In an article that ran in The San Jose Mercury News on Thursday, August 4th , Michael Doyle and William Douglas of the McClatchy Washington Bureau observed that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is apparently laying the ground for a post-election challenge to the results of the November election (presuming he isn't declared the winner in that election, of course):
"If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will be no longer the government,” Trump ally Roger Stone said last week on The Milo Yiannopolous Show.
Let's be clear; this isn't about being a "sore loser," as the news article suggests. For the Trump campaign to make the statement (through an intermediary, admittedly) that there will be a "constitutional crisis" and "civil disobedience" if Donald Trump doesn't win the election in November is extraordinarily concerning.
This statement tells me that Trump's claim that the election is "rigged," a claim he has already made, may be used to destabilize our democracy, should Trump not win. Some have already identified Trump as a candidate who seems devoted to a totalitarian or "fascist" approach to government, in which he believes that "he alone" can solve the nation's problems.
If Trump loses, in what will the predicted "constitutional crisis" consist? What kind of "civil disobedience" is being forecast? Will armed groups of thugs, encouraged by Trump, attempt to disrupt the transition to a Hillary Clinton presidency, despite an election that finds her the electoral victor?
Our pride, as a nation, has always been that after an election there is an orderly and peaceful "transfer of power" to a new governmental administration, and a transition that occurs without violence, however filled with tension the election itself might have been, and despite claims - and even justified claims - of irregularities in the election process. The concession of Al Gore to George W. Bush, in 2000, is an example from recent history.
If Donald Trump is suggesting that this pattern of democratically directed transition should or would be broken, if Trump loses in November, then we all have much to be concerned about (emphasis added).