... 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. Some ... believe the nation may be headed for violent conflict.There's a lot of talk about violence, but everyone who raises the possibility seems to expect someone else to do the revolting:
Jared Halbrook, 25, of Green Bay, Wis., said that if Mr. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton, which he worried would happen through a stolen election, it could lead to “another Revolutionary War.”And:
“People are going to march on the capitols,” said Mr. Halbrook, who works at a call center. “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 Mrs. Clinton “has to go by any means necessary, it will be done.”
“It’s not what I’m going to do, but I’m scared that the country is going to go into a riot,” said Roger Pillath, 75, a retired teacher from Coleman, Wis.And:
“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.”A couple of interviewees can imagine taking up arms eventually, sometime in the future:
Alan Weegens, 62, a retired truck driver in Colorado Springs, also wondered aloud how the country -- with so many citizens who own guns and, he said, “are willing to trample a grandma on Black Friday at midnight to save $5 on a toaster” -- would react if Mr. Trump lost.And:
“I am not going to take my weapon to go out into the streets to protest an election I did not win,” Mr. Weegens said, “but I think that if certain events came about, a person would need to protect themselves, depending on where they lived, when your neighborhood goes up in flames.”
Paul Swick, 42, who owns a moving business, ... considers himself a “Bible Christian” and “Thomas Jefferson liberal,” and said he hoped to beat Mrs. Clinton “at the ballot box.”On some level, I wonder if Swick knows that gun confiscation is never really going to happen, and so he's never going to have to make good on this threat.
But Mr. Swick, by his own estimation, also owns “north of 30 guns,” and he said Mrs. Clinton would have trouble if she tried to confiscate the nation’s constitutionally protected weapons. (Mrs. Clinton has said she supports the Second Amendment, but she favors certain restrictions, like tighter background checks for gun buyers.)
“If she comes after the guns, it’s going to be a rough, bumpy road,” Mr. Swick said. “I hope to God I never have to fire a round, but I won’t hesitate to. As a Christian, I want reformation. But sometimes reformation comes through bloodshed.”
What I'm getting at is that maybe there won't be violence after a Trump loss, or at least there won't be more than a handful of minor incidents. If these interviewees are representative, it may be that they're just not the type to lead the revolution.
That might make sense: Remember, they threw in their lot with a candidate they regard as an ominipotent strongman, so, however much they may regard themselves as self-sufficient self-defenders, they may just be folks who want an alpha male to solve their problems. We'll see.