WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - A coalition of more than 50 leftist groups is organizing a radical response to a Trump victory in November.
The coalition, which includes participants from MoveOn, Color of Change and the American Federation of Teachers, calls itself the Fight Back Table (FBT). Participants met for a two-hour Zoom conference call last week to discuss scenarios that may result on Election Day and beyond. Included in the discussions was planning for large-scale civil disobedience, should President Trump contest the election results.
Rahna Epting, executive director of MoveOn, explained her reason for participating in the FBT call:
It is very obvious that Trump is laying the groundwork for claiming victory no matter what. Progressive groups, at the end of the day, believe in our democracy and, while it is not perfect, believe in building upon it and strengthening it. And we will fight to protect it from what we truly see as a president who has gone off the rails and taking this country down an authoritarian, fascist path.
They also pored over a report completed in August from the Transition Integrity Project (TIP), a bipartisan group formed in 2019 that analyzed various election-season scenarios.
Although the coalition discussed a training program for nonviolent civil disobedience, the TIP report indicated something different. "The potential for violent conflict is high," the report noted.
One unnamed source at the meeting recognized the potential for violence, but believed it would come from conservative Trump supporters:
I don't know what the strategy is when armed right-wing militia dudes show up in polling places. ... This [Kyle] Rittenhouse guy is being lionized on the Right right now. If it is being unleashed that you can shoot people and be a hero, I don't know what preparation we can possibly do for that.
Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown University and co-founder of TIP, expressed her regrets she and her fellow progressives hadn't meet earlier.
"I wish we were having these conversations six months ago," Brooks lamented. She has conducted war games to play out the range of post-election scenarios. Virtually every outcome, except one — a Biden landslide — has ended up resulting in nightmarish fallout. "My fear," she said, "is we are still behind the eight ball."
Progressives and socialists outside the FBT are also planning for possible confrontations should the results of the election be unclear.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has become increasingly outspoken on the need to prepare for the possibility of Trump refusing to leave office. One senior Democratic source said that the former presidential candidate recently had a discussion with Brooks about the role he and his robust supporter network could play if there is a need to mobilize.
In an interview with former communications director Jennifer Palmieri on Showtime's The Circus, Hillary Clinton advocated for Democrats not to concede the election "under any circumstances."
"We've got to have a massive legal operation. ... We have to have our own teams of people to counter the force of intimidation that the Republicans and Trump are going to put outside polling places. This is a big organizational challenge ..." Clinton contended.
Conservative Josh Bernstein, whose Josh Bernstein Show is now on Roku TV, claims the violent unrest, looting and protesting by the Left — almost completely ignored by the FBT coalition — was inevitable.
"Researchers say the United States of America experiences terrible turbulence, uprising, violence ... [and] social unrest about every 50 years," Bernstein claimed. Peter Turchin, a Russian-American scientist predicted the current upheaval by a mathematical formula, he explained.
While progressives are preparing for potential violent fallout from the political Right, as Bernstein indicates, the overwhelming instances of violence so far have come from the Left.