A Reckless Trump Undermines Democracy

October 21st, 2016
A Reckless Trump Undermines Democracy

What is happening to our country?

For generations, going all the way back to the 13 colonies, the Founding Fathers wanted this place to be different from other nations. People in America would be able to speak and think freely and move about at will. People would get to vote on the people who would make decisions. And there would be a Constitution that spelled this all out.

John Winthrop made the trek in 1630 from England to what we know today as Massachusetts. He described the America that he found as a beacon for people looking for a better, more prosperous and secure future.

“We must always consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us,” Winthrop told the colonists.

Today, 386 years after Winthrop’s observations, we are a couple of weeks away from an election to choose the next president of the United States.

But instead of celebrating the role of everyday Americans in the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next, instead of appealing to our patriotism and urging us to support his vision for our nation, Trump is waging a campaign like none of us has ever witnessed before.

He is rocking the foundation upon which our nation was built. He warns that the election is being stolen right out from under him by a candidate he calls “evil.” And if he is victorious, Trump tells his audiences he will put Hillary Clinton — “Crooked Hillary,” as he calls her — in jail.

What is happening to our country?

This is not some dictatorship where the losing candidates are strung up from a tree or shot at sunrise. This was not some heat-of-the-moment comment Trump uttered once. The inflammatory comments have been a fixture at his rallies for months, with his supporters chanting “lock her up, lock her up.”

During an event in Lakeland, Fla., a few days ago, Trump jumped on the chants. “Lock her up is right,” he said. “She has to go to jail.”

Trump is going where no candidate has gone in our lifetimes. Richard Nixon didn’t have deep affection for John Kennedy. But he did not crisscross the country calling Kennedy a crook and trying to undermine public confidence in the election.

After Kennedy won by a whisker, Nixon conceded defeat and let the new president get on with the task of healing the divisions the hard-fought campaign left. Nixon didn’t tell audiences day after day after day that he had been robbed by Kennedy, by the Democrats, or by some supposed international conspiracy. He didn’t accuse Kennedy of trying to destroy the sovereignty of the United States.

Nixon didn’t do that in 1960. Al Gore didn’t do that in 2000. But Donald Trump is doing that this year.

Trump just grins when people at his rallies spout off about Clinton or declare they are ready to take up arms if the election is “stolen” from their man.

Trump is silent when his supporters, even people who should know better like Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee, Wis., talk about rampant government corruption. Trump was silent when Clarke commented a few days ago that an election loss will mean it is “Pitchforks and torches time.”

A woman in Newton last week stood up at a Mike Pence rally and said she was “ready for a revolution” if Trump and Pence lose. To his credit, Pence, the level-headed one in this year’s Republican ticket, told the woman, “Don’t say that.” But I have no confidence Trump would have tried to tamp down such crazy talk.

Trump has been very comfortable sowing suspicion among his fans that the Nov. 8 election will be bogus because of what he calls a “sinister deal” cooked up by those who oppose him. But his allegations are offered without one shred of evidence.

Voter fraud is a virtually nonexistent problem in the United States. A study by the Loyola University law school found that of the 1 billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014, only 31 known cases of fraud have been found.

Beyond that, Trump’s beating the drum of doubt creates the potential that a President Hillary Clinton and Republicans and Democrats in Congress would have to try to govern a nation divided by these baseless suggestions of an illegitimate president.

This isn’t the hand-wringing of a worry wart. A new Associated Press poll found that one-third of Republicans have a great deal or quite a bit of concern that votes will not be counted fairly on Election Day.

For all of the damage Trump has inflicted on our nation during this campaign — with his name-calling, his smearing of immigrants and Muslims and the disabled, with his foul language and vilification of those who disagree with him — the greatest harm, and Trump’s most lasting legacy, would be if he succeeds in undermining public faith in our system of free and fair elections.

We don’t need some crackpot to hear Trump’s incendiary comments and decide to take a gun and “fix” that problem for Trump.

What is happening to our country?

 

by Randy Evans
Reprinted from the Bloomfield Democrat
Posted 10/21/16

8 thoughts on “A Reckless Trump Undermines Democracy

  1. Tim Urban says:

    20% of the electorate are ready to listen and believe anything a demagogue has to say. This was what lifted Hitler to power in the early 30’s because of the apathy and fear of other Germans in the midst of a crushing Depression. But we are in the midst of relative prosperity and, after a Clinton resounding victory, it will be up to the Republican Party and leadership in Congress to show that a tradition of civility and bi-partisanship can rule our Democracy. We have seen this act before with the George Wallace campaign in 1968 and, even recently in the rhetoric of the Tea Party. Clinton’s final remarks in the Al Smith dinner last night show what a class act leader she can be.

  2. Bob Flanigan says:

    The demand for Hillary to go to prison is not because she will be the loser in the election, it is because she has been proven to have committed crimes which anyone else would go to prison for. Also there is much evidence that there is votor fraud being tried by the democrats which is bringing the authenticity of the election into question. And should we discuss all of the repeated questioning of the results of the election caused by the Florida “hanging chads” by the democrats, Hillary and Obama included. Such hypocrisy!

    1. Mark Challis says:

      Bob, You seem to be factually ignorant of how many voters were suppressed in Florida in the 2000 election. It was close to 100,000 that JEB Bush and Katherine Harris claimed were felons, when they weren’t. Aiding and abetting the Texas Sec. of State serving with Gov. W. Bush.

      1. Tim DeLong says:

        Right on. The GOP voter ID, voter fraud stuff has been checked out time and time again and were talking about handful of votes … on both sides! of coarse the bigger problem will be voters having to wait for 5 or 6 hours and places like Cleveland and heavily Democratic areas where they have republican control of elections.

      2. Bob Flanigan says:

        Maybe you could show us a reliable source for your “facts”.

        1. Bob Flanigan says:

          No source for “facts”. Just as I expected.

    2. Christine says:

      There is no evidence large amounts of voter fraud. Trump is undermining confidence in our fair and just political system.

  3. Henry Wulff says:

    Trump is no threat to our democracy since we don’t live in a democracy. The United States of America is a Republic. It has a representative form of government, not a democracy where everyone votes on everything and ultimately the will of the majority can become mob rule by denying the freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution to those in minority groups. Already the mobists are naming those seeking a restoration of our Constitution “the Deplorables.” When a presidential nominee proclaims on national television that we live in a democracy, and no one questions her on that contention, it shows that the principles of our Constitution have already been lost. No wonder Americans don’t understand the principles behind the Electoral College or the concept that only American citizens should be allowed to vote in American elections. And you wonder why the Deplorables are upset?!

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