In recent days, his campaign has welcomed the idea of disenfranchising all of the voters of Nevada, pushed to have Michigan’s 16 electoral votes awarded by its Republican legislature and alleged, without evidence, “massive fraud” all over the country in a court case in Pennsylvania ― all as Trump posts one lie after another on social media.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an expert on authoritarianism at New York University, said Trump’s claim to have won an election he lost by 74 Electoral College votes and 6 million votes overall is a clear danger sign.
“The red line is the election,” said Ben-Ghiat, whose new book, “Strongmen,” puts Trump in the context of a century of fascist leaders. “If you don’t recognize an election, you have gone into the territory of a non-democracy. It’s pretty easy.”
While most Americans do appear to take Trump’s assertions with several, if not more, grains of salt, some of his hard-core supporters do not and have taken to harassing and threatening election officials in battleground states.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, released a statement reporting threats to her family and her office, and called on Trump and others in Republican leadership to take responsibility.