President Trump seeks to suppress voter turnout and sabotage the election, skewing the results in his favor. These efforts – assisted by Republican appointees, governors, judges and secretaries of state – include slowing mail delivery, purging voter rolls, invalidating mail-in applications and ballots, shrinking the number of polling places in minority districts, denying ex-felons the right to vote, spreading misinformation and inviting Russian interference. If he leads on election night, he’ll declare himself the winner and try to nullify all ballots counted after the polls have closed.

If Trump ultimately loses by a wide margin, he’s already indicated that he may not leave office. He’ll falsely blame his loss on a combination of in-person voter fraud and fraudulent mail-in ballots.

Will a partisan Supreme Court throw the election to Trump? Will Trump obey an unfavorable Supreme Court decision?

Come January 21st, we may have two federal governments, one headed by Donald Trump and one headed by Joe Biden. Who will the National Guard, the Secret Service and the homeland security agencies support? Will they square off against each other or fight within their ranks?

Right-wing militias like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters will certainly back Trump. Right-wing terrorism will skyrocket, with casualties increasing well beyond the hundreds already killed and wounded since the Oklahoma City bombing.

There’s a chance we’ll see a decentralized civil war, like the one that consumed Lebanon for 15 years. Supporters of democracy and the rule of law need to prepare.

Mike Diamond

Rock Island