Burning Down the House…and the Senate Too

At the end of the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein ordered the oil wells of Kuwait set on fire; now as the Presidential election campaign draws to a close, Donald Trump has chosen to do everything he can to follow a similar scorched earth policy with the Republican Party, by implying that if he loses the election (almost a certainty at this point), that it’s only because the election is “rigged.”

While his running mate and other apologists for Trump attempted to spin his comments as only referring to media bias against him, he made it clear that no, his feelings go beyond that, he is referring to actual fraud at the polls. Such a claim is extremely dangerous, because it strikes at the foundation of our country’s two hundred plus year old democracy. Implications of election fraud belong in third world countries, not in the United States. As with many things that Trump says, it is completely baseless in reality. Donald Trump will lose the election because he has offended many, if not most, of the groups that he needed to bring on board; he will lose because he has no experience, few qualifications and and an unwavering lack of preparation.

For years the Republican Party has been allowing the lunatic fringe of the party to grow, until the lunatic fringe got its own nominee for President, who–not surprisingly–is a lunatic. At this point it’s quite clear that Donald Trump is the worst presidential candidate ever put forth by either party, and the most dangerous. There have been disputed presidential elections before without these sorts of allegations. Trump has set a new precedent by making them in advance, as it becomes clear how dismally his campaign is going.

One of the things that truly sets the U.S. apart from other countries is a smooth transition of power from one presidential administration to another, this has been a tradition even when large differences existed between the two sides. Although reviled by many Republicans, nevertheless Al Gore must be credited with graciously accepting the Supreme Court decision that handed the presidency to George Bush, even though Gore could have made a strong case that the process was tainted. It appears that Trump will not follow Gore’s lead.

With Trump’s hint that he will claim illegitimacy of the election, he will leave the Republican Party in a very bad position. If the invertebrate Republican leadership miraculously grew spines, they should use them to run as fast and as far from Trump as possible, even if it means telling their constituents to vote for Hillary. There is no room for Donald Trump in a relevant Republican Party, even if it means losing the whack-a-doodles that nominated him. Republican leadership needs to come out quickly and strongly against Trump impugning the election process, but we won’t expect to see anything like that out of Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell, they’re much too worried about their own base to worry about the future of the Republican Party, and of the nation in general.

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