Examining Donald Trump’s claims about a rigged election, Charles Krauthammer said that he has spent too much time focusing on something highly implausible:
If he just said, “I will wait until election night before deciding if the election is a legitimate one,” that would be one thing. But leading up to this, for days he has been telling rallies, “This election is precooked, it’s rigged, it’s unfair and it’s about to be stolen from us.” Now, when you say that and you couple it with, “I won’t know what I will do, I will figure it out at the time,” then you have a threat to the tradition, which is unless there’s some extraordinary circumstance — like 2000 where the election hung on one state, and it was millions of votes and the difference was in the hundreds or even dozens, which has happened once in our history — unless you have that extraordinary circumstance, of course, we’ll accept the election.
You have had elections stolen here and there. Lyndon Johnson, when he went to the senate: that was a stolen election. There’s still question about the Nixon loss in 1960, stealing Texas and Chicago. Yes, but, the idea of a national election stolen, which would require an enormous conspiracy, which, of course, Trump is also invoking: a global conspiracy involving the banks, the Democrats, and who knows who else, to rig an American election. It’s not plausible. He has not presented any facts. He is shaking a fundamental principal of our democracy, which is the peaceful transition, which requires the open recognition of the legitimacy of an election by the loser. That is something that he obviously threatened.