For the next few weeks, anyway.
First of all, what are we going to see from Trump at the debate tomorrow? He is now farther behind in the polls than any winning candidate has ever been since the dawn of modern polling. That is only about 12 Presidential elections ago, so it may not be an ironclad guarantee that he will lose on November 8th, but it sure as hell isn't good news for Republicans.
He has two chances tomorrow night: either try to play it really cool and count on the press and the short memory of the American people to forget his disasters of the last couple of weeks, and let him try to climb back into the race; or go for the hail Mary pass and be as vicious and tell as many lies as he can in ninety minutes. I believe a rational person would go for the first choice, and at least go down with some shred of intact dignity, but that is not Donald Trump. We've seen Hillary get to him many times, with just a few well-placed sentences, and I think that is what she has on tap for him tomorrow. I see virtually no chance that he can resist the temptation, and in fact there is a good possibility that we may see a colossal explosion from him, the likes of which we have never encountered in an election before. And let's face it- at this point, the people that are going to tune into the debate tomorrow have no hope of seeing a real discussion of issues, and are (including myself) far more like people who watch car races solely to see the wrecks.
And after the debate? At this point, Trump needs a spectacular win tomorrow to even begin to erode Hillary's lead, and she has certainly demonstrated her ability to deny that to him. Then, I am afraid, Trump's undermining of what is left of our democratic process will begin in earnest, with the open incitement of violent rebellion. It will be a grand finale to the greatest electoral fireworks display in living memory. All we have to worry about then is whether he can actually lead any number of his followers to carry out his treasonous program. So, here is what I have to say about that.
As readers of my blog may have noticed, I have followed groups that have tried to incite violent right wing rebellion against this country fairly closely the last couple of decades. And in every case, here is what has happened: First, the use of the media, mainly Fox News and the right wing websites I monitor, to massively publicize events at which the rebellion is to start, milking every penny from the rubes they can, and then the event, which every single time is a colossal failure, lucky to attract one or two percent of the projected attendees, which humiliation is then utterly ignored by both the right wing and mainstream press, lest it undermine their claims about the huge number of people out there who are supposedly ready to actually fight the government, and then the process starts all over again.
One of these days, however, this incitement is bound to reach a sort of critical mass, at which point some number of the militia loons, sovereign citizens, Aryan supremacists, Confederate diehards, Evangelicals, etc. will actually start pulling triggers, as perhaps almost happened at the Bundy ranch standoff. I will categorically state that, based on my long observation of such things, the threat to the nation as a whole will be absolutely zero, but the ugliness could be immense, and a number of innocent people may be destroyed in the process. Sad to say, rather than taking the chance to crush this sort of thing out of existence for good, by imprisoning all of the leaders and active participants for treason, the government is far more likely to take a conciliatory position, letting the vast majority of these terrorists off, and guaranteeing that the whole process will immediately start again.
And with there being no likelihood that the Republican party will learn a thing from what it has wrought, things will only get worse and worse as time goes on. At some point, domestic fascists and racists have to be treated the same way we have treated those from other countries that have attacked us, or we are all going to wake up one day in a dictatorship.