Overturning or ignoring Trumps victory poses a very real risk of massive riots and civic unrest. Would the Powers That Be really be willing to go that far?
Shortly after the Brexit referendum I wrote this article, positing that the UK might undergo its own version of a “Color Revolution” in the wake of an unpredicatable and (from an establishment POV) unwelcome election result. The undermining and circumvention of the UK’s exit from the European Union is an ongoing process. Trump’s election may well add fuel to that fire.
However, no matter the seismic shake-up that Brexit delivered this side of the pond, the election of Donald Trump last month is bigger. A lot bigger. Brexit was one issue, Trump is – theoretically – a reversal of years of policy designed to shape the world a certain way. As such, the backlash is bigger and possibly a lot more dangerous to the concept of democracy.
It’s a little-known fact, outside the United States, that the Presidential Election is not, in fact, decided by the popular vote. Rather the popular vote is there to demonstrate the will of the people to the Electors who make up the Electoral College – the Electoral College Vote (on the 19th of December) will decide who will be President. In the previous 44 Presidential elections the EC vote has followed the result of the popular vote, but there are no rules saying that they MUST do so. This will discussed frequently and at increasingly high volume over the coming week. It has already been the subject of various articles, and several hashtags with aspirations of viral success.
First there was Jill Stein’s petition for recounts in key states – this has been shut down by courts, and never received much press attention in the first place. One suspects that the last thing Clinton’s campaign would want is a detailed look at the polling records (there was a lot of gossip about undead voters, and democrats bussing in unregistered voters).
A recount was never really an option.
Enter Russia. The alleged hacking and manipulation of the election by “Russian state actors” – for which there is currently ZERO available evidence – is being used to discredit the vote and bring pressure on the EC prior to their vote next week. The usual Russophobic war-hawks are, of course, up in arms. As are Clinton’s campaign team. The EC have already declared they want a full intelligence briefing before they vote.
The media hysteria on this issue is out of control. Not a single paper, from The Guardian, to the Washington Post, to the New York Times, has seen any evidence of hacking at all. Russia always denied it. Wikileaks always denied it. And yet we are subject to a series of “reveals” and “scoops” which simply stenographically report what the CIA is saying…as if some guy saying there is evidence is the same as evidence. Given the ridiculous, puerile nonsense about “fake news” recently…this could not be more ironic.
The question becomes: what will happen if the Electoral College decide to install Clinton in the White House? Or declare there needs to be a new election?
There has been a lot of theorising that Obama and his backers will take a third term rather than let either Trump or Clinton take office. Or that he may have to use his emergency powers to declare martial law. If the EC throws out this election result, he may be forced to do just that.