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Will Election Day 2020 Go Down In History As Riot Night Of The Century?

I&I Editorial

When the Republicans took both chambers of Congress in the historic 1994 elections, ABC news anchor Peter Jennings said “the voters had a temper tantrum.” He felt it necessary to portray GOP voters as children. But they did it the right way. If Americans want change, and feel the need to act up, the ballot box is the place to do it. Democratic comrades, however, have decided that violence how they are going to get their way.

What we’ve already had plenty of is likely to erupt even more violently tonight and Wednesday morning, and continue for some time. The political left is determined it will win the elections, even if winning means more fighting in the streets.

It’s been rare in the modern era for Americans to go to bed at the end of Election Day not knowing who won. But we’ve been warned: Due to unique 2020 circumstances – primarily Democrats insistence we vote by mail – it might take days or even weeks to count all the ballots and determine who won this year. So unless Joe Biden is the clear winner tonight, be ready for the heat. Because the heathen will rage.

The Democrats have, in fact, already told us this. As we previously noted, the party has gamed out “a possible coup if (President Donald) Trump wins in November.” In the simulation, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta played the role of Biden. He refused to concede the lost election, and “pressured states that Trump won to send Democrats to the formal Electoral College vote, and trusted that the military would take care of the rest,” Michael Anton writes in “The Coming Coup” published by The American Mind.

No surprise, there. Hillary Clinton continues to claim she was robbed. At least Al Gore, who tried to steal the 2000 election, didn’t whine incessantly for years afterward. He just ramped up, with an eager and collegial assist from the media, his global warming crusade. As it turns out, though, the Democrats’ refusal to accept a loss in 2000 was foundational to what we’re likely to see beginning tonight. Law enforcement officials and businesses in cities where mobs are most likely to rampage have been making preparations, from preemptively closing streets to boarding up store windows. Even the National Guard is ready to be deployed.

Naturally, no matter what happens, the Democrats and their media operatives will say it’s Trump’s fault. In The Atlantic, which at one time was a serious publication, Brookings Institution senior fellow and Atlantic contributing writer Shadi Hamid says he is “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 follows with the astonishing claim that “a loss by Joe Biden under these circumstances is the worst case … 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.”

“Undermine faith in democracy”? Now that’s a funny way to say “foment endless rioting.”

The overall tone of Hamid’s screed is there is something profoundly wrong with this country if it doesn’t elect Biden. Voters are simply too dense to understand what is good for them; “normal” politics no longer work. He doesn’t say it, but the implication, or at least our inference, is the outcome might require a radical response.

“Acting outside the political process, including through nonpeaceful means, becomes more attractive,” he says.

Because a Trump reelection will increase the “distance between what a society should be and the tragedy of what it actually becomes,” he continues, we should not be surprised to see “mass unrest and political violence across American cities.”

Tell us again who gets to say what a society should be? Just what the Democrats tell us it is?

Meanwhile, we can still hear Biden running mate Sen. Kamala Harris insisting the “protests” continue.

“They’re not gonna let up. And they should not. And we should not,” she said.

The “fact checkers” say, not unreasonably, that she means protests, not riots. Yet months ago the protesters and rioters merged. With little exception, they have become indistinguishable from each other.

Yes, we know that Trump has talked about the (very realistic) possibility of election fraud with the Democrats’ universal mail-in voter schemes, and he’s grumbled about rigged elections. But has anyone heard conservatives talking openly about taking “nonpeaceful means” should Trump lose?

Few in this country oppose peaceful assemblies. It’s our birthright in a nation founded in liberty. But when a group, too often filled with useful idiots, takes over public spaces, blocks traffic without a permit to march, threatens and intimidates bystanders, refuses to comply with law enforcement requests, and dehumanizes its “enemies,” it is a mob. And a mob, by definition, is “riotous.” 

Democrats are obligated to tell their constituents to act in a civilized manner. But they’re more likely to encourage the mob behavior so they can extort their way to power. Violence can be useful in coercing Electoral College members from states won by Trump to rethink their votes. Yes, the Supreme Court has ruled states can require electors to vote as their state has. That only works, though, if the states are willing to enforce compliance. Some, weary of the riots, might simply decline.

We hope we’re wrong, that the election, even if extended as many expect, will go smoothly, that the loser will gracefully concede, and the country will begin to heal its angry divisions. With one particularly disturbing exception, America has been known for its healthy way of settling its political differences for more than two centuries. It would be tragic to stray from that.

Editor’s Note: This is an update of an editorial that originally ran on September 17.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

1 comment

  • Good read. I appreciate the down to earth reporting. Shame the situation doesn’t seem like it’s going to shake out quite like you were hoping for at the end, but, to be expected from anyone who’s really been paying attention.

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