The Sage Grouse, who spent some time as commentator for WyoFile some years ago, is back for occasional visits to our site, after taking a couple of years off to get recharged — Ed.
(OPINION) — Trump, part bully, part reality TV star, successfully exposed and exploited Jeb Bush’s understated manner, Marco Rubio’s inexperience and Ted Cruz’s sneering unloveable personality — hogging the media, hogging the oxygen, eclipsing Kasich and other forgettables — by trumpeting basic, insulting, simple messages. He stole the party from the Republicans. It’s not a fun party any more, although maybe enough Congressmen will put enough distance between the Donald and their campaigns to preserve the House Republican majority. Maybe. That’s proving a tightrope to walk.
But, the house of cards is falling now. In response, Trump first invents and then laboriously, boisterously repeats the preposterous claim that voter fraud will permeate every district, every precinct, thus insulting every county clerk and election official in the country. In the final debate he boasts he’ll keep the country “in suspense” about whether he’ll accept the results of the election.
Okay: Why would a megalomaniac but arguably successful businessman and TV personality, egotistical but not actually stupid, perpetuate, against all other speakers on this topic, this voter fraud theme, itself a fraud?
- It will galvanize his base, driving a stronger turnout.
- It will stimulate some of his base to engage in aggressive poll-watching, which may intimidate other voters at the polls, maybe leading to violence.
- It will cause some of Clinton’s older voters, or voters of color, to simply stay home to avoid confrontation and controversy.
- Most importantly, it may stimulate undecided voters, wondering about Crooked Hillary suggestions, uncertain and unsettled but who might never admit it, to pull the lever for Trump in the booth. “No one is going to steal my vote.”
As a last-ditch strategy, it might work. If it does not work, he will have wreaked lasting damage on the most successful democracy in the world, all in the name of tawdry celebrity. And he can hire Billy Bush to host his new reality TV network.