A recent op-ed in The Atlantic from Shadi Hamid argued that the current spate of rioting across America is likely to worsen in the event that Trump wins the November election, boldly claiming that “law-and-order Republicans” have a vested interest in seeing Joe Biden win.
According to Hamid, Democrats may not be able to concede this coming election if Trump wins, forever undermining their faith in democracy and the American electoral system. Numerous factors would contribute to that belief, such as Russian interference, winning the popular vote while losing the Electoral College, and other things. In the event of this loss of faith, Hamid feared that unrest in the streets might increase.
“I find myself truly worried about only one scenario: that Trump will win reelection and Democrats and others on the left will be unwilling, even unable, to accept the result,” he writes. “A loss by Joe Biden under these circumstances is the worst case not because Trump will destroy America (he can’t), but because it is the outcome most likely to undermine faith in democracy, resulting in more of the social unrest and street battles that cities including Portland, Oregon, and Seattle have seen in recent months.”
In what can only be described as a veiled threat, Hamid then says Republicans have an “interest” in seeing Joe Biden pull out a victory this coming November.
“For this reason, strictly law-and-order Republicans who have responded in dismay to scenes of rioting and looting have an interest in Biden winning—even if they could never bring themselves to vote for him,” he writes.
Though Hamid doesn’t explicitly admit this, in many ways, the Democrats’ unwillingness to concede another election loss to Donald Trump may stem from the fact that the media has been pushing the narrative that Joe Biden has already won.
“A loss for Biden, after having been the clear favorite all summer, would provoke mass disillusion with electoral politics as a means of change—at a time when disillusion is already dangerously high,” he writes.”Because Biden’s poll numbers this year have mostly been higher than Clinton’s were in 2016, a Trump victory will be even harder for the left to absorb,” he continued later. “Until Democrats (and commentators like myself) started panicking recently, overconfidence had set in. The polls offered good reason to think that a Trump victory was drifting out of reach—and they still show the former vice president with a significant, if diminished, advantage. No matter how the polls shift, a Trump win means a squandered lead and shattered expectations.”
Though Trump’s brash demeanor has certainly contributed to this unrest, Hamid argues that another loss in the Electoral College while winning the popular vote will be too much for the Democrats to handle, since it would be the third time within 20 years that such has happened. Beyond that, argues Hamid, “liberals have convinced themselves that Republicans are, in one way or another, cheating.”
Republicans, conversely, will not have the same reaction if they were to lose, argues Hamid. Though a Biden victory would certainly spark anger among the GOP, they would at least have the benefit of being better prepared for it. Those mentally unprepared for such a loss, as in Democrats, may fall subject to “revolutionary sentiment.”
“For anyone who had been following the polls, a Biden victory will prompt little surprise. It is easier to accept the things you had already come to expect,” he writes. “Accepting the things that never should have happened is far more difficult. A certain kind of cognitive dissonance—the gap between what is and what should be—can fuel revolutionary sentiment, and not just in a fluffy, radical-chic kind of way. In such situations, acting outside the political process, including through nonpeaceful means, becomes more attractive, not necessarily out of hope but out of despair.”