The specter of violence, rioting and revolution by unhappy supporters if Donald Trump loses the presidential race was raised by The New York Times in a news story on Thursday.
The Times piece speculated on the gamut of reactions after a Trump defeat – from street violence to revoluton – and noted that his supporters are still packing his rallies but have shifted to a darker mood after his candidacy has seemingly lost steam.
"... beneath the cheering, a new emotion is taking hold among some Trump supporters as they grapple with reports predicting that he will lose the election: a dark fear about what will happen if their candidate is denied the White House," said NYT writers Ashley Parker and Nick Corasaniti. "Some worry that they will be forgotten, along with their concerns and frustrations. Others believe the nation may be headed for violent conflict."
The Times quoted Jared Halbrook, 25, as saying a Trump loss could lead to “another Revolutionary War.”
“People are going to march on the capitols,” he said. “They’re going to do whatever needs to be done to get her out of office, because she does not belong there.”
“If push comes to shove,” he added, and Clinton “has to go by any means necessary, it will be done.”
The Times said it interviewed more than 50 Trump supporters at campaign events in six states over the past week and found "a distinct change from the rollicking mood earlier this year, when Mr. Trump’s surprising primary successes and emergence as an unconventional Republican standard-bearer set off broad excitement. The crowds appeared on edge and quick to lash out."
The reporters said they found people offering "an apocalyptic vision of what life would be like" if Clinton wins.
“It’s not what I’m going to do, but I’m scared that the country is going to go into a riot,” Roger Pillath, 75, a retired teacher, told the Times. “I’ve never seen the country so divided, just black and white — there’s no compromise whatsoever. The Clinton campaign says together we are stronger, but there’s no together. The country has never been so divided. I’m looking at revolution right now.”
The Times said others expressed unease about what a Trump loss would bring.
“Unfortunately, I’m not a man of vigilante violence,” said Richard Sabonjohn, 48, of Naples, Fla. “I’m more of a peaceful person. But I do think there will be a large amount of people that are terribly upset and may take matters into their own hands.”
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