Yesterday, Trump tweeted that “the election is absolutely being rigged” on Hillary Clinton’s behalf, not just by the news media, but also “at many polling places.” Trump had called on his supporters to monitor the polls in “certain areas” (wink, wink) where “bad things happen.”
The New York Times reports today that elections officials in both parties are rushing to reassure voters that the election won’t be “rigged,” and some fear violence. Anecdotal reporting and polling suggest many Trump voters believe his claims.
If Trump loses, he’ll likely continue to tell millions of supporters that the election was stolen from them, perhaps to maintain or monetize his following. Imagine Trump as a conspiracy merchant in the mold of Glenn Beck, who famously sketched out hallucinatory conspiratorial charts only he could understand.
In that spirit, I have created this chart, to help you keep track of the evolving global conspiracy to stop Trump. Details about each group of conspirators are below:
Here’s a larger version of this chart. Here’s an explanation for each numbered group of conspirators:
(1) Half dozen female accusers and (2) The news media. At least half a dozen women have now come forward to allege unwanted sexual advances from Trump. He has angrily denied it all. Yesterday he upped the ante, explicitly charging that the media is coordinating with the Clinton campaign to broadcast these stories, even though they’re known to be false, to swing the election against him.
But the reporting indicates that many of the women told friends or relatives of these advances at the time or years ago, and these confidantes confirmed this to news outlets. That means either Trump’s female accusers told friends and relatives these false tales years in advance, in anticipation of a Trump run deep in the future, or that these confidantes are now falsely claiming to have been told of them, as part of the plot to stop him.
(3) Elections officials across the country. Trump has told largely white audiences that due to the possibility of a rigged election, they should monitor the voting in “certain areas” where “bad things happen,” adding: “you know what I’m talking about.” This sounds a lot like code for saying elections officials will permit voter fraud in nonwhite areas.
But in a tweet yesterday, Trump went even further, seeming to suggest that the news media is somehow complicit in this broad scheme, which is in keeping with previous suggestions that the media won’t report on efforts to defraud him.
(4) International bankers. Trump recently charged that Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty.” His spokesman confirmed that this was meant as a reference to something that actually happened: a Clinton speech to a bank revealed by Wikileaks.
Though the spokesman denied any anti-Semitic overtones to Trump’s remarks, the Anti-Defamation League found them impossible to ignore, and the broader tale Trump is telling here smacks of globalist conspiracy rhetoric.
(5) The FBI. Trump has repeatedly castigated the FBI for not recommending criminal charges against Clinton over her email arrangement. But he has gone further, citing this failure as evidence that the Department of Justice “rigged” the probe explicitly to help Clinton win the election.
(6) Debate organizers. Trump has charged that at the first debate his microphone was faulty, strongly insinuating that this was done deliberately, as if to hamper his performance. During the second debate, Trump repeatedly insinuated in conspiratorial tones that the moderators were going soft on Clinton in various ways.
Trump has since explicitly said that the Commission on Presidential Debates is rigging the contests against him on Clinton’s behalf.
(7) Immigration officials. Trump recently suggested that the Obama administration is deliberately allowing undocumented immigrants to “pour” over the southern border so they can vote in the presidential election. For good measure, he added that the media would not report this fact, once again suggesting the media is complicit in the broader conspiracy against him.
Just to repeat: These are the actual stated views of the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States.