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3 Sep, 2020 20:23

Washington Post outlines bizarrely detailed post-election apocalypse...unless Biden scores a landslide victory

Washington Post outlines bizarrely detailed post-election apocalypse...unless Biden scores a landslide victory

The Washington Post invited a group of anti-Trump pundits to predict the fallout from November’s election. Cue various visions of all-out violence which can only be avoided - they claim - if Joe Biden wins by a landslide.

“What’s the worst thing that could happen to our country during the presidential election?” a Washington Post article published on Thursday opened. Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks then proceeded to answer that question with the help of her colleagues at the Transition Integrity Project (TIP), a think tank put together last year to solve the hypothetical problem that President Donald Trump might reject a loss to Biden if voted out in November.

The scenarios they came up with were, unsurprisingly, grim. In one, right-wing “fake news” sites spread a rumor of Biden’s death on election night, yet the venerable Democrat ekes out a narrow win. In this case, Trump demands a recount, sends armed supporters into the streets to clash with pro-Biden demonstrators, and attempts to deploy the US military to crush his opposition. The president is eventually escorted out of office by the Secret Service, the narrative continues, but not until he pardons his family for some unknown crimes and burns “incriminating documents.”

According to every scenario outlined, Trump is the villain. Biden’s campaign calls for “peaceful protests,” while Trump encourages “provocateurs to incite violence.” Biden calls for a fair count of mail-in ballots, while Trump sends in the National Guard to “destroy thousands of ballots in Democratic-leaning ZIP codes, to applause on social media from Trump supporters.” 

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The only scenario that would ensure a “relatively orderly transition of power,” Brooks wrote, would be a “landslide for Joe Biden.”

To those wondering how the TIP could predict the actions of the Trump administration on election night and beyond, they simply asked anti-Trump pundit Bill Kristol and former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele to play as the president. Both are outspoken critics of Trump, and their actions in the simulated election mirrored the standard ‘Never Trump’ view of the president as a dangerous tyrant bent on undoing American society.

The article was met with disbelief by conservatives, many of whom saw it as an open threat of “catastrophic violence if the public doesn’t vote a certain way.”

Curiously, the TIP did not test a scenario in which Trump wins by a landslide. Nor did the organization consider the possibility of a narrow Trump victory and a refusal by Biden to concede – a possibility raised by Hillary Clinton, who urged Biden last month not to concede “under any circumstances,” and to launch a “massive legal operation” in the event of a narrow Trump win on election night. 

Regardless of the result, some top Democrats have called for continued “unrest in the streets” after November’s election. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, said earlier this summer that the riots sweeping America are “not gonna stop before election day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after election day. They’re not gonna let up and they should not.” 

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