Hillary Clinton Wonders Whether Trump Will 'Leave Quietly' If He Loses His Re-Election Bid

Illustration for article titled Hillary Clinton Wonders Whether Trump Will Leave Quietly If He Loses His Re-Election Bid
Screenshot: The Daily Show

Like you, Hillary Clinton is a little worried that President Trump will pull a fast one if he loses re-election in November.

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The former First Lady, Secretary of State, senator, and presidential hopeful was a guest on The Daily Show Monday night, chatting with host Trevor Noah remotely from her very well-lit home about covid-19, her Hulu documentary series, and the 2020 election.

“A lot of the time I find myself wondering what you’re doing and where you are as a human being,” Noah began. “Because I know if I was you in your position, I would just spend most of my time tweeting ‘I told you so’ and I then I would walk around the streets just telling people, ‘it could have been me, it could have been me!’”

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Clinton laughed. “Well, before the lockdown I was doing all of that,” she said. “There’s probably video.”

The conversation quickly progressed to the presidential election and voter suppression. Noah asked about Trump’s distrust of vote-by-mail and how that could impact the general election. Clinton explained that the skepticism is a voter suppression tactic that is part and parcel with the Republican Party’s strategy for winning in November.

“[They’ll] try to prevent as many people who they think won’t vote for them from voting,” Clintons said. “Make the lines really long where young people vote, or African Americans vote, or Hispanics vote. [They’ll] try to make vote-by-mail as difficult as possible, claim it’s fraudulent when indeed it’s not.”

Noah asked if there’s a chance Trump will use miscellaneous stories of mail-in voting mishaps to delegitimize the election results if his Democratic contender, Joe Biden, is elected in November.

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“I think it’s a fair point to raise, as to whether or not—if he loses—he’s going to go quietly or not,” Clinton said. “And we have to be ready for that.”

The speculation about whether Trump will vacate the White House without issue has grown in recent weeks, as polls show Biden maintaining a lead in both national and battleground state polls. In June, Biden speculated that Trump would only vacate his position via military escort. Trump denied this, telling Fox News, “If I don’t win, I don’t win.” He added that he would simply “go on, do other things.” In other words, he’d continue to be a Twitter loudmouth with a cult-like following, but with a fraction of the stressors that the presidency entails. Still, his vow hasn’t halted the theorizing over what would happen if Trump loses the election and refuses to leave the White House in January 2021, and Trump’s ramblings about the evils of vote-by-mail—the safest way to vote during the covid-19 pandemic—don’t quiet down the unease towards Trump potentially defying the constitution.

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But Clinton said that, ultimately, handwringing over vote-by-mail is misguided. The real danger, she said, is an attempt to keep the vote down, like requiring identification.

That’s the real danger to the integrity of our election,” Clinton said. “That, combined with misinformation and disinformation and all of the online shenanigans that we saw in 2016.”

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Clinton said that if Trump is victorious, she’ll accept it, albeit unhappily. But she’s optimistic that won’t come to fruition.

“I think the more people who can actually get to the polls—whether by mail or in person—and get their votes counted, then we’re going to have the kind of election we should have,” Clinton said. “It’ll be a win in the popular vote and the electoral college.”

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.

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DISCUSSION

westerosironswanson
The Ron Swanson of Westeros

Still, his vow hasn’t halted the theorizing over what would happen if Trump loses the election and refuses to leave the White House in January 2021, and Trump’s ramblings about the evils of vote-by-mail—the safest way to vote during the covid-19 pandemic—don’t quiet down the unease towards Trump potentially defying the constitution.

If he attempts to defy the Constitution at ~40% approval rating, and he’s clobbered in the popular vote and electoral college as polls suggest will happen, then what will happen is pretty obvious:

That’s not what we need to be afraid of. What we need to be afraid of is Trumpism. It’s the high probability that Mitch McConnell will turn on a dime in early 2021, and insist that status quo ante was not that bad, and that the biggest problem facing America is the national debt, and we just need to get the economy rolling again, and by the way the Confederacy was an institution devoted to defending states rights, without articulating any particular right.

And this is a problem because it’s a lie that the elite class that defines what is and is not a “political” issue wants to believe. It wants Democrats and Republicans to be two equal sides of the same coin, equally guilty and culpable for any crimes or problems. The elite class wants the masses to believe this, because believing this makes the masses disempowered and dispirited.

This is fortunately less likely, because the Republicans are jumping the gun and turning to this argument now rather than as soon as Biden is in charge. But it’s a far bigger concern than the possibility that Donald Trump just won’t leave the White House. If he doesn’t leave, bricks and bats will solve that problem, pretty quickly, and the Secret Service will be only too happy to wield them. It’s the problems that bricks and bats can’t immediately solve that are of concern to me.