successful celebrity.

    So in a month or two Trump will declare that he gives up. Rather than going down in history as the biggest loser he’d rather go down as being in full control.

    I’m sure that the GOP has a secret plan for this when it happens. They would lose this election for sure but would have a plan to lipstick that pig to a faretheewell. They would have a golden opportunity for a do over of the last 25 years.

    They’ll reset to a legitimate political party. Centrist, not extreme. They’ll dump all of the baggage on Don the con and Pence the dense just like they tried to on Obama and Clinton.

    We return to pre-Limbaugh days.

    I think that we can all live with that.

  23. Pete may well have a point: http://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/republicans-think-trump-might-quit-so-theyre-scrambling-to-find-a-replacement-abc-news/

    I’m a Progressive who hasn’t voted Republican in years, and back then, barely. But I have to admit, putting aside from the horrific, unconscionable racism, misogyny and more of the Trump camp, some of the people who will vote for him have one good point: there are too many lobbyists and too many intrenched political insiders; and the billionaires and multinational corporations have too much power. That’s worth being angry about.

  24. Another factor to consider. Trump has the attention span of a butterfly and the focus of a puppy. He’s getting bored.

  25. “Trump successfully campaigned against a dozen losers in the primary. ”

    Pete; I do not for one minute believe this is the truth of what happened, there is something vital we, the public, do NOT know. I do not believe those elected officials, other than Dr. Carson, were “successfully campaigned against”; they turned tail and ran from Trump…what we don’t know is WHY? And The entire GOP is supporting his campaign while he supports none of them. He has not yet released his tax information – would, COULD it show less than the $13 BILLION net worth he claimed because he has managed to buy them off? The entire Republican party cannot have become senile and useless over a matter of a few months. The current situation with them goes far beyond disagreements on issues and party loyalty; there is something hidden from us; will we ever know? There is a reason we are watching Republican insanity and weakness in the shadow of a totally unqualified, unstable fool whose list of bigoted targets runs the gamut of race, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, religion, military experience, et al. To make sense of this, we need the missing piece – or pieces – of the caving in of the entire GOP. Having worked with and for them for 20 years; and knowing a few who are still working with the City of Indianapolis, I know there are intelligent Republicans left in this country.

    Per reports on MSNBC today; “those closest to Trump are planning an intervention”, supposedly to get him to rein in his outlandish behavior and the three are named. If you know anything about an intervention; you know it is the surprise of sudden confrontation that helps it to work. The media should know not to go national with this; there is a slight chance Trump watches the news on occasion. If for no other reason that to see his own face and hear his own voice.

  26. The last time we had a rigged election was when the Republican Supreme Court counted out Gore and gave us George Bush in a 5-4 landslide even though Gore won Florida by about 35,000 votes if the count the court stopped could have continued. That decision (or sellout of America) prompted me to resign from the Supreme Court bar as I did not want to be associated with a court that itself acted unconstitutionally.

  27. JoAnn first let me say that you could be right on. All that you say could be fully revealed to us some day.

    Being a committed contrarian though, as you know, I’m always looking for other possibilities. One principle which I usually try to employ is that generally humanity is not smart enough and is way too self centered to conspire much. Individual villains are more likely than a pack of them.

    I have seen nothing in Trumpence’s behavior that surprises me. It also doesn’t surprise me when a few easy to fool voters and infantile demonstrators show up when the bars close.

    I see the origin of the neo-GOP to be Rush. He didn’t conspire, he’s certainly not smart enough to, but surprised himself and us with how lucrative bombast is.

    About that time Bush I sold the GOP a real lemon, his least capable son, and some Bush family hangers on who needed very close supervision, and the Supreme Court to guarantee election, and Bush II was foisted on all of us.

    When Crawford Tx reclaimed it’s favorite son not only the country but the world was a colossal mess.

    The GOP remembered Rush’s success and decided that bombast might work for them. After all failure at that level will not be swept under the rug. No rug is big enough.

    Then America had the temarity to elect a black President and the GOP and Rush saw redemption through racial bombast.

    Now of course to make room for bombast they had to jettison leadership and principles which of course they were more than willing to do as those things are hard.

    That brings us to Don the con and Pence the dense. Bombasters extraordinare.

    A long chain of colossal errors in judgement.

    Now what are they to do?

    I read the other day that it’s virtually legally impossible for them to put all of that toothpaste back in the tube.

    I’m pretty sure that Trump could be led to resign his ambition with one well timed mean tweet.

    As bad as that would be for the GOP it is for everyone nearly infinitely preferable to a Trump Presidency.

  28. One other point. Remember that the GOP knows that the things that they’ve said about Hillary contain very little truth. Even they know that she would be a good President.

  29. Trump wants to be President because it is the ultimate ego trip. That explains everything about this man, and it colors and demeans his wife and his children as nothing more than objects to add to his self-glory. It really doesn’t matter how well-dressed Melania and Ivanka are, they aren’t even people in his world–just part of his grandiose persona. I cannot respect them.

    He understands that being a President means being part of history, being someone the military must salute, being someone with the power to veto laws passed by Congress, and being someone invited to the world’s most exclusive social and political events and being treated with respect and deference. He doesn’t understand much else, and most importantly, isn’t even interested in exploring the limitations of his skills and knowledge or the qualities necessary to be an effective President. He doesn’t even really understand what the President is supposed to do.

