Donald Trump has been beating a resounding message into the furious minds of his followers – that the election is being rigged against him, that accusations against him are false, and that the will of the people is being willfully disregarded by the “Clinton machine” and the schemes of the Powers That Be, which Trump is implying is linked to some kind of shadowy conspiracy organized by “the international banks.” You don’t have to be a dog to hear those anti-Semitic whistles.
Trump is now telling his supporters to sign up to be “election observers” and to “stop Crooked Hillary from rigging the election.” Trump has also taken his telling supporters that Democrats are importing illegal immigrants to commit voter fraud, tying together several right-wing conspiracies into one, egged on by fascist hate-rags like Breitbart, which ran a headline today asserting that border patrol agents are warning of voter fraud, without giving a single quote or shred of evidence as to how they drew that conclusion.
The Trumpcoats are eagerly responding to the call, volunteering online and getting their favorite assault rifles ready to “monitor the polls” – and their plans are terrifying as they openly proclaim their intention to intimidate voters based on race and ethnicity.
“Trump said to watch your precincts. I’m going to go, for sure,” said Steve Webb, a 61-year-old carpenter from Fairfield, Ohio. “I’ll look for . . . well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can’t speak American,” he said. “I’m going to go right up behind them. I’ll do everything legally. I want to see if they are accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.”
“His supporters here said they plan to go to their local precincts to look for illegal immigrants who may attempt to vote. They are worried that Democrats will load up buses of minorities and take them to vote several times in different areas of the city. They’ve heard rumors that boxes of Clinton votes are already waiting somewhere.
Hate to break it to you, Mr. Webb, but voter intimidation is extremely illegal.
Trump’s appalling theories are even being given credibility from less scrupulous members of the Republican establishment, including notorious racist and rape apologist Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who declared today that the election is “being rigged” at a Trump rally.
It’s gotten to the point where Trump fans are openly discussing assassination or rebellion if Trump loses.
“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it,” Dan Bowman, a 50-year-old contractor, said of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. “We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take. . . . I would do whatever I can for my country.”
He then placed a Trump mask on his face and posed for pictures.
Trump’s political campaign is a farce, an exercise in egotistical masturbation for an old man who grew bored with the luxuries that obscene wealth and no taste brought him. But what he’s doing now could have repercussions that last for years.
By continuing to simply deny everything and blame everything on a secret conspiracy, he is undermining the very fabric of American democracy – casually polluting the faith that the American voter once had in the sanctity of the ballot box with outrageous paranoia and dangerous conspiracy theories.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.