This week the White House has issued a warning about “possible outbreaks of violence” on election day if Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump loses the election reports Fox 32. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said this week that the President believes “there is no place for American democracy” for any person that uses violence to advance a political agenda.
This, after Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump began making claims this week that the electoral college system was “rigged” against him and in favor of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. That the “system is rigged” is a statement Donald Trump has been making since as early as May.
However, the statements escalated in tone this week when he began referring specifically to the election being rigged, and that many polling stations were as well.
His statements have not gone unnoticed by the White House, and have prompted “fear” reports Fox 32, that violence will be the result if Donald Trump does not concede the election in the event of a loss. Donald Trump’s running mate, Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence has gone on the record to say they would accept the results of the voters. Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s daughter, has as well.
At the third and final Presidential debate this week, when asked directly if he would accept the results of the election, Donald Trump’s response was “We’ll see.”
His statements that he won’t commit to accepting election results have reportedly prompted concern that there would be violence on or shortly after election day if he loses the election. Not conceding the election in the event of a loss would be a historical first for America. It would also be against the American tradition of a peaceful transition to power in a democratic election.
The growing fear is that violence would erupt in the event of a Trump loss, and a refusal to adopt the American tradition of a peaceful transition to power. Many reporters and political activists have reportedly already suffered violence or attacks during this election cycle.
The Guardian reports that a left-leaning political activist in Eugene, Oregon, Jessica Campbell, had her car’s gas line cut, the nuts on her tire wheels loosened, and a GPS attached to her car to track her every movement.
She’s been tailed while on the highway, and is “now accustomed” to that, says the Guardian. Her property has been stalked, and she’s reportedly experienced online threats of both death and rape. Last week, The Guardian reports, when she attended a community hall meeting, she and her entourage were shot at.
She is the director of a non-profit group known as Rural Organizing Project, one that confronts right-wing insurgencies. She is literally on the front lines of a non-profit army that responds to “divisive tactics” on the topics of racism, immigration, and property ownership.
She believes the fear of violence with a Clinton win is real, and she told the Guardian the following.
“I’m seeing a lot of paramilitary groups recruiting on the basis of a likely Hillary Clinton win.”
She also said the “rigged election” comments resonated.
“It was just amazing seeing how that resonated with people – a sense of democracy broken, feeling like the candidates don’t represent them or anything they want to see happen in this country.”
The fear of violence is a growing concern, and Politico says, “no one knows how to handle” what may be about to happen. The fear is real for Politico as well. Politico has reportedly had one of their own reporters become the victim of online hate from Trump supporters.
Politico says that Trump’s refusal to concede “teeters the country into an unprecedented crisis of faith in government.” Democrat Rep. Steve Israel of New York said the following.
“People do dangerous things when dangerous leaders foment deep resentment.”
Jessica Campbell of Eugene, Oregon, has already experienced this first hand, as has Politico‘s own reporter. Many reporters, mainly women, have experienced similar threats from the Trump community. CNN‘s Brian Stelter said, if it happens on election day, it will be because of the “hatred that is dripping out of that man’s mouth.”
Politico also reports that in the event of a Trump loss, and in the event of a failure to concede, party leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan will be expected to step up to the plate and concede for him, for the party.
But that won’t change the minds of those that may have already committed to violence in the wake of a loss. The very threat of this is real enough for Denver, Colorado, officials to provide active shooting training for the election judges that will be at the polls on election day reports ABC 7 for Denver. This has never happened before.
The training consists of online courses, where the 350 election judges for Denver will have to complete if they want to be working the polls on November 8. The course provides workers with “worst-case scenarios.” ABC reports that election judges in Denver are now being taught, in the event of an active shooting, run, hide, and “if you have to … fight.”
Denver elections director Amber McReynolds told ABC 7 that the decision came long before Donald Trump began talking “rigged” elections. They are preparing for “any type of emergency situation.”
At this point, Denver officials are hoping for smooth sailing come election day but will be prepared for almost any emergency to ensure that smooth sailing is exactly how the day pans out. ABC says election workers are not permitted to carry firearms on election day, but Denver’s 26 polling stations will have police protection.
CNN reports that Donald Trump has since gone to the podium today to say he will “totally” accept the results of the election, if he wins. He reserves the right to challenge a loss with whatever legal means necessary, should a loss be the outcome. Are you concerned about election violence?
[Feature Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]