Campaign promises are a standard, expected part of presidential elections, but in this most unexpected of races, what is the American public to make of campaign threats?
In an op-ed in The Atlantic, Shadi Hamid voices in the starkest terms yet what liberals have been hinting for months: There will be even more violence in the streets if President Trump wins re-election.
“I find myself truly worried about only one scenario: that Trump will win reelection and Democrats and others on the left will be unwilling, even unable, to accept the result,” he writes. “A loss by Joe Biden under these circumstances is the worst case not because Trump will destroy America (he can’t), but because it is the outcome most likely to undermine faith in democracy, resulting in more of the social unrest and street battles that cities including Portland, Oregon, and Seattle have seen in recent months.
“For this reason, strictly law-and-order Republicans who have responded in dismay to scenes of rioting and looting have an interest in Biden winning—even if they could never bring themselves to vote for him.”
This has all the subtlety of a Mafia shakedown: That’s a pretty nice country you’ve got there, it would be a shame if something, you know, happened to it.
“Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?” Democratic nominee Joe Biden mused during a recent speech. He may have been trying to blame the president for this summer’s rioting but he inadvertently implied a threat—that the chaos will only end when Trump is defeated.
If he’s not, well, peace in the streets sleeps right next to Luca Brasi.
Rather stunningly, Biden’s political allies are actively planning for the possibility. The Daily Beast reports that a massive coalition of left-wing labor unions, social justice groups, and “progressive movement outlets like Indivisible and MoveOn” spent several hours this month strategizing with “a group of 80-plus left-of-center and some NeverTrump entities that are also planning mass mobilization in more than 1,000 locations across the country” after the election.
As one participant said, they discussed “how you ‘occupy shit, hold space, and shut things down, not just on Election Day but for weeks.’”
Top Democratic strategists seem to be getting ready for it. Last month, Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and Donna Brazile, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman who also managed Al Gore’s 2000 campaign, took part in a “political war games” exercise sponsored by the Transition Integrity Project.
The group’s co-founder, Rosa Brooks, writes in The Washington Post that “the election will likely spark violence.”
“With the exception of the ‘big Biden win’ scenario,” she notes, “each of our exercises reached the brink of catastrophe, with massive disinformation campaigns, violence in the streets and a constitutional impasse.”
Unsurprisingly, the “Trump win” scenario sparked the most unhinged reaction, as “desperate Democrats — stunned by yet another election won by the candidate with fewer votes after credible claims of foreign interference and voter suppression — also sought to send rival slates of electors to Congress.
“They even floated the idea of encouraging secessionist movements in California and the Pacific Northwest unless GOP congressional leaders agreed to a series of reforms, including the division of California into five smaller states to ensure better Senate representation of its vast population, and statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico.”
This hypothetical extortion would be hilarious if it wasn’t so plausible. When combined with the decreasingly veiled threat of post-election violence, it’s downright terrifying.
Then again, the left keeps assuring, it doesn’t have to be this way, you know. We could just vote the right way and then none of this would have to happen. After all, you wouldn’t want to wake up the morning after Election Day with your prized racehorse’s head next to you, would you, America?