When fans throw post-elec­tion dung, how will Trump re­spond?

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OPINION - Gene Lyons Arkansas Times Gene Lyons

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 eu­gene­lyons2@ya­hoo.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.