If Donald Trump Were to Lose.

My guess is the President would not go quietly, but how will the political parties respond?

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Photo by Donald Teel on Unsplash

As the United States prepares for a general election between President Donald Trump and his democratic rival Joe Biden, polls have been a fascinating and complex indicator as to where this race actually stands. Unfortunately for Mr. Biden, President Trump is actually ahead by a significant margin in 15 key battleground states. While this does indicate grim prospects for Biden’s electoral chances, he does have a bit of hope. Biden currently holds the lead among voters 45 and older in those battleground states, a demographic critical for electoral victory. Aside from that, evidently there is internal polling indicating Trump’s chances for re-election are so grim that he’s considering a campaign shakeup. Six months out, while I wouldn’t put it past the democratic party to bungle anything, it’s difficult to say who will win. Lately, I can’t help wondering what would happen if Donald Trump were to actually lose this upcoming election.

There is absolutely no reason to believe the President will go quietly.

But just as obvious as the notion of a twitter storm and the galvanization of his base in the wake of an election loss, equally as disturbing is the prospect of the democratic party as the entity with the responsibility of challenging him. Aside from the devastation and trauma the American people are experiencing during these unprecedented times, there’s no denying that the possibility of slipping in to a fascist state feels closer than it arguably ever has. But as real as the notion of fascism on the horizon is, perhaps as equally as daunting is the fact that democratic leadership won’t dare to utter the word.

Is Joe Biden really prepared to take on Donald Trump should he deny his election, or claim it’s illegitimate? Will the democratic party be willing to do more than send a few strongly worded letters and express their worry about the situation at hand on cable television? In all honesty, the potential of the President simply negating the election results if he loses, and having the confidence to do so and get away with it says as much about his opposition as it does about him. It’s hard to rely on the constitution and rule of law when the President has such little regard for it, while at the same time his opponents have been so weakened by money and corruption that they’re not exactly equipped to fight for those institutions.

While we can almost certainly rely on the democrats having a response nowhere near what would be required to adequately address Donald Trump questioning the legitimacy or outright denying a loss in November, at the same time the Republicans might not be quite as clear cut.

For the GOP, how they respond to a potential loss for Donald Trump would of course depend entirely on political consequence. It’s difficult to imagine someone like Mitch McConnell, Mike Pompeo, or Stephen Miller telling the President to shut up and go quietly. They are all members of a dying brand, and they’ll do whatever they deem best to cling to power for as long as they possibly can. For the Republican party of the last few decades, fascism seems an all but inevitable part of the evolutionary process. On the other hand, the GOP will only embrace Donald Trump so long as he remains a useful puppet in the process of implementing their agenda. The moment he becomes more of a liability than an asset, it’s long been said that they would drop him as quickly as they bowed to his leadership.

But I’m not sure they anticipated the rabid nature of his base.

If Donald Trump were to lose in November, his followers would be at the core of his last ditch efforts to maintain power. While Donald Trump might not be the brightest of the bunch, he is certainly attuned to the fact that all he would need to do is say the word, and a far from insignificant number of his supporters would do whatever he asked of them. While I’m not at all insinuating that they would be successful in outright stealing the Presidency without the support of Republican party and FOX news behind them, there’s no denying that this election likely would not end that night if the President doesn’t win. It feels as though we’re living in the midst of a dying empire, and what’s potentially coming in November only feeds in to the anxiety.

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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