Settling any question about whether or not he would be “pivoting” towards a more presidential tone after his campaign shake-up, Trump told a room full of his fanatical supporters that the election would be rigged unless they stopped it.
Speaking in Akron, Ohio, Trump told the crowd of predominantly white fans that certain people would be trying to commit election fraud at the polls and it was up them to “get every one of your friends” and watch the polling stations in neighborhoods that Clinton and the Democrats might be “rigging” things. If there was any question as to where those neighborhoods might be, Trump and his surrogates had previously suggested that mostly black areas of Philadelphia were particularly suspect.
“You’ve gotta get every one of your friends. You’ve gotta get every one of your family. You’ve gotta get everybody to go out and watch and go out and vote. And when I say watch, you know what I’m talking about, right? You know what I’m talking about. I think you gotta go out and you gotta watch.”
Trump’s fans have made it crystal clear that they “know what he’s talking about.” Recently, the internet shook its head in disbelief after one of Trump’s supporters was spotted hauling a human-sized cage in the back of his pick-up truck.
Florida we gonna landslide TRUMP….wear'n red at polls… We gonna be watch'n fer shenanigans…& haul ya away.. pic.twitter.com/YbSJTZvRWp
— Harry Miller (@jackbgoode1) August 20, 2016
No doubt Harry Miller “knows what Trump’s talking about.”
According to the latest polls, Hillary Clinton is up 5 points in Ohio. Rather than trying to win by convincing people to vote for him, Trump has settled on trying to intimidate or block people from voting for her. His obsession in recent weeks has been on the idea that Democrats and the “media” are going to try to steal the election. It’s a theory that his followers are well-trained to accept, having been spoon-fed birtherism and Jade Helm kinds of conspiracies for years. In North Carolina, for instance, a staggering 69 percent of Trump supporters say they believe if the candidate loses it will be because the election was stolen.
“69% of Trump voters think that if Hillary Clinton wins the election it will be because it was rigged, to only 16% who think it would be because she got more vote than Trump. More specifically 40% of Trump voters think that ACORN (which hasn’t existed in years) will steal the election for Clinton. That shows the long staying power of GOP conspiracy theories.”
Other states have found similar results.
Trump is happy to exploit this paranoia for the short-term gain of not having to concede that he is getting badly beaten in the polls. However, it also means that an astonishing number of Republicans are now fully convinced that American democracy is fraudulent. What they do with that belief after the election is a deeply terrifying question.
Watch Trump’s call for Election Day below:
Featured image via YouTube