As Donald stood on the pitcher’s mound he could feel his dreams crumbling around him. He was always a champion, always a winner, but not this time. His team was about to lose the state championship and for the first time the team he was captain of would go down in defeat. He was the best player in the state, how could he be part of a losing team? All of the people in the stands came to see him pitch. More people came to his games than any of the other games around the state. He had the best crowds. Of course it wasn’t his fault. His players were blowing it and the officials were not calling the game fairly. The other team must have rigged the game by influencing the umpires. The whole system throughout the state must be rigged to allow the game to be officiated this way. Even if they lose he will never admit that they weren’t state champions.
This behavior would be looked upon as unacceptable from a high school baseball player. How pathetic is it coming from the candidate for the presidency of the United States from a major political party? His desperation is incredibly transparent. His behavior is incredibly juvenile. He is no more ready to assume the responsibilities of the Presidency of the United States than that pathetic pitcher described above. His constant mantra that the system and the election are rigged is not only childish, it is dangerous. His refusal to say that he will accept the results of the election on November 8th make him sound like a petulant child, but what kind of tantrum will he throw? Up until he entered the public arena his behavior was the problem of his family and those around him. However, now his behavior is the nation’s problem. How he reacts to what will most certainly be a loss is something we all have to be concerned about. It’s not that he has so much power or that his followers have sworn some sort of loyalty oath to him. It is a fact that he has given voice and legitimacy to millions who have felt that the system has been rigged for years. There are however two distinct groups that comprise his supporters. One looms as significantly more dangerous than the other.
We have learned throughout our history that progress has a cost. There are always winners and losers. The vast technological changes experienced during the early part of this century have impacted on our economy in ways that eliminated some jobs and created new ones. There are millions of men and women that while perfectly trained and prepared for the old economy, are ill-equipped to participate in the new one. They have seen their jobs leave their communities and their lives deteriorate. They are angry but not radical or extreme. Trump speaks their truth. They feel that Washington has ignored their plight and that the Democrats represent the elites. A Trump loss will leave them angry and hopeless, but not lead them to some sort of civil action.
However, Trump has unearthed another much more dangerous group. He has surrounded himself with a menagerie of white supremacists , Neo-Nazis and militia groups. He has consciously spoken their language and metaphorically carried their flag into battle. They see him as their last best hope for national power and political legitimacy. Their concern isn’t for democracy, but rather the opportunity to assume what they consider their rightful place as leaders of a nation controlled by and in the service of the white race. They are armed, trained and extreme. A Trump loss will not be taken as just another defeat by them. How will they react? What will they do?
Trump has yet to learn that his words matter. His words are now those of desperation. However, the words spewed from his adolescent, narcissistic mouth are listened to with great interest around the world. Trump is a danger to our nation. He may go into hiding after the election to somehow create a narrative that enables him to convince himself that he didn’t really lose after all. But the sick and demented forces he has unleashed may not be willing to go back under their rocks. Only an overwhelming defeat may convince those folks that they should go back into the shadows and stay there.