In the immediate aftermath of last night’s presidential debate, TV commentators expressed their shock at Donald Trump’s refusal to say that, whatever the results of the elections, he would accept them. But should these commentators have been so shocked? What if the elections really are rigged? What should Trump have said?
To be sure, there were far better ways for Trump to reply to moderator Chris Wallace’s question, satisfying Wallace’s concerns while raising his own concerns (which reflect the concerns of many other Americans).
For example, Trump could have said: “Absolutely, without question, if the electoral process is fair and legal, I will accept the results, whatever the outcome. And should I lose, which I don’t expect to, I will urge my supporters to accept our loss with dignity.
“But I have a question for you, Chris, and for Hillary and for the American people as well. What if it could be demonstrated in a court of law that the election was rigged? What if there was massive voter fraud? Would it be fair to the American people for me to accept the election results without a fight? Would it be just? If the American people voted to put me into office and the election was stolen from me and from them, what would be the right course of action?
“Chris, what do you think? Hillary, what do you think? And people of America, what do you think?”
Now, I am not saying that the election is, in fact, rigged, and I wholeheartedly oppose any kind of rhetoric that could lead to violence or anarchy by angered Trump supporters (or, Clinton supporters).
That’s why I was alarmed to see this comment on my Facebook page in response to my article warning Christian conservatives about the dangers of a Hillary presidency, specifically, with regard to our religious liberties. RW wrote: “I have a serious question for the Christians. Are you ready and willing to embark on an armed revolution? That's pretty much what this is going to take. Call a convention of the states to have the government dissolved, but they won't go willingly. You have to be prepared to kill or be killed. Or die as martyrs like your predecessors.”
We immediately removed that comment when it was brought to our attention, and we posted this in response: “Dr. Brown absolutely repudiates the call to take up arms against a Clinton presidency or to ‘kill or be killed.’ We will block anyone calling for that on this Facebook page.”
The truth is that, as one who has been a persistent and loud voice advocating for a gospel-based moral and cultural revolution, I have systematically and categorically renounced calls for violent uprisings, pointing to the Jesus call to put down our swords and take up our crosses, laying down our lives for others rather than taking their lives.
That being said, there are legitimate means to protest voter fraud, and there are legitimate reasons to be concerned that voter fraud has been taking place and continues to take place.
The sober-minded George Will noted that, “It is hard to think of an innocent reason why Democrats spend so much time, energy, and money, scarce resources, resisting attempts to purge the voter rolls, that is to remove people who are dead or have otherwise left the jurisdiction. It’s hard to think of an innocent reason why they fight so tremendously against voter I.D. laws. They say, well, that burdens the, exercise of a fundamental right. The Supreme Court said that travel is a fundamental right. No one thinks that showing an I.D. at the airport burdens that fundamental right.”
And, he continued, “We know — we don’t surmise. We know that the 2010, ’12, and ’14 elections were rigged by the most intrusive and potentially punitive institution of the federal government, the IRS. You can read all about it in Kim Strassel’s book ‘The Intimidation Game.’ She’s familiar to all Wall Street Journal readers and Fox viewers. So this is not a surmise. And I have talked to lawyers in a position to know, they say it’s still going on — that the IRS is still intolerably delaying the granting of tax exempt status to conservative advocacy groups to skew the persuasion of this campaign.”
So, what if it turns out that this election is totally rigged? What if James O’Keefe has provided video evidence of Democrat-run voter fraud? What if it is illegal activity that puts Hillary Clinton in office?
I certainly hope that this will not be the case and that, instead, the voice of the American people will be heard on November 8. And to repeat, there were better ways for Trump to express his reservations, since his remarks could incite his more extreme followers.
But once again, in his typical “wrecking ball” style, Donald Trump has drawn attention to a major concern shared by many Americans, and in the days ahead, we will find out just how many of us actually believe that the current electoral system is hopelessly rigged.
My prayer is that something constructive can come of the current brouhaha and that, if there are indeed illegal and corrupt activities and practices, they will be brought to the surface and exposed for the world to see.