Tuesday 9 August 2016

Is Trump Preparing To Substitute Bullets For Ballots?

The Constitution In Arms: Alarmed at the steady decline in Trump's poll-ratings, extreme elements of the American Far-Right have begun warning his supporters that the forthcoming Presidential Election will be "rigged" to prevent their candidate from taking office. Already the Republican Party's most notorious political saboteur, Roger Stone, is using words like "bloodbath". Not one to miss his cue, Trump's stump speeches now include repeated references to a "rigged" or "stolen" election.

AS TRUMP’S NUMBERS slump, and Hillary’s surge, the worst elements of the American Right are mobilising in his defence. The Republican Party’s most notorious political saboteur, Roger Stone, is urging Trump to prepare his followers for a “rigged” election. And Trump is listening. To the alarm of election observers and commentators of every political stripe, Trump has taken to dropping the “R” word into his recent stump speeches.
“November 8th, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged,” he told American television viewers on Monday, 1 August, “and I hope the Republicans are watching closely, or it’s going to be taken away from us.”
Fears are growing in the Democratic camp that the prospect of losing to Hillary fills Trump with such terror that, rather than concede defeat, he will not shy away from doing irreparable damage to America’s 240-year-old system of representative democracy.
Roger Stone, who has a portrait of Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, is nothing if not explicit. In an interview with Alex Jones (a far-right extremist broadcaster and conspiracy theorist) he issued a chilling warning to Trump’s opponents:
“Well you have to let them know in advance that you’re not going to stand for it. That if there’s any solid evidence of election irregularities you’re prepared to challenge her swearing in and create a constitutional crisis.”
Or something much worse. According to the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher:
“In a podcast last week, long-time Trump advisor Roger Stone said that if the election results in November don’t match opinion polls, the Republican nominee should challenge the validity of the election and warned that the unrest could end in a “bloodbath”. “If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate,” he said. “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.”
Roger Stone - Republican Party Fixer.
Threats of a similar nature were made in the lead-up to the Republican Convention. Even if, back then, they were directed at the leadership of the Republican Party itself! Historically-speaking, such overt references to political violence are alien to the presidential election process. At the state and local level of American government, however, “election irregularities” are commonplace.
Stone’s reference to “voter fraud” is telling. For nearly a decade Republican-controlled state legislatures have been passing legislation specifically designed to make it harder for voters more likely than not to support the Democratic Party to both register to – and cast – their vote. The standard political justification for these so-called “voter suppression” laws is the alleged incidence of fraudulent voting. Expert examination of such claims has pronounced them groundless. Proven examples of voter fraud in the United States are extremely rare.
The strongly contested presidential election of 2000 is, however, proof that, even at the presidential level, things can go very badly wrong with the election process. The irregularities surrounding the Florida vote were legion – including strong prima facie evidence of Bush family involvement (in 2000, George W. Bush’s brother, Jeb, was the Florida Governor) in a comprehensive plan to suppress the participation of the state’s African-American voters.
A more reckless and less patriotic Democratic Party presidential candidate than Al Gore might have done considerably more to prevent the 2000 election being stolen from him. His party had, after all, won the popular vote by a comfortable margin, and election day exit polls had shown him ahead (albeit narrowly) in Florida. Rather than call his followers into the streets, however, Gore allowed the US Supreme Court to determine the outcome of the election. By the narrowest of margins, the Court voted to declare Bush the winner.
Can Donald trump be relied upon to go quietly if the election is won narrowly (or even decisively) by Hillary Clinton? Or will he goad the losing side of the most heavily-armed citizenry on earth into substituting their bullets for their ballots?
This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of 9 August 2016.


Guerilla Surgeon said...

It's funny, the almost infinitesimally few times that voter fraud has been uncovered, it's invariably just one or two people, and it's almost always conservatives that have been caught. But still, anyone who listens to Alex Jones for anything other than a quick laugh, or maybe as an emetic, has gotta be just that gullible.

greywarbler said...

