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OUR VIEW: Trump's new strategy: Questioning will of voters

Undermining legitimacy of election with claims of 'rigging'

Published: October 18, 2016 4:00 AM

As his chances of winning

the Presidency become increasingly unlikely, Donald Trump has turned his attention to damage control: If he loses, he says, it will be because the election was "rigged."

Never mind that there is no evidence -- except among the conspiracy-minded, who are willing to believe anything -- that the election will be anything but free and fair. Trump doesn't care; it's easier to blame "Lying Hillary," "corrupt media" and non-existent voter fraud for his impending loss than to accept responsibility for running an erratic, amateurish campaign.

Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who may feel like the first mate of the Titanic, has said that the GOP ticket wll abide by "the will of the American people" and will "absolutely accept" the results of the election. Trump contradicted him shortly afterward.

If Trump persists in his baseless claims and refuses to accept the outcome of the election, he will be pursuing an unprecedented course of action for a presidential candidate -- attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the vote, denying the expression of democracy by the electorate. That could set the stage for a chaotic, possibly violent response by some of his supporters.

Trump also has warned that the election could be "stolen" because of alleged fraud, singling out Philadelphia, a city with a large African-American population, and warning, "We have to make sure we're protected." Is voter intimidation part of his strategy, too?

Election Day is three weeks away -- three long weeks -- and Trump may pursue even more outlandish claims. The final presidential debate is set for Wednesday. He needs to be asked why he would refuse to accept the democratic will of the voters.


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