With Donald Trump reportedly planning on declaring victory in a national address before all the votes have been counted on Election Day, Republican campaign strategist Rick Wilson had some simple advice for Democrats and election officials at the state level: ignore the president and count all the votes because Trump will lose.
In a blunt column for the Daily Beast, Wilson -- one of the principals in the anti-Trump Lincoln Project -- explained one of the lessons he learned while working in the trenches over multiple campaigns, "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever concede defeat until the last dog in the fight dies. Never."
As Wilson explained, "This is the moment of maximum stress for America, and nerves are frayed well beyond the breaking point. No one will sleep much in the next 48 hours," before adding, "Early, mail, and absentee votes have come in a torrent, blowing past all prior records. Election day in-person turnout is modeled to also be at levels unimaginable in prior years."
Writing he truly believes Trump doesn't have the votes to win -- based upon the massive influx of early voters standing for hours to cast their ballots -- Wilson said the states, with the support of the Democrats, should just keep their heads down and do their jobs no matter what the president says.
Posing the rhetorical question, "What happens if Trump, declares victory early?" Wilson said the response should be simple.
"Fox follows his lead at once. The Trump-right media’s propaganda organs kick into high gear, blasting the joyous news to the eager horde. On Facebook, pro-Trump amplifier system of a million bad ideas, the message will be shared by everyone’s crazy uncle, and the madhouse conspiracy machines of QAnon, Alex Jones, Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, et al. will begin their work of re-educating the Republican masses," he wrote, before adding, "If votes are still out when Trump declares himself the false winner, the answer is simple: 'F*ck you. Keep counting.'"
"It’s going to be a long day, a long night, and a long fight ahead. Trump must go, and in the years to follow, so must the pernicious doctrines of nationalist statism and authoritarianism that rest at Trumpism’s rotten core. That fight will stretch for years, as it is part of a global rescission of democratic values around the world," he wrote. "The day will stretch as you wait, but the wait will be worth more than you can imagine. For every moment you’re tempted to say it’s too much and head home, I hope you’ll be strengthened by the knowledge that Trump is on the verge of either a humiliating defeat or a victory that will destroy this nation."
"If your spirit flags in the last 48 hours of this march, I want you to remember a mantra that has given me comfort these many months: 'We will vote. He will lose. He will leave,'" he added before concluding, "Make it happen. The stakes are too high to do anything less."
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