It's like eating toxic toffee reading your surmises in this post. It sticks in the craw to use an Americamn expression. But it has a parallel to past events in another country. Someone who played on the people's sensibilities, had thugs to encourage people in the right direction, seemed so unstoppable that the forces of reason and tradition in political power gave way to this unstoppable phenomenon and Germany was on a greased set of rails zooming towards tragedy and terror.

In an educated, country at a high level of civilisation humankind cannot be trusted to think quietly, reflect and act wisely. It's a bit off-putting really. There seems to be a kind of madness abroad. Can we reist, hold onto scraps of humanity and reason? Queen's video expresses our grotesque world. I'm Going Slightly Mad.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe he has a mental problem, if anyone speaks against him he takes to twitter to castigate them, or in his so-called speeches calls them lightweight or Clinton plants etc.
I also believe that many Americans of all classes have seen through him and much mockery is starting to emerge in social and MSM.
Roger Stone is a very dangerous man and both Trump and Stone remind me of the Hitler-Goering friendship before Hitler finessed the German leadership. I believe that Stone is still on Trumps payroll. This friendship lasted throughout the war.
I hope the polls keep going down for him because if the polls start showing in his favour I think the world would get very apprehensive for the worlds future.

Youtube is showing outstanding coverage of this election.

Your last 3-4 posts have been well researched, well written and outstanding compared to MSM effort on the same subject.

jh said...

GS poured scorn on my posting of Bill Bonner's warning of a coming credit system crash. Here we have right-wing mass revolt?
I don't think there will be an armed uprising as (while I - for example - supported Trump - because he wasn't cowed by the politically correct media and his stand against immigration) he has gone off the rails. That doesn't mean the issues will go away. Trump didn't make the issues ; he recognized them and (probably) genuinely sympathized.

When we get up in arms about the American far-right we must also consider the left. Frank Salter has written The War on Human Nature where he claims we won the cold war but lost it in the universities. Johnathan Haidt says that where universities used to lean left they are now almost entirely left, especially in humanities and social science departments which used to be about 3:1 (left/right) but are now 10:1 "and don't call these people liberals; they are anything but".
In Aotearoa you only need to compare
Faces of Innocents: High rates of child abuse among Maori can be traced back to colonisation, academic says


with this
Alan Duff: No more excuses - let's foster aspiration

and consider RNZ's biased coverage: "the institutionalisation of public discourse".

Anonymous said...

it's tempting to have the fantasy that someone nukes america and all it's associated madness and bile...and then start again...i never have any trouble understanding why the radical muslims call america 'the great satan'...what a mess...thank God i'm a kiwi and a long way from the cesspool of power-crazed people...poor old everyday yanks..they don't stand a chance!!

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Radio New Zealand's biased coverage? When you think of the people that radio New Zealand has hired over the years who are now idiotic right-wing shock jocks, National Party MPs or libertarians of some sort, I doubt if you can really say that radio New Zealand is biased to the left. Very middle-class and centrist. And even so, it's the only real opposition we have to the right-wing dominated private media companies. So long may it reign.

Yes, Alan Duff versus someone who actually knows something about what they're talking about. Can't wait for that debate.

I don't think there is going to be an armed uprising. Maybe a few isolated incidents. The nutty arms bearing right in the US has not managed to do a great deal so far, except occupy a few National Park buildings, desecrate an Indian burial site, and get one of their members shot by the FBI. All hat and no cattle as they say in Texas. There will be a lot of posturing though I suspect. But this is one of those things where you simply don't know. Nobody but science fiction writers do a great job of predicting stuff like this. And considering I predicted that Trump would drop out of the presidential race once he had enough publicity, and that if he stayed in he would not be the nominee, I'm not doing very well on political predictions for the US this year. :)

David Stone said...

