Rigging Election Results: Is The Donald Trump Rigged Election Claim Damaging The 2016 Presidential Election?

Even though rigging election results isn’t nearly as easy as Donald Trump seems to think, the Trump rigged election accusations could have a long-term impact following the 2016 presidential election. Aside from casting doubts on the seemingly inevitable Hillary Clinton landslide win, it could damage voter confidence in the election process for decades to come.

Democrats — as well as some Republicans, according to CNN — across the board are starting to denounce Trump for his frequent assertions at news conferences and rallies that Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, the media, and even other Republicans have rigged the election against him. Rational politicians recognize that claiming someone is rigging elections damages confidence in the process.

Donald Trump speaks during the Presidential Debate. After losing first two debates, Trump began accusing others of election rigging.
Donald Trump speaks during the presidential debate. After losing the first two debates, Trump began accusing others of election rigging. [Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]

As reported by CNN, voter fraud and rigged elections – although they have become catchphrases for the Republicans and Fox News – are so rare as to be almost nonexistent. No study has ever demonstrated that voter fraud influenced an election in the United States, particularly a presidential election.

Just Who’s Rigging Election Results?

According to CBS News, Donald Trump is literally trumpeting at his rallies that “crooked Hillary” and the so-called liberal news media are engaging in an election year conspiracy by rigging election results across the country, specifically in battleground states.

Trump’s rigged election accusations have no basis in fact, and he doesn’t bother providing any proof. Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has made a habit of saying things that are demonstrably untrue without caring whether they are later disproved by the media or the Clinton campaign.

By convincing his followers – supporters isn’t quite the right term for them – that they can’t trust the media, other politicians, or anyone except Donald Trump, the Republican nominee has essentially isolated his followers from reality. Whether it’s rigging elections by allowing illegals to vote or registering dead people as Democrats, Trump followers fully believe his wild rigged election claims.

Damage from Allegations of Election Rigging

Election results legitimacy is essential to democracy. In the short term, Trump’s reckless assertions regarding rigged elections will damage the credibility of a legitimately elected Clinton administration. This will make it more difficult for a president – elected by the majority – to carry out her policies.

In the long-term, the consequences of these unprecedented allegations by Trump that his opponent is rigging the election could be very serious for American democracy. Many polls have demonstrated that people already distrust politicians, and this will only make things worse.

But the election rigging claims by Donald Trump will also have the effect of psychologically isolating and radicalizing a large percentage of the American electorate. Whether something is true or not does not always determine the impact it has on society.

If a large percentage of Trump supporters actually believe that the 2016 election is rigged and Hillary Clinton will not be legitimate if elected president of the United States, it’s hardly surprising that some of them are already talking about a violent reaction should Donald Trump lose the election, and recent election polls results make clear he will.

It seems clear that a concerted effort by senior Republican politicians, both currently serving and retired, is required to deal with the crisis of confidence that Donald Trump is creating with his rigged election claims. Sen. McConnell, Sen. McCain, Speaker of the House Ryan, and other leaders of the Republican Party should hold a joint news conference denouncing Trump’s idea that anyone is rigging the 2016 election.

As reported by the Associated Press only a few days ago, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence was confronted by a woman at one of his rallies who flatly stated that a Clinton victory would lead to revolution. While Pence attempted to calm her down, most of the crowd seemed to support her “rigging election” paranoia. Things are definitely getting out of hand.

[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]

Comments