Handicapping the Post-Election Unrest

AP Photo/Noah Berger

Reading Stephen Kruiser’s Friday column about the possibility of election night and post-election civil unrest inspires speculative analysis about various scenarios that may present after America votes on Tuesday. Of course, the voting hasn’t been and will continue not to be only on Tuesday, and that’s a big part of a potential problem.


Cutting right to the chase, there are three possible outcomes, the third being negatively open-ended as to consequences: Trump wins incontrovertibly or Biden wins incontrovertibly. By incontrovertibly we mean the results are so definitively in favor of one candidate that there will be no substantive disagreement as to who won.

Or, a third possible outcome, not as bad as an outright Biden win, but far less than optimum for Trump Nation: there is no clear winner on election night, or in the days and weeks after.

The question becomes, to what degree of severity will social unrest, violent demonstration, and rioting break out nationally in each of the three scenarios? That this question even has to be asked is a sad indication of the depths to which the Left in this country has sunken in terms of their abandonment of lip-service to the constitutional norms and the ideals of fair play that have historically characterized our political arena.

They stand accused of unmasked anarchist blackmail by threat of turmoil and destruction.

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When pundits write and speak on the issue of 2020 outcome unrest, they often add the disclaimer that there may be no unrest at all. It is prudent to say that, because yes, it’s possible that whatever happens, aside from incidences involving a few Marxist squeaky wheels or militant white supremacists, the citizenry across the spectrum will simply either quietly absorb their loss or lawfully celebrate victory and go home.


It is prudent to say, but it’s doubtful that in their heart of hearts many knowledgeable analysts really believe in a peaceful post-election landscape, not after what has transpired in Democrat-run cities during this tumultuous COVID summer.

Bets are there’s going to be trouble. Here’s the unrest factor breakdown:

While many conservative observers have correctly predicted that a Biden win will not squelch the burn-it-all-down rabidity of the anarchists, it is probably fair to theorize that the best possibility for post-election civic peace will come with a Biden win—at least at first. That’s chiefly because conservatives and Republicans are socially responsible in the manner in which they handle political loss. However, if it seems that the election is being blatantly stolen from President Trump, the Right’s reputation for being mature losers might go up in smoke.

From the Biden wins viewpoint, Trump’s defeat will seem to have been a temporary victory for the venomous hard-left agitators. They may stand down until the inauguration, in wait-and-see mode, to ascertain which direction the former VP’s policies will take.

But if there’s anything to be gleaned by the actions of the America-hating social justice climate change warriors, both this summer and over the sweep of history, it won’t be long until they turn on Old Joe. Just wait until Biden expediently keeps his promise not to ban fracking. In that eventuality, the anarchist left will take to the streets with a dangerous sense of betrayal. At that point, in their fevered minds, Biden will be almost as bad as the orange man.


A good case in point is the way that Dem anarchists roiled the 1968 Democratic National Convention; their violent riots against moderate Hubert Humphrey and the Democrat establishment helped tank the party closest to them ideologically and convinced a winning majority to vote for the Left’s arch-enemy, Richard Nixon.

1968: A Tale of Two Conventions

The Left is well known for eating those in the ranks who resist being reeducated. Like an aged cape buffalo surrounded by a lion pride on an African savannah, a moderately-inclined Biden will be on the menu.

The ugly wrinkle, of course, is Commie Kamala Harris. If Biden somehow wins, and the party honchos succeed in ushering him into the wings, the rabble of unwashed malcontents will become the beneficiaries of a catastrophic political coup. As violent and destructive as antifa and BLM are, if some unthinkable day Harris claims the Oval Office, leftist street agitation may morph into something inherently “demonstrative,” and mostly peaceful.  They will have “won.”

Moving to an incontrovertible Trump victory, it is hard to see how this outcome won’t lead to the worst possible scenario of unrest.  But, as many opinion writers have opined, it will also lead to the most clear-cut and decisive executive actions aimed at restoring order. When Trump wins, all will seem lost to the Democratic Socialists. The seething rage that played out in Russia-Gate, the impeachment, and in the treacherous lies about the president’s fine response to the COVID-19 pandemic will spill out onto the streets in impotent, inarticulate fury.


Mr. Trump, re-upped and freed from the need to run for anything ever again, will have a free hand in response to the violence. Some conservative voices say let the blue cities burn, but more responsible analysis suggests that a reelected Trump will use every weapon in his arsenal to rescue even the most anti-conservative precincts from the torch-and-loot mobs.

It’s the right thing to do.

In conclusion, we look at the outcome that has no accurately foreseeable conclusion. What if we don’t know on November 4th, December 4th, or January 4th? The truth about this outcome is that nobody really knows, but there are some guesstimates floating around. The defeated Hillary Clinton has counseled Biden not to concede under any circumstances. The former VP’s basement strategy will become an enervated “president-elect” basement strategy.

President Trump may declare victory while rogue ballots are still dropping like toxic rain. The riots of summer will reemerge with a vengeance when the Left’s accomplice media—dumbfounded and scared (expletive deleted) by four more years for Trump in the face of their 90%+ negative coverage– creates a drumbeat of doubt.

The 2000 Florida debacle will go nationwide, and if a Trump-appointed conservative Supreme Court inevitably rules in favor of Keeping America Great, all holy hell is likely to break loose.

Mark Ellis is the author of A Death on the Horizon, a finalist in the 14th annual National Indie Excellence Awards in the category of General Fiction. Follow Mark on Twitter.

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