    He doesn’t have a working understanding of basic civics or even factual knowledge about the world, its players and how to best advance the interests of the U.S.. He doesn’t understand the purpose for the powers granted to the President by the founding fathers or the system of checks and balances. Trump isn’t even patriotic, proven by the way he treated the Khan family. He cannot apologize when he is wrong, which is often. He doesn’t honor his agreements, proven by the multiple lawsuits filed against him by contractors and workers who didn’t get paid.

    The reason the President is honored is because of his or her role in our system of government, one that Trump knows little about, and his or her role as our representative to the rest of the world. At minimum, a President should be dignified, knowledgeable, and able to at least work with others toward finding solutions and common ground, not making bombastic threats and promises that can’t be kept–like, for example, Mexico will pay to construct a tall wall and everyone who is not a citizen will be deported.

    The basis for his blustering is that he thinks he can make the rest of the world knuckle under to his massive ego, probably because he has gotten away with crushing people lacking the resources to fight him in court. He is wrong, and if, heaven forbid, he were to be elected, war is all but certain.

    I am dumbfounded that the Republican Party would even consider running this buffoon as a candidate. How many insults, emotional outbursts and gaffes will it take for someone like Ryan to grow a pair and stand up to Trump? Patriotism requires this. Is it the case that the Republicans are so hell-bent on opposing Hillary Clinton that they can’t see the big picture here? Trump isn’t even loyal to the Republican Party. It should not be loyal to him, either.

  30. http://occupydemocrats.com/2016/08/03/breaking-top-republicans-think-trump-will-quit-already-looking-replacement/

    I’m not sure that this good from a timing standpoint.

    Trump is clearly and demonstrably capable of repeated shots to the foot. He’s apparently numb from the orange hair down.

    It he feels like he’s being pushed out he’ll dig in not because it or he’s smart but because he’s not.

    The GOP is out of control and therefore rudderless. I’m afraid that they’ll mess up even this.

  31. I’m sure that the blood thirsty out there would prefer the dump Trump movement to wait until at least until one Presidential and one VP debate has happened.

  32. Interesting banner across bottom of screen on MSNBC, “Pence splits from running mate. Endorses Ryan.” I see repercussions in the future:-)

  33. Sigh…anyway you polish it a turd is a turd and at some point it has to stop (my husbands adage, I actually liked it).

    I worked in psychiatry for 10 years and this in no way means I am an expert, but I really, really am concerned that Trump has a personality disorder to be specific Narcissistic Personality Disorder. While many of use will state ‘boy this person is a narcissist…’ for someone who is ‘full of themselves’ or a ‘braggert’; there is some legitimate concerns when someone actually has the disorder. There is a wide range from mild to Severe. Either way, it can be serious.

    Personality Disorder definition: a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior of a specified kind, typically manifest by the time one reaches adolescence and causing long-term difficulties in personal relationships or in functioning in society


    I don’t know what is going to happen as Trump has not been under this type of scrutiny. He has gotten a free pass for a long time in the media because I don’t think anyone took him serious or his followers and so now that he is the bonafide Presidential nominee, and there is only so much rationalizing and trying to reconstruct or deconstruct what people ‘think he is trying to say’ when I really think he means what he says, no ulterior motives or strategy. The more heat, the more of his lies are found as just that, the more people start to pick apart, and the more admiration leaves him I am worried on what he will do. I believe he is that unstable and it is going to get worse.

  34. Let’s be honest. The Koch Brothers are much more responsible for the stinking mess this country is in than Donald Trump. They, more than anyone, are responsible for the Tea Party which has been the political “fuel” for Donald Trump’s rise, not his possible demise.

    By the way, Trump will be speaking here in Jacksonville in about 45 minutes.

  35. I’ve seem some conjecture that he might quit. If he quits, let’s hope it’s late in the game. I don’t want to see another candidate who may be halfway liked or trusted and see Hillary lose. I don’t think Mr. Pence would be a likely candidate, but if he is, once people get a whiff of his lack of ability and authoritarianism, he will be done.

  36. MIA: Wherever did those whining trolls go? It’s gotten much tougher for trolls these days, what with the Trump machine melting down. However, we’d best not take our collective eye off the ball just yet. The candidate with NPD or whatever is wrong with him may just be getting warmed up.

  37. Betty,

    “….what with the Trump machine melting down. However, we best not take our collective eye off the ball just yet. The candidate with NPD or whatever is wrong with him may just be getting warmed up.”

    I’m afraid you’re right. I’m sure he thinks that his “trump card” is still available…..and will be dumb enough to use it.

  38. Sheila!!??!! Surely you must know that the election is rigged against Trump???!!! Why?
    Because he said so.

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  40. Clearly Donald is running for President to sell the book that he didn’t write.

    He’s not an author or a businessman or Presidential material. He’s a celebrity famous for being famous. They’re a dime a dozen.

  41. Pete and Marv, you’re both on it today as always. We all need to see Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC piece tonight on The Football and The Biscuit. It’ll scare the pants off ya! ?

  42. Betty, what’s interesting I think is that many credit nuclear bombs for saving countless lives due to mutually assured destruction. In fact the two that we dropped on Japan are credited with preventing the loss of many times more lives than they cost.

    However to work the destruction has to be assured meaning that humanity will never be without the power to end all life.

    While the media keeps it a secret the truth is that you and I have never been safer and we enjoy the least risky lives humanity has ever experienced. One of many reasons is the football and the biscuit in the hands of our steadiest people.

    God help us though if Trump gets them.

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