Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seems to be preparing to be a sore loser, unsettling the prospects for any post-election peace.
Three months before Election Day, the 70-year-old New York businessman is reciting electoral grievances that range from the “rigged” presidential debate schedule to dire warnings of voter fraud. Trump’s preemptive declarations, in turn, could muddy the waters for Democrat Hillary Clinton, if she wins.
“I think he’s setting the stage to come up with an excuse for losing,” said Richard Hasen, aprofessor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. “And he’s de-legitimizing her. I think it’s dangerous to make these (rigged) claims.”
At the least, persistent challenges to the legitimacy of an election could distract the winner, embolden the loser, congest the airwaves and poison whatever presidential honeymoon period still exists in today’s hyper-partisan times. More dramatically, it could incite serious upheaval.