‘Chaotic mess’: Analyst warns Trump has laid groundwork for anarchy if election is lost

Former President Donald Trump isn’t going to accept a loss in 2024 any more gracefully than he did in 2020, warned Heather Digby Parton in a Salon column Monday — although things won’t play out exactly the same as they did when he was the incumbent president.

Trump has already laid the groundwork for this with his public assertions that the election will be rigged, she said. And some state-level supporters of Trump have taken action to continue discrediting election losses, with the Maricopa County Republican Party even censuring the Arizona Supreme Court for not taking election challenge lawsuits more seriously.

But there’s even more planned, Parton wrote.

“It’s important to remember that he won’t be the incumbent president as he was in 2020 and will not have the same tools at his disposal,” wrote Parton.

That means he can’t order the DOJ to interfere, or order the vice president to discard electors. “He also won’t be able to draw up plans to seize voting machines or declare martial law and his bully pulpit will be limited to sore loser press conferences carried live on Fox News and Newsmax.”

What he can do, however, is whip up local GOP activists to cause chaos on the ground — which will be benefited by the fact that unlike last time, “Virtually the entire Republican establishment has bought into the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and is clearly ready to back Trump’s claims that it will have been stolen in 2024,” from volunteer poll monitors.

She warned the GOP outrage will go all the way up to senators like Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and J.D. Vance (R-OH). And the new Republican National Committee heads even created a litmus test for staffers, asking whether they believe the 2020 election was stolen.

All of this indicates, “Trump and the party are preparing to turn the election itself into a chaotic mess,” wrote Parton.

“Starting last December, Trump began employing a phrase used by his disgraced former National Security Adviser and QAnon adherent Michael Flynn: ‘Guard the vote.’ He told his supporters to ‘go into’ cities including Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta to ‘watch those votes when they come in.’ This tactic was tried in the 2022 election when armed citizens staked out lock boxes, intimidating voters as they attempted to drop off their ballots.

“We can expect more of that driven by outside groups and Trump’s exhortations at his rallies.”

“The sad reality is that the worst of all possible worlds is that Trump wins the election in November,” Parton concluded. “But Trump won’t go quietly into this good night if he loses and neither will his followers. Either way, the election itself is just the beginning.”

Doha Madani

Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NKY News.

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