Hi Chris
With the military/destructive and economic power wielded by the president of the USA the world's most vital need is that that position is occupied by an individual of outstanding integrity and profound wisdom. Instead the choice is between the King of Confusion and the Queen of Chaos.
There must be thousands of people in both the US main parties infinitely more suitable to be contesting this position, why are the choices so bad?
The democrats did whatever they had to to get rid of a much more attractive candidate in spite of him polling a commanding advantage over the republican nominee; The republicans like labour in the UK lost control. The result is the best American democracy could do to protest against the establishment.
Up until a fortnight ago I would have given Trump a chance at least 50/50, but his utterances since that time seem best explained by his realisation that he had overplayed his hand at securing his lifelong friend Hillary Clinton a seat in the Whithouse, and was about to find himself landed with that thankless onerous task himself. Though he is undoubtably a consummate egotist I doubt that the flattery of gaining that position means as much to him as it does to Hillary.
That these are the two figureheads of the two main contending organisations , albeit that the republicans lost control, demonstrates that figureheads is what they are and are intended to be. The real power behind the scenes is faceless, ruthless and quite unelectable. Long live the USA.
Cheers David J S
P S I live with a really lovely American

jh said...

Right-wing extremism equal to Muslim radicalisation, say academics

Right-wing extremism is emerging as an equal, if not greater, threat than Muslim radicalisation in Australia and multiculturalism is "close to death" at a federal level, academics have told a conference on social cohesion.

Violent extremism in Australia is beginning to mirror that of the US, counter-terrorism expert Anne Aly from Curtin University said.
She highlighted a New America Foundation study released last month that found right-wing extremists had killed twice as many people since September 11 as jihadists.
July 17 2015

That would be somewhat out of date and even Islamists are admitting the problem is in the Islamic texts themselves.
Right-wing extremists are opposing the "infusion of new elements" a policy promoted by academics and a global elite.

Nigel Latta has a program "The Hard Stuff" which takes a hard look at immigration. It will be interesting to see if Michael Reddell was approached for his views; that's the power of the media elite. The producer of The Nation says: But I can tell you without a doubt that you'd struggle to find an expert with a deeper understanding of immigration than Paul Spoonley. And while I don't entirely agree with Shamubeel on this, if you know anything about him you'll know it's preposterous to suggest he's not on top of the data and analysis on this. He eats it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. - which ignores the fact that arguments hinge on ideology and assumptions and so he is simply taking sides (appeal to authority fallacy).

RNZ has been pushing fact checking in relation to Brexit and Trump. Dr James Lui (Katherine Ryan) claimed that when people are under threat their monkey brain kicks in and they no longer assess actual facts. This doesn't pass the smell test. For one thing many prominent economists think low skilled immigration is bad for American workers (Paul Krugman) for another Our brains are highly specialized for thinking about the devious schemes of others because social interaction (both in terms of cooperation and detecting defecting) crucial to the survival of our species. Might not we be right in our assessment of the plotters who foist social change upon us?

jh said...

Blogger Guerilla Surgeon said...

Radio New Zealand's biased coverage? They are on immigration.
RNZ +Professor Paul Spoonley

RNZ + Shamubeel Eaqub

RNZ + Michael Reddell

Yes, Alan Duff versus someone who actually knows something about what they're talking about. Can't wait for that debate.
Social intelligence versus neo-marxism

"Our brains are highly specialized for thinking about the devious schemes of others because social interaction (both in terms of cooperation and detecting defecting) crucial to the survival of our species."
Quoting Evolutionary Psychology of Climate Change

Anna said...

I expect both sides to rig to the full extent of their powers

Andrew Nichols said...

Fears are growing in the Democratic camp that the prospect of losing to Hillary fills Trump with such terror that, rather than concede defeat, he will not shy away from doing irreparable damage to America’s 240-year-old system of representative democracy.

Fears grew in the Democratic camp that the prospect of losing to Sanders filled Clintons backers with such terror that, rather than concede defeat in the primaries, they did not shy away from doing irreparable damage to America’s 240-year-old system of representative democracy.

Now that's the real story.

The USA now has no choice in the two main parties. Mussolini reincarnated or Claigula's great granddaughter.

Not that you'd ever know given the almost universal "Hillary" adulation in the media. I'm amazed you're in on it too Chris. I thought you were a progressive. The launch of the NLP with Jim Anderton in that Sydenham Hall was such a long time ago... Have you had a Christopher Hitchens moment?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Social intelligence versus neo-Marxism"

Emotion and 'common sense' versus actual research?

jh said...

