Pints and Politics: Commentators Mull Future of Parties After 2016

Oct 24, 2016

While the unprecedented nature of the 2016 election has given politicos plenty of fodder for conversation, it also could change the script for how our political system moves forward. With many members of the Republican party disavowing their presidential candidate, how the GOP will move forward after this election remains to be seen. An even larger question is how the United States's political process will move forward if Republican nominee Donald Trump follows through on threats to reject the results of the election.

At Pints and Politics, a night of political conversation co-sponsored by Iowa Public Radio and the Gazette, one audience member asked whether Trump would start a revolution. The panelists, columnists Lynda Waddington and Todd Dorman, and reporter James Lynch, all of the Gazette, were skeptical.

"I think he'll start a TV network," said Waddington, to audience laughter.

Lynch says the more important reaction to focus on is that of his supporters.

"I think he's going to make a lot of noise for awhile, but I don't see him sticking with it. The problem is that if voters believe him that this election was rigged, and they don't accept--you know, it doesn't really matter if Donald accepts the results or not, because the results are going to be the results. But, his supporters, if they don't accept the results, that's where the long-term damage can come in."

Dorman says Trump's claims of a rigged election are tied to his sense of self-preservation.

"Some of that brand going forward will be this sort of grievance that somehow he was robbed. [...] What he's doing is sort of sustaining this idea that it's not something wrong with him that caused him to lose this election, it's something wrong with the system, and so that he continues to be a marketable brand."

"So this is the first step in a GoFundMe campaign," Lynch drily replied.

In this special edition of River to River, hosts Ben Kieffer and Jennifer Hemmingsen, Opinion Page Editor at The Gazette, moderate a discussion about the final presidential debate, the future of the political system, and the impact of local races.