What Does Refusing to Accept Election Results Look Like?


Let’s stop beating around the bush, shall we? Are we ready to start a violent revolution? Shall we drag government officials from their offices by the hair? Are we going to start killing people? If the answers to those questions are “no,” and they damn well should be, then we need to stow this nonsense about refusing to accept election results.


In the third and final presidential debate, Donald Trump said that he “will tell [us] at the time” whether he accepts the outcome on election night. Coming as it did after a week of rhetoric alleging a “rigged” presidential race, the comment prompted widespread indignation. What is Trump suggesting? What does refusing to accept election results look like?

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway attempted to spin the comment as a reference to the sort of challenge which occurred in 2000, when Al Gore retracted his concession to George W. Bush as the results in Florida came into question. But is that what Trump actually meant? Is that what his supporters heard?

At face value, an unqualified refusal to concede threatens a peaceful transfer of power. Without clarification of his intent, Trump’s comment suggests some form of violent revolution. PJ Media founder Roger L. Simon shared a provocative take on that.

Put briefly: If Donald Trump believes—as many of us do—that the FBI is corrupt, the Justice Department is corrupt, the other party is hiring violent paid thugs to disrupt his campaign rallies,  that no one knows who is really registered to vote, that the press is stratospherically biased, and that his opponent, backed up by all those corrupt entities, should have been indicted, why would a patriot, or for that matter someone who is even routinely honest, necessarily accept the results of the election of that opponent?

Ben Franklin wouldn’t.  Thomas Jefferson wouldn’t.  James Madison wouldn’t.  Sam Adams wouldn’t. Of course, those guys were revolutionaries.  These days we’re just, you know, “good citizens” who obey the rules and move on.  With that kind of behavior in the past, our country wouldn’t even be here…


Fair enough. So… what? We’re going to pick up our guns and start shooting? Because that’s what they did.

We have to finish the thought. We can’t walk right up to the edge of the unthinkable, and then just leave the notion hanging there. Are we proposing violent revolution? Yes or no?

Trump needs to clarify this, and he needs to do it now. It can’t come from Conway or some other surrogate. In the second debate, Trump publicly disowned a claim from his running mate. He did it again last night! We therefore know others, even those closest to him, don’t accurately represent what he truly believes. We need to hear it from him.

This is not trivial. It’s critical and urgent. We need to know if a major party candidate for the presidency of the United States is entertaining violent revolution. Having cause to wonder is unnerving.


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