His vendetta against the electoral process is unlikely to succeed in doing anything other than guaranteeing victory for Democrats in every election for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, as an unintended consequence of his efforts to secure a second term, Trump may inadvertently end up giving the country a gift that no one else has been able to, an end to the hyper-partisanship which has gripped the nation for the last 20 years.
Yet, while it’s always difficult to see the future, one thing is absolutely certain.
In order to get a second term Trump would need to either get very specific ballots thrown out (assuming that they’re able to be located) in the states where he lost or run certain state elections over again (which is without precedent). Meanwhile, he has todo all this in the face of what is sure to be the most significant legal opposition in US history, and get it all done before January 20.
It’s a herculean task. And that’s assuming that widespread fraud even occurred in the first place. Until hard evidence is presented, the fraud accusations are just another part of the online rumor mill that has cloaked the Trump administration in lies and half-truths since 2015. Moreover ,it’s not certain that, when push comes to shove, the courts would be willing to cast the integrity of the US election in any more doubt than Trump already has.
So, barring something truly extraordinary, Donald Trump will be a one term president. Yet, while it’s clear what will happen to Trump’s presidency, there are a few lingering questions about the effect of his actions on the country as a whole.
It’s going to convince a lot of Republicans that elections aren’t worth their time.
Regardless of what the evidence shows, a large part of Trump’s supporters will likely be convinced that the election was rigged and, indeed, that all elections are rigged. After all, one of the defining features of his supporters has been almost complete rejection of evidence presented by non-conservative sources.
So, once those people are convinced that elections are rigged, it will be nearly impossible to change their minds. In fact, that harder society tries to change their minds, the more it will likely be viewed as some kind of trick.
Thus, by so heavily belaboring the issue of voter fraud, it’s likely that all Trump will succeed in doing is to convince a large chunk of his supporters that their vote doesn’t count.
In short, it means that 2020 might be the highest voter turnout for quite some time. Unless Republicans do something drastic to rehab the image of elections in the minds of Trump voters, it’s likely that those people will simply stop voting. After all, why bother casting a ballot if you think the game is rigged? However, considering the level of ineptitude within the Republican Party, it’s doubtful that they’ll be able to do anything constructive to remedy the situation.
Of course, this kind of failure on the part of Republicans would be like Christmas, Easter, and everyone’s birthday all at the same time for Democrats. If the opposition just stopped voting it’s hard to see how Democrats would ever lose an election again, regardless of how hard they seem to try to do so each year.
Under normal circumstances, a huge chunk of voters deciding to opt out of the election would be a tragedy. However…
If, indeed Republicans do stop voting and the path is clear for Democrats to govern for the foreseeable future, then the country has an opportunity to end the partisan gridlock which has paralyzed it for the past 20 years.
In that time, American politics has devolved into a situation with almost zero cooperation on major legislation. The nature of congressional elections ensures that the balance of power is never guaranteed for more than two years. Moreover, each incoming president (of a different party) makes a point to dismantle any significant work done by his predecessor. The result of all this is that no lasting progress is made, and the country is stuck in a perpetual state of limbo.
However, if America can gather some legislative and executive cohesion that runs for more than 2 years at a time, then it could actually have a direction. Some people might disagree with the direction, but it’s hard to see how letting the country atrophy under the weight of hyper partisanship is preferable to long term investments and comprehensive strategies to tackle our biggest problems.
Of course, all of this remains to be seen. Yet, it may very well turn out that Donald Trump, of all people, inadvertently relieved America of its hyper-partisan burden.
Do you think election fraud accusations will reduce the numbers of Republican voters?