Thursday, November 3, 2016

Trump Shenanigans

As if Trump getting this amount of attention is not already bad enough, the newest shenanigans we as a country must come to face with are the possible risk of violence on election day. Violence, I should say, is an understatement. With influential politicians claiming that they will “take up their muskets” if Trump doesn’t get his way, these threats of violence should be heeded seriously, even though it’s hard to take Trump himself seriously.

The reason for all this is that Trump is actually encouraging his voter base to become vigilante policemen at polling stations.

Trump “claims that the stakes are so high, the situation is so extraordinary, that some form of intimidation, presence, provocative behavior is necessary to preserve the republic, preserve civilization,”[1]

Trump cannot even comprehend the world outside of his ethnocentric bubble. Though I must say that’s not even that shocking. What I am most shocked about though is that he is so convinced by his own delusions that the election is rigged that he is making a call to violence. Just how desperate can a man get? Let’s keep in mind a portion of Trump’s supporters are gun-toting racist militias that won’t hesitate to use force if they don’t get their way.

“You have preexisting, organized, armed militias who have said that they might see it as their duty ... to attempt violently to topple the government or kill the president,” Jay Ulfelder, a political scientist who studies democracy and violence, says. “I can’t think of any other case where there’s been something like that, either in a developed democracy or less [developed one].”1

This type of reasoning [or lack thereof] is rooted in paranoia. It’s pointless and anything but progressive to escalate situations that we don’t have control over. As much as we’d like to control the elections one way or another we don’t really have much of a say. Putting guns into the equation jut makes this whole situation incredibly more unstable and unpredictable. Though the right wing militia groups may not be the ones to directly cause violent interactions, they can definitely incite it.

It’s a situation you can easily imagine escalating out of control. A fight breaks out between a Trump supporter and, say, a Black Lives Matter advocate — and one of them is armed. A radical Trump supporter, perhaps a member of a far-right militia or neo-Nazi movement, shows up at a polling station with the intent of using force to stop minorities from “rigging” the vote. It could also go the other way: A Hispanic American or African American tired of being demonized by Trump could see one of his supporters and go looking for a fight.1

His rhetoric and fear mongering politics shamefully illustrate the state of our nation’s right wing. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans, as we have seen are easily convinced by his ignorant tirades on Muslims and immigrants. At its heart, all of this is probably due to White Americans feeling a loss of identity with the America they once knew. They fear change and progression and changing ways of life. I think we should welcome such things instead of being so afraid of the unfamiliar. I don’t really have any idea as to how we can combat Trump’s divisive techniques besides to plug our ears and stop feeding into his rhetoric.


  1. It's definitely stupid to buy into this mans rhetoric - aside from the obvious, he just doesn't make sense when he speaks. I'm surprised his backing is still relevant because all he sells is his lies and his macho-man front.

    He's just the epitome of a demagogue - the man has flip flopped on huge issues a million times, because he genuinely doesn't care and just wants more power. I kind of want him to win JUST so we can say "I told you so" to his supporters.

    But lets be real, I voted for Hillary anyway. Nice post

  2. I honestly cannot fathom how this spray tanned potato somehow made it to the presidency. A stroke of luck and a testament to our somewhat-functioning democracy, I suppose. With that being said, I hope in future elections that Trump and people similar to him can compose themselves and stop the fear-mongering in their rhetoric. Why someone would need to monitor polling stations with a loaded sawn-off shotgun is beyond comprehension to me. It's ridiculous and stupid.

  3. It's interesting that you tie it to the direct text of the Second Amendment; I had always dismissed the notion of militias until Trump's covert and overt calls to arms. As someone who supports gun reform, I regularly spurn the well-regulated militia clause as laughably outdated, but the vitriol of Trump's supporters made me realize that a) some have already taken measures to establish them, and b) some may believe they have enough public support and direct authorization from a major-party candidate to take violent action. That's terrifying. The idea of protecting ourselves from a tyrannical government is no longer stuck in 1776 - some Americans truly believe Clinton's election would have been grounds for the same kind of revolt. Just a further example of the treacherous sentiments Trump wielded to his advantage.

  4. While Republicans are obviously more likely than Democrats to carry guns, I don't think they are inherently more violent or likely to overthrow the government. Bias is an unavoidable factor everyone faced these past couple months, as everyone become increasingly defensive and vehemently opposed to their political counterpart. Grouping all Republicans in the same bag and calling them all racist gun-wielding white males is one of the reasons Trump was able to obtain so much under-the-radar support. Seeing the widespread protests that took place after Trump's victory made me reflect on how similar both sides actually are, and how none them are completely right. Name-calling is intolerable when Trump does it, or a Republican does it, but its fine to call them all Confederate pigs. There's always two sides to every story, and now that elections are behind us hopefully everyone can appreciate the good in both sides of the argument.

  5. Looking at this post in retrospect, I do not how to feel about it. We really cannot know if Trump's racist, angry, "gun-toting" supporters would take up arms and starts a rebellion if Trump lost the election. Considering that Trump won the election, how should we consider this post? I still think this article is germane because it shows us the how threatening the Trumpists are.

    Fueled by racial and economic resentment, the white people that pushed Trump to the presidency should be acknowledged.

    If we are to take on Trump and the GOP, we have to recognize how angry and belligerent their supporters are.