Charlie Sykes: “What if Trump Orders Military to Seize the Ballots?”
Hit the pause button for a second, and return to our normal state of utter anxiety and dread.
I know, I know. It’s exhausting. It’s BEEN exhausting for the last four years.
But we’re in the End Game now, and this is where things get won or lost - for good.
An alarming thought experiment.
Let’s start with the caveat that I am not predicting this, nor do I think it is likely.
But I want to float this hypothetical: Let’s imagine that in the absence of Mark Esper, the president actually deploys active military troops into key cities to seize the ballots after unfounded accusations of fraud.
Here’s the thought experiment: what would the Republican Party do?
Which Republicans would push back? Would Republicans resist the use of armed force to influence the results of an election?
Are you sure? Who? Mitch McConnell? Ted Cruz? Lindsey Graham? Ron Johnson? Kevin McCarthy? Nikki Haley?
Bonus question: If this happened, would Trump’s approval rating go up or down among Republicans?
Yeah. That’s what happened to me, too.
My guts just seized up, as I realized that the ~90% of Trump cultists (formerly known as the GOP) would cheer this. That nobody - and I MEAN NOBODY - would object to this in the GOP establishment.
Republicans will not be silenced.
We demand transparency. We demand accuracy. And we demand that the legal votes be protected. pic.twitter.com/1RZbzEOSfH
I warn you. This one isn’t going to make you feel any better.
Why would Donald Trump concede the election? How would concession benefit him?
There are a few reasons why losing presidential candidates concede defeat:
They feel obligated to the truth.
They don’t want to damage their party’s future prospects.
They are patriots who want the best for America.
They have nothing to gain from refusing to concede.
None of these apply to Donald Trump. And the last bit is exactly the opposite: Trump has a great deal to gain in this moment. By refusing to concede he is binding the Republican party more tightly to himself and consolidating his hold on it—even though he will be out of power.
By refusing to concede, Trump is establishing yet another loyalty test for Republicans, yet another gangland initiation rite. And so far, Republicans are lining up to demonstrate just how loyal they can be.
I am not so sanguine as this Twitter commenter
If Trump could get the courts to throw out enough votes to change the outcome, you would have the same recourse people do in any country run by a dictator and a cabal of sycophants. Fortunately, the legal system is going to stop this before we have violence in the streets.