His comments were in conflict with the words of his handlers who said, affirmatively, yes, that of course, Trump would accept the election results should he lose.
When he made the comment initially, I will tell you that I went through the roof, shouting out something I don’t normally say in public, in private or even in my own mind.
I was beyond outraged.
Later, after hearing the comments by the talking heads, many who shared my emotions, I started hearing the Trump defenders mention the name, Al Gore.
I knew Al Gore. Al Gore was a vice president of mine. Donald Trump in this case, is no Al Gore.
For one, there are factual differences that are so obvious it should almost end the discussion altogether. Al Gore questioned the results of the Florida primary because out of millions of voters, there were some issues. More importantly, the election rules of Florida mandated a review. Again, read my lips. The Florida rules required a review.
Out of slightly over 100 million votes cast in 2000, there were questions over a couple of hundred votes. Al Gore, after the case was decided 5-4 by the Supreme Court, conceded the loss. Florida’s obligated review and his contest occurred, not before, but obviously, AFTER the election was held and all votes tallied.
By sharp comparison, last night, weeks BEFORE election day, the republican nominee refused (twice) to say he would accept the results. Instead, he claimed he would see and he wanted to keep it a surprise.
Right there, that fact alone distinguishes the Gore-Trump “election acceptance dispute” by a wide margin.
Sure, there were some who lingered with resentment after Bush was sworn in January 2000. And, sure, there were some who complained as the war machine cranked up and as the economy soured. But, overall, America had other things to do. The election was over, Gore gracefully congratulated the winner, and like Richard Nixon did in 1960 after another close one, encouraged that life go on. After Gore conceded, there were no threats, no rallies, no acts of violence. For the vast majority of Americans, the election war was over. In fact, Bush went on to win the 2004 contest--capturing 12 million votes more than four years prior.
But, there is a more important issue that needs to be discussed now rather than later.
There is a possibility that Trump will lose and the American voters will have had their say, but Trump will not go on his way. His statement last night was a warning that after this election from hell, we will still be standing in flames.
Many of us, including myself, are afraid, quite frankly, that this country could figuratively (and to some extent literally) be engulfed in a post-election war. My personal fear is much more enhanced should Trump be defeated, if he challenges the results and if he sincerely fails to bring us together.
Indeed, nobody is claiming that neither he nor Hillary Clinton should not challenge the elections should an almost incredibly unique Al Gore-Bush type dispute occur. But, hopefully, the losing party, in a close race, will be rational and will gracefully admit defeat.
Most importantly, this election season is different than any in recent history.
There have been various statements by Trump about gun owners and Hillary Clinton that have raised the concerns of many. One only needs to look on Twitter and Youtube to see the veiled and sometimes open threats made by angry members of the extreme right of what might happen if Clinton were to win. The extreme right has pushed for some type of revolution. Trump, when given the opportunity to respond, has been silent.
Indeed, there has been violence already like never before during a modern Presidential election. And, the Democrats have been provoking a good bit of the violence as recent evidence now reveals. The extreme left is far from being angels and the Democratic Party or some arm thereof, might be found to be accomplices.
More than anything else, what scares many of us the most, is Trump’s outrageous and angry protestations--the election IS RIGGED.
Those utterances are the very reason I screamed out, in anger, when Trump failed to accept the election finality, should he lose.
The Internet is loaded with everyday people parroting him, now claiming the election is rigged. Sure, they are upset at the media (which is another issue we will discuss). But, day after day, as of late, Donald Trump has made it known, without any documentation at all, that the “election is rigged!!”.
The Trump voters are more than enthusiastic. They clearly present their anger at the rallies, peacefully, despite some provocations of self-help violence encouraged by the candidate himself.
There’s more that should concern us all. We remember Trump claiming that there could be riots referring to the Republican Party not accepting his election results during the primary. He has warned us that our world can get very messy should his supporters feel cheated, and lose.
