We are in the homestretch of this nightmare of a presidential campaign. Everything points to a Trump loss at this point with three questions remaining: (1) how bad of a loss will it be, (2) will he take the Senate down with him and, most importantly (3) what is the extent of the damage left in the wake of Trump’s candidacy?
Donald Trump does not like to lose. Even when he loses, he does not “lose” in his demented mind. In fact, he probably still believes he has a chance at victory but just in case he has laid the preemptive groundwork to explain away a loss. If it wasn’t for those turncoat Republican rats abandoning him, he would have won. If it was not for the vast media conspiracy against him, he would win. It was a rigged system that stood between him and the White House. And if the GOP primary system is any indication, there may be at least 14 million susceptible souls out there who will believe this because there is no other way to explain the loss of their Messiah.
There is no need for proof of a rigged system in the mind of Trump. He said it, therefore it is true. If he is talking about the media, then he is a naive fool to believe they would have gone soft on him in a general election campaign. Of course, he gave the media plenty of fodder for them to exploit. There are reports that both Lewandowski and Manafort wanted Trump to submit himself to an internal opposition research vetting process, but he refused on both counts. It was not the media that did him in; he did himself in.
A system is rigged if he loses. It explains his selective use of polls during the primary and general election campaigns. The polls had to be wrong because he saw women in the crowd at his rallies. Even the pollsters became part of the web of conspiracies against him.
Scholars have noted this paranoid tendency in authoritarian people before. One researcher, Jonathan Bach states:
“The more paranoid a ruler becomes, the more essential it is that others share the ruler’s system of delusions and conspiracies… The successful paranoid ruler will make people share his paranoia, and they will feed on it together.”
This is scenario playing out Trump rallies and will be a hallmark of the remaining two tortuous weeks of this campaign.
Trump started this campaign on a pessimistic note: America was losing and he was the one destined to make America great again. With that theme off the table, the conversation has changed to the election being stolen from him. It’s the media, it’s the Clinton campaign, it’s reluctant conservatives and Republicans, it’s everything but Donald Trump.
He will likely parlay this electoral loss into victimhood where to him and his adoring followers he comes out a winner. They are feeding a sick ego. Donald Trump showed no propensity for showing graciousness in victory. Can we expect anything different in defeat?
On November 9th, the nation will awaken to a new President-elect and life will go on. So will Donald Trump and his followers and American politics will never be the same, but we shall survive. To the 14 million who voted for Trump in the primaries, you have proven what our Founders feared. It turns out that too democracy really is a bad thing.