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"Social intelligence versus neo-Marxism"

Emotion and 'common sense' versus actual research?
"The ways in which people and cultures represent and respond to past traumas become more central than an examination of the facts when we consider historical trauma as narrative."

or "it isn't events that effect us but how we choose to react to them" Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
I have just skimmed this

Anna said...

Evidence of election fraud in the Democratic Primaries: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/stanford-university-confirms-democratic-election-fraud-albert-gibel

peteswriteplace said...

Civil war in America? An independent candidate - ex-CIA may stand. The republicans may consider replacing him.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

“If [Clinton] gets to pick her judges, [there’s] nothing you could do, folks,” Trump warned, inciting boos from the capacity crowd. “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”

I just found this on Salon. It's certainly inflammatory. And typical Trump statement in that he has "I don't know" at the end which he thinks absolves him from any ramifications. But I must say, apart from people like the Bundys, and most of those are all talk, no one is going to do much. I'm still predicting/hoping for nothing but a few minor incidents. Time will tell if I've retained a shred of credibility on this. Still, I'm good till November anyway. :)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Anna - I don't know about the Democrats, but the Republicans have been rigging for years now, particularly with voter suppression. Luckily there have been a couple of court decisions that went against them. Let's hope all the suppression laws get struck down in time for the election.

jh said...

I see on the Standard Robert Guyton recommending we all grow plants and have a commons and lot's of Green party type responses "I've got; "we bought" etc. It shows up th Greens as an elite rather?

jh said...

With regard to Trump and the second amendment (hinting at what second amendment people may be able to do) i was reminded of Anders Breivik.
What happens if a political elite let in a lot of people of a different culture into national territory (giving them a vote no matter what their national/cultural allegiances)? No one is responsible it is a "party" thing (i.e they behave like reef fish). Breivik decided Labour party people where no different to a single individual who opens a gate and lets them pour in . There is some logic in that. Had he targeted labour MP's only it would have been political assassination as it was it was terrorism.

jh said...

That was me comparing Anders Brievik and Trump's loose talk hinting at political assasination.

Charles E said...

In America the rioting, looting & killing mob has mostly been of the black left in our generation (Not without cause). Whereas the mad lone wolf gunman, usually of the loony right or just seriously mentally ill.
More recently there are the Islamists, which are neither left nor right. Islamists are similar to the Anarchists of more than a century ago, who killed a lot of people: a product of failed cultures and a failed theology, burning out.
Personally I see Islamist theology as decidedly collectivist & revolutionary, so more reminiscent of the 20thC violent Marxist left than the short lived 30s fascist right.
Therefore if the truly bigoted Trumpites, who are also the product of a failed impotent sub-culture turn to violence, it may well be a mix of the gunmen & anarchists.

jh said...

Racism Resurgent
A Trump win for the Presidency would be one of the most powerful global signals to re-state white racial superiority that the world has seen in many decades.
Let’s start with the kind of political party a Trump election would encourage in the United States. The Republican party will choose between a victory that empowers the most racist factions of America, or a loss that diminishes them.
The one thing the many alt-right commentators agree on is that we need to organize society on the assumption that white people are genetically superior, and white culture is inherently superior, and whites need this superiority protected by the state-imposed and enforced separation of peoples. This is the side Trump leads. We know how much he leads this because his campaign is chaired by the main organizer of the voice of the alt-right, which is breitbart.com. Check it out if you dare and you will see what I mean. As they shouted to him at his campaign launch: “Build That Wall!”

That's the standard at The standard. Trump is speaking for white supremacists. Only wierdos think whites are inherently superior to other races. My own understanding is that those who say race doesn't exist are like people trying to remove a stain; there has been enough geographical separation and time for differences to develop (we are not like a stirred pot of paint). The question is what do you make of it?

As has been pointed out we don't live in an age of superdiversity, migrations are mainly towards "a shrinking pool of prime destination countries". There is no territorial benefit. Those western countries tend to have developed a politically correct culture which "celebrates diversity". Apart from the proffered benefits of many cultures (foreigners) people by nature do not want this. They have developed an identity as a unique people with a bounded territory.