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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Will Trump’s Biggest Legacy Be Ending the Peaceful Transition of Power?

   I fear for the future of our country, regardless of who wins the presidential election next month. I agree with the president's longest-serving National Security Advisor, John Bolton that we can survive four years of Donald Trump but not a second term.

But I also fear the future if Joe Biden wins the election, even if by such a margin as to overcome phony charges of the election being “stolen.” In this regard, our decentralized election system will serve us well, because Trump will have to allege cheating in enough individual states and counties to add up to a change in the electoral college totals. At least in Colorado, the statewide vote is the sum of the vote counts in 64 individual counties, many of them run by Republicans. It would be a steep climb to say the totals reported at the state level were wrong by a statistically useful amount.

However, I’m talking about something deeper and more intractable than public confidence in the electoral process. I’m talking about the willingness of Trump’s base, not Trump himself, to accept defeat.

If one is to believe what his base believes — that a Biden victory will lead to a communist takeover — wouldn’t a true patriot with an arsenal of military grade weapons and ammo take up arms against the new regime? Trump has invoked their support in the past and would not hesitate, I suspect, to do so again. Trump knows that there is no danger for him — the Secret Service will keep him safe as Americans spill each other’s blood in his name. It might even warm his narcissistic heart to know that supporters are willing to die in defiance to his defeat at the polls.

What I find so disheartening is, to quote a headline on Sept. 2, 2020, that a “Majority of Republicans Believe The QAnon Conspiracy Theory Is Partly Or Mostly True.”  The breakdown is that 33% of Republicans believe QAnon’s theory is “mostly true” and 23% say it is “partly true.” On the other hand, only 4% of Democrats think QAnon’s conspiracy theories are even partly true, and 72% of Dems say they’re “not true at all.”  I’m proud to be a Democrat. Unfortunately, QAnon supporters are proud to be Republicans and Trump supporters.

To quote the article by Forbes staff writer Tommy Beer, “QAnon supporters claim President Trump is defending the planet from a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles (consisting mostly of Hollywood celebrities, liberal politicians and 'deep-state' government officials) who are running a secret child sex-trafficking ring.”

If fear of a communist takeover doesn’t scare you into taking up arms, would believing that bullshit do the trick for you?

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bi-partisan resolution condemning QAnon by a 371-18 vote. That may have no effect, since Donald Trump won’t disavow QAnon. “I’ve heard these are people that love our country,” he said during a White House news conference. “So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me.”

The enthusiasm of Trump supporters will certainly get them to the polls. The question I have is whether it will also get them to the barricades when and if Joe Biden takes office. With the current President of the United States emboldening them to do just that, we have a serious problem on our hands.

The headline of my May 14 column was, “Dems Need to Realize That People in Trump’s Base Are Simply Unreachable.” That statement has been reinforced for me by the emails I receive each week from Trump supporters who, God bless them, keep reading this column. I engaged in email conversations with several of them, but recently have started blocking their email addresses and cell/text numbers because they are so totally lost in their adoration of Trumpism, and not worth the distraction.

So sad, so true, and now so scary as the president lays the emotional basis for his supporters to take up arms if the election is “stolen” from their man. Even if bullets don’t fly, as I fear they might, they will never accept defeat.


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