Port: Will the American left accept the election results?

Violent reprisals have become a condoned tactic in left-wing politics. What makes us think these same elements won't react with violence if Trump should win re-election?

Protesters flee teargas
Protesters flee as police dispense tear gas to disperse crowds in downtown Fargo. Nichole Seitz / Special to The Forum

MINOT, N.D. — Will President Donald Trump accept the results of the November election if he loses?

A lot of people on the left don't think he will and, to the embarrassment of Republicans, specifically, and Americans, generally, Trump himself has fueled the fires of that criticism with some typically stupid comments. In July, during an interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace, the president refused to commit to accepting the results of the November election .

He's also hinted at trying to delay the election .

Trump's defenders accuse his critics of unfairly painting the president as an autocratic monster. It doesn't help their case that Trump seems to delight in, at least rhetorically, if not in action, becoming the thing his critics say he is.

But here's a question for those wondering if Trump and his supporters will accept the election: If the incumbent wins in November, will the left accept the results?


It's a fair question given the left's move toward condoning unlawful behavior, up to and including acts of violence and vandalism, in pursuit of supposedly progressive policy ends.

"Only riots, burning result in action," former Democratic lieutenant governor, and local columnist, Lloyd Omdahl wrote back in June during the Black Lives Matter protests.

In places like Portland and Seattle and Chicago, we've seen weeks of fires and violence perpetrated by left-wing protesters. Their apologists have tried to deflect criticism by blaming too-aggressive law enforcement, or right-wing agitators, but anyone with eyeballs can watch endless hours of video of ranting left-wing ideologues torching businesses and attacking cops who try to intervene.

I believe that we do have extensive and systemic problems with law enforcement aggression, and even racism, but I am unconvinced that burning down buildings, and hurting people, is a response that will produce the desired reforms.

Not that the left's resort to violence is all that new.

Back in 2016, left-wing activists decided the best way to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline was to travel to rural North Dakota to try and attack the construction crews building it, playing the victim for sympathetic national news journalists when the cops did what they must do and responded.

Violent reprisals have become a condoned tactic in left-wing politics.

What makes us think these same elements won't react with violence if Trump should win re-election?


What will happen in Portland if Trump ekes out another Electoral College victory?

I make no excuses for our buffoon-in-chief, whose antics are a disgrace to the office he holds, but while he blows hot air about maybe, possibly not accepting the results of the November balloting, we have a years-long track record of widespread left-wing violence to suggest our liberal friends would do more than talk about it.

Politics in a mostly democratic society like ours are seldom serene. The oil for those troubled waters is, historically, a trusted process for electing leaders to represent us in settling political differences. Tough losses are easier to swallow if you can rest assured that the vote which produced them was a true reflection of the consent of the governed

Both sides of American politics are investing a lot of time and energy into undermining our trust in that process.

The price we pay for that, if this continues, could be heavier than many realize.

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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