When fans throw post-election dung, how will Trump respond?
So now the big crybaby says he’s losing because his opponent is crooked and the referees are blind. It’s straight out of the WWE “Wrestlemania” playbook. As I’ve said before, it’s not for nothing that Donald J. Trump was inducted into the professional wrestling Hall of Fame.
It’s all there: the boasting, the strutting, the racialized taunts, and the simulated mayhem naive observers sometimes mistake for real. But it’s all make-believe, and deep down nearly all WWE fans know it. I expect most Trump supporters do, too. Having failed miserably in his televised debates with Hillary Clinton -- if he hadn’t been so outclassed, it’d be tempting to say he choked -- Trump now claims that the entire U.S. political system is corrupt.
“The election is being rigged by corrupt people pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president,” the GOP candidate whined. “We can’t let them get away with this, folks ... Remember this, it’s a rigged election ... It’s a rigged election ... It’s a rigged election.”
No, Donald, you’re just a big loser. Possibly one of the biggest losers in the history of American politics. “A third-rate con man who wilted under pressure and was finally incinerated in a fireball of his own stupidity” is how Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi puts it.
From a purely psychological perspective, it’ll be interesting to watch how Trump copes with his seemingly inevitable defeat. Beaten by a woman, no less, which to a man with the psychological makeup of an adolescent chimpanzee -- all chest-beating and ritualized threat displays -is doubly worse.
Among the great apes, it’s common for a humiliated combatant to defecate in his hand and fling it at his rival.
But I digress. The big question is how Trump’s impassioned supporters will respond to his dung-throwing. “Election officials brace for fallout from Trump’s claims of a ‘rigged’ vote,” the Washington Post warns. The Boston Globe cautions that, “Warnings of conspiracy stoke anger among Trump faithful.”
Globe reporters definitely found a few real humdingers among the crowd at a Trump rally in Cincinnati. There was Joe, a 39-year-old first-time voter who fears Sharia law but apparently dozed through 8thgrade civics. “This is my prediction,” Joe said. “Trump is going to win the popular vote by a landslide, and the Electoral College will elect Hillary, because of all the corruption.”
Then there was Steve, a 61-year-old carpenter planning to heed Trump’s call to monitor suspect precincts. “I’ll look for ... well, it’s called racial profiling. Mexicans. Syrians. People who can’t speak American,” he said. “I’m going to go right up behind them ... I want to see if they are accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.”
As I say, this is your basic prowrestling crowd. They’re mostly there for the spectacle -- blowing off steam.
So my predictions are as follows: Joe won’t vote this time either. Why bother if it’s fixed?
So this year’s mass hallucination is Donald J. Trump. Well, it says here that none of these dread outcomes are likely to happen. In Arkansas, where I live, Trump will probably win by 20 points. Obama Derangement Syndrome has turned the state deep red. So what happens after Hillary Clinton’s declared the winner come November 9?
Well, the Arkansas-LSU game is in Fayetteville three days later. Don’t bother us, we’re busy.
Sometimes I think the only thing in American life as predictable as Cow State paranoia is Blue State intellectuals taking it far too seriously.
Arkansas Times columnist Gene Lyons is a National Magazine Award winner and co-author of “The Hunting of the President” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). You can email Lyons at email@example.com.