Donald Trump 2016 RNC speech
Nicolas Pinault, Voice of America [Public domain]

Donald Trump’s rigged election is GOP’s latest headache

It might seem as though Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is moving further away from the party that nominated him. Since he declared himself “unshackled” he’s escalated his maverick rhetoric, hammering home his claims that the November 8 election is “rigged” against him.

Cornered by a flood of accusations of sexual assault, Trump’s Fifth Avenue headquarters has become an unlikely fort from which he’s staging a last stand against an ever-widening circle of enemies that includes not only the media and his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, but much of the GOP. “100% fabricated and made up charges … may poison the minds of the American voter. FIX!” he tweeted on October 15.

Trump’s attempts to delegitimize our upcoming election should make clear what many Americans have known all along: He represents a clear and present danger to American democracy.

From the inception of his campaign, he’s explicitly reached out to that American underworld where alt-righters, conspiracy theorists, survivalists and anti-government militants breed. He’s not only been firm in his commitment to the Second Amendment, but has incited violence in explicit and coded ways against a long list of internal enemies — and Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to forget the sight of him mimicking shooting a gun while saying last month that Clinton could shoot somebody and get away with it.

For anti-government and gun rights activists — groups with significant overlaps — Trump’s the man, and the election the occasion, for them to play out their hand. Trump has specifically courted these constituencies from his very first general campaign ad, in which a member of a citizen militia is seen along with police and border patrol officers. Back then Trump had the support of most of the Republican elite, who saw nothing amiss in this representation of their party’s agendas.

Trump has encouraged his fans to exploit open and concealed carry laws as they target those whose appearance indicates they might vote the “wrong way”; there’s talk of coups, violent uprisings and assassinations. In Virginia, a man recently stalked the campaign office of Democrat Jane Dittmar for 12 hours. He told reporters that exposing his gun was a means of “providing a voice” to closeted Trump supporters.

In this heated atmosphere, the Federal Bureau of Investigation foiled an alleged plot by three members of a pro- “sovereign citizen and anti-government” group to blow up a Muslim-inhabited apartment complex in Kansas. Meant as a message of protest to Americans, the terror attack was scheduled for November 9.

Read the entire essay at CNN

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