So let’s add it up. We have an already very angry populace. We have the far-far right and the world of David Dukes embracing a candidate openly like never in history. We have an Alt right wannabe leader (Steve Bannon, formerly head of Breitbart) heading up his campaign. The social media is blistering with racial and religious epithets and threats from both the left and the right. As Trump has promoted, he has created a movement like we have never witnessed in this country. We have their leader, who always blames others for his own shortcomings, has a penchant for spewing conspiracy theories like a rust-belt belching factory chimney. And, this leader continues to incite his loyal followers to insist absolutely, conclusively and adamantly that the election is already rigged. Not maybe rigged; Not possibly rigged in the future; No. The election is RIGGED!!Trump has recklessly blasted out these wailings way before a video emerged early this week that provides some food for fodder. The film shows a Democratic Party-supported operative making claims about voter fraud. Maybe there has been. Maybe there will be. Trump and his supporters have reason to be suspicious. But, right now, we lack facts. We don’t know the accuracy of the statements. The video is woefully edited. We don’t know if this operative was just mouthing off like Trump says he did in the Billy Bush recording. Right now, we don’t know. Still, Trump has been blaring the word “rigged” for 15 months and his volatile contentions have become louder as the election day gets closer. As we know, Trump and “rigging” have a "past". He claimed the 2012 election was rigged. He called the Emmy’s “rigged”. He even has called campaign funding rigged, even by his own contributions, and for that reason, he says he is the only one who can fix it. There is another pattern that has become very apparent. We know that Trump will never really admit fault, never will really apologize and oddly, those qualities seem to be admired by many of his voters, who do not want him to compromise one bit. He is a walking, talking machine of impulses blaming others for his own shortcomings. He takes no enemies. He must have the last word. He is a counter-puncher who will make certain his opponent is bleeding profusely on the mat before the fight is over. He knows not when to say “no mas”. His tweet storms lashing out at anybody and everybody who crosses his path is clear evidence that he will never agree to be a loser. This is the real problem. He is getting closer to realizing his greatest fear. After calling so many people, “loser”, he could be branded as world’s most remembered “loser of losers” of all time. His recent scorch earth campaign tactics are the smoking bullets Trump faces the horrors he so fears. As a result of his lack of anger control, his unsteady temperament (which he amazingly claims to be the best part of his personality), many of us are very fearful that once the election smokes clears, a new dreadful fire will be sparked. I know, I fear, what he has intimated might arise—intense resentment and then violence. The Republican nominee claims a rigged system, an evil media, a rigged election, an evil opponent. We have never seen such wild frenzied hostility emanating from a Presidential candidate, one with such an emotional connection to his dedicated followers. Trump has warned us he could shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and not lose a vote. History is proving, he might be right. His repeated calls of “lock her up” and the responding chants from his loyal worshipers are both astounding and alarming. Hillary Clinton is not a Saint. Far from. One can make a good argument that she does not deserve becoming our next President of the United States. But, she just might win a legally-run election. Last night, as he has night after night while hoping to persuade us that he has leadership qualities, the 70 years-old-billionaire showcase his man-child infancy. Now, he must assure us that--but for unforeseen or proven circumstances--he will wholeheartedly, without any doubt or recourse, accept the results, should his roof and floor collapse. Both candidates must provide confidence to us they will work in harmony and put the past, to rest. Our country is much more important than either person or any one of us. Our democracy is fragile and is being threatened more from the inside than from afar. Donald Trump’s refusal last night sent shock waves to this country. We have reason to fear that the divisions in the country will widen more later, than they exist now. We have more reasons to fear an ugly response by an even angrier bitter populace, who is being told they have been cheated, whether those charges are justified or not. Accordingly, it is up to Donald Trump to give us real facts to justify his now long-time claim that the election is rigged. He needs to prove his assertion is real. Otherwise, he should apologize to America for so selfishly riling up the masses. America is much more important than his being a winner or a loser. Our country weeps deeply. We need a leader who sees the world better than himself, not a leader who sees himself better than the world.
The clock is ticking with uncertainty and discomfort.