Trump may very well provoke supporters to street violence

TEHRAN, Oct. 26 (MNA) – A US academic believes the US President Donald Trump may bring his supporters to the streets to influence the election outcome.

"Trump very well may succeed in bringing his supporters to the streets to engage in protest and potentially violence, but this will only be effective if the electoral college count is close, such as in 2000,"  David Yaghoubian, a professor of history at California State University San Bernardino, told Mehr News Agency in an exclusive interview on Monday.

“The Trump regime will use any legal means and especially gray areas within the Constitution to ultimately emerge victorious,” he also highlighted. 

Here is the full text of the interview about the US upcoming election:

Some American experts believe that the final winner of the 2020 election may be determined some two or three months after Election Day because it will take more time to count the mail-in ballots. This has raised fears of domestic unrest as incumbent President Donald Trump has also hinted he is not a fan of a peaceful transfer of power. What is your take on the situation?

It is all going to come down to the electoral college totals. Should the vote tally on Nov. 3 produce only a slim victory for Joe Biden, it is likely that Donald Trump will try to use whatever legal means he has at his disposal to eventually emerge victorious. This includes potentially running out the clock via vote counts and recounts, utilizing the courts in an attempt to challenge or invalidate specific voting blocks, and employing whatever incendiary and decisive rhetoric he can conceive of to create an atmosphere of crisis and distrust and thereby rally his base and favorable media outlets to his defense. An electoral college tie of 269-269 will likely result in a Trump victory, since as per the constitution it is the House of Representatives that votes to make the final decision, and Republicans will likely retain a majority of state delegations. I do not believe Trump will seek to contest a Biden landslide, nor do I think Trump will attempt to call on the US military primarily due to the fact that there is virtually no chance that military elites will take sides in domestic politics.  Trump very well may succeed in bringing his supporters to the streets to engage in protest and potentially violence, but this will only be effective if the electoral college count is close, such as in 2000.

There also seems to be some controversial laws in the US Constitution, for example, the one which allows the Senate President (now Vice-President Mike Pence) to appoint new electors in states in special circumstances that may potentially change the election outcome. Do you think the scenario is plausible?

This is indeed a plausible scenario. Within the 12th Amendment to the US Constitution and subsequent Electoral Count Act provisions do exist for Senate President Mike Pence to produce the official count of certified electoral votes. In the case of a very close race, there is justified concern that Pence could use this authority to influence the vote outcome in favor of President Trump. The Trump regime will use any legal means and especially gray areas within the Constitution to ultimately emerge victorious.

How do you think the US military will respond to probable domestic unrest and also to probable Trump’s refusal to hand over the presidency? 

Keeping with American tradition, domestic unrest, especially if it involves property damage, will be put down with force, albeit with varying levels of violence depending on the region as we saw in the 2020 George Floyd/BLM protests against police brutality. With that said, there is no foreseeable circumstance in which the US military will become involved in this presidential contest, including Trump stubbornly refusing to leave the White House. In such a case it will be Capitol Police who deliver an eviction notice and facilitate its implementation, not a branch of the US military.

How much do you think is the influence of the ‘US foreign policy’ on the result of this election?

Trump’s belligerent and universally unsuccessful foreign policy track record could ultimately play a decisive role in pushing Joe Biden to victory

In my memory there has never been a US presidential election where foreign policy has played such a negligible role. While average American citizens remain generally uninterested and ignorant of both US foreign policy history as well as contemporary initiatives, this lack of awareness and concern are particularly pronounced in this election season due to both the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the circus-like atmospherics of the Trump administration and its penchant to incite domestic conflict and culture wars. With that said, the single foreign policy issue that has been continually discussed and regarding which the two candidates have expressed opposing views is Iran-US relations and the JCPOA. This could end up being significant insofar as candidate Donald Trump’s anti-war campaign rhetoric arguably pushed him over the top in 2016 by bringing in votes from disgruntled Democrats, Libertarians, anti-imperialists, and peace activists. In the wake of the cowardly murder of General Qassem Soleimani and the subsequent Iranian military response, as well as the ongoing “maximum pressure” campaign and the medical and economic terrorism that it entails, Donald Trump has lost the mantle of anti-interventionist that he tried to cultivate as a candidate. In what is seemingly shaping up to be a very close contest,  Trump’s belligerent and universally unsuccessful foreign policy track record could ultimately play a decisive role in pushing Joe Biden to victory.

Interview by Mohammad Ali Haqshenas

News Code 165157

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