The worst-case scenario is that we wake up on November 9 with a president-elect supported by racists, homophobes and other disaffected whites who bought into his provably false myths.
The best-case scenario is that all those racists, homophobes and rubes wake up on November 9 pissed off and ready to fight.
Somebody wins and somebody loses every election. The losers predictably holler and complain. Sometimes they challenge the results in court. Sometimes they threaten to leave the country (though few actually do).
What we haven’t had before is a candidate who appeals so directly to the while masses angry at the rise of an America that no longer looks like them, and who seem immune to any facts which contradict their beliefs, inspired by a campaign that seems to take any and every opportunity to privilege a good-sounding lie over an uncongenial truth. The chair of the Trump campaign in Mahoning County, Ohio believes there was “no racism” during the 1960s and that “if you’re black and you haven’t been successful in the last 50 years, it’s your own fault… it’s not our fault, certainly.” The candidate for Vice-President of the United States believes New York City’s stop-and-frisk tactic “saved lives” and was on “sound constitutional footing.” (It didn’t, and it wasn’t.) Trump himself lies so frequently that the Internet can barely keep up with it.
But his supporters are not just credulous, they are heavily armed as well, and seem unlikely to be magnanimous in defeat. Trump has been increasingly waving the bloody shirt of a rigged election as an applause line at rallies. His supporters have been frequently quoted as saying they will form militias if their candidate does not win the election, while one of his top advisers predicts a “bloodbath” if Hillary wins.
And that’s the best case. The worst case, of course (which is looking less and less unlikely as we approach Election Day) is that he will win. But #neverTrump people should be under no illusions that this will all go away if Hillary manages to eke out more electoral votes than Donald.
I would love to believe that this all doesn’t get a lot worse before it gets better. I’m just not sure that I can.