August 4, 2016

In an interview with the Washington Post, Donald Trump continued to promote unfounded claims that if he loses the general election, it will be because it's rigged.

As Politifact reveals, people are more likely to get hit by lightning than participate in voter fraud.

The whole interview is deranged, but I'm focusing on his "rigged election" nonsense, not only because it appears this will be his strategy as he continues to fall behind, but because he is illegitimizing the election process for a large number of voters. This does damage to our democracy that will outlast the Trump campaign.

Trump believes that opposition to draconian voter ID laws is because people are voting as many as ten times without ID and don't want to be caught. All evidence points to the opposite being true.

Republicans have reason to be worried about the judicial trend regarding voting rights. After they won many state legislatures in 2010 and the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act with the Shelby case, the GOP in the states went whole hog in restricting the vote, particularly among minority and student communities.

For some time after those changes, there was no data to take to the court and say, "hey, these new restrictions hurt Black voters." But there have been enough elections now and data has been collected that proves voter restriction is about race, and courts have been swift to overturn those ID laws as a result. Federal courts in the past MONTH have interrupted GOP voting laws in Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Texas.

The Republicans in those states are in a panic, but the courts say too bad:

"We recognize that elections have consequences, but winning an election does not empower anyone in any party to engage in purposeful racial discrimination," ruled Judge Diana Gribbon Motz. "When a legislature dominated by one party has dismantled barriers to African-American access to the franchise, even if done to gain votes, 'politics as usual' does not allow a legislature dominated by the other party to re-erect those barriers."

"There must be something wrong with all these laws that keep getting struck down by the courts," said Kennedy, of the Center for American Progress. "The courts have finally said that the balance of the harm is on the side of voters."

Trump is also conflating the allotment of delegates after the primaries in Louisiana and Colorado with the general election results. Delegates to the convention are allotted by party rules. The allocation of the Electoral College is determined by the Constitution of the United States.

So once again, Donald bloviates about a topic has knows nothing about, but claims he's being wronged in some way. And in doing so, he plants in the weak minds of his followers a distrust of the election process, simply because voters are rejecting the most undisciplined and unqualified candidate in US history.

RUCKER: You said yesterday that you worried the election might be rigged in some way.

TRUMP: Yeah.

RUCKER: What is your worry exactly?

TRUMP: I don’t like what’s going on with voter ID.

RUCKER: It would be what’s happening in the states?

TRUMP: Well, I think its ridiculous. I mean the voter ID situation has turned out to be a very unfair development. We may have people vote 10 times. It’s inconceivable that you don’t have to show identification in order to vote or that that the identification doesn’t have to be somewhat foolproof.

RUCKER: Although, there’s a tradition in this country of when somebody loses an election, they concede graciously and try to get their supporters on board like Al Gore did in 2000. Would you? You know if some reason Hillary were to win narrowly, would you contest that in some way?

TRUMP: I don’t want to jump the gun. I don’t want to talk about that. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if the election . . . there’s a lot of dirty pool played at the election, meaning the election is rigged. I would not be surprised. The voter ID, they’re fighting as hard as you can fight so that that they don’t have to show voter ID. So, what’s the purpose of that? How many times is a person going to vote during the day? If you don’t have voter ID . . .

RUCKER: Do you think someone can vote multiple times?

TRUMP: Multiple times. How about like 10 times. Why not? If you don’t have voter ID, you can just keep voting and voting and voting.

RUCKER: Is there anything else that you think could be going on?

TRUMP: Look, you never know. It started with me in Louisiana when I won Louisiana and I got fewer delegates than Ted Cruz.

RUCKER: I remember that.

TRUMP: I said, “Whoa! Whoa! What happens here?” And then I polled well in Colorado. and instead of voting, the bosses picked it. I said, “What’s going on here?” It took me a little while to get accustomed to the world of politics and then once I did we started running them off. But, who would’ve thought that was going to happen? I win a state, I get fewer votes. Then, I poll great in Colorado and all of a sudden . . . the voters aren’t going to choose. The bosses are going to choose. Anything is possible.

None of this makes any sense.

Digby writes:

From what I gather on cable news and social media it's considered a matter of fact among some number of people that the primaries were rigged and the general election will also be rigged. In other words, many people have become convinced thatthey cannot legitimately lose an election.

Here's the full analysis on non-existent voter fraud. And no, the primaries were not rigged either.

This is a problem. And it's a problem that could lead to a crisis if the right wing establishment continues their habit, well-established during both the Bill Clinton and Obama administrations, to de-legitimize the presidency of any Democrat.

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