When it became known on Saturday that the election for Joe Biden had been scheduled, hundreds of supporters of the defeated president gathered in the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg to protest.
It was a split-screen simulcast of the deepening political divide in America as Donald Trump’s defeat was celebrated in Philadelphia and cities across the country 130 miles east.
And just like Trump refused to accept the result, many of the roughly 75 million people who voted for him have claimed his loss was the result of election fraud – an unsubstantiated claim by the White House – and media manipulation.
“We have to make sure that every legal vote is found and that this election is fair,” Yorktown State representative Mike Jones told an cheering crowd. “If we allow this country to succumb to socialism, it will not be because the left has overwhelmed us, but because good men and women have done nothing.”
Many here reiterated the belief that the media and big tech were against Trump from the start, with Biden as a kind of ride-hailing option.
“The election was scheduled by the media. The government has not confirmed the votes, so anything can still happen, “said Harrisburg resident Mary Wallace, adding,” I don’t want Donald Trump to have four more years. “
Wallace’s words were in line with those of the president on Saturday morning when he said his opponent had “not been certified as a winner of any state, let alone one of the highly competitive states heading for mandatory recounts or states where our campaign is valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate winner. “
Contrary to suggestion that Trump’s base is a white monolith, the Pennsylvania protest drew a diverse crowd, many of whom identified themselves as Hispanic, Asian, and African American.
Many re-accused the media of misrepresenting her, saying the Democrats made political assumptions about her because of her race.
“I’m only an American,” said Alysia McMillan, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives in August. Her policies, she said, have often been misunderstood by her ethnicity, which she identified as black, white and Korean.
“White liberals always try to apologize to us, but they are only protecting their own privilege. Malcolm X warned us about this. The protests against Black Lives Matter are another scam. It’s full of whites who want blacks to fight their battles. The whites show up at BLM protests, burn down a building and then blame the blacks. “
Militia group members were scattered among the crowd, including the Angry Viking Patriots of America and the Pennsylvania Three Percenters. “I expect this to go to the Supreme Court,” said Dylan Stevens, who is nicknamed “Angry Viking”.
“This is not about conspiracy theories, but about common sense. I assume Trump is questioning this, and he should. “
Stevens, who has lost permission to use social media, including Facebook, hasn’t ruled out the potential for violent clashes in the coming weeks.
“Sure there are fanatics and extremists, but we are a well-regulated militia,” said Stevens. Addressing the crowd, he added, “Somehow the word patriot has become a four-letter word. Somehow the media painted us – you! – Like the bad guys. “
In Michigan, another swing state that freaked for Biden after Trump’s 2016 win, hundreds of Trump supporters gathered in the state capital to sing “four more years” and “we won,” even after major media outlets , including Fox News, had called The Choice.
On the steps of the Capitol Building, a local activist who was involved in several anti-lockdown protests this year shouted conspiracy theories about “globalists” through a megaphone and said Trump wanted veterans and retired police officers to volunteer and help that the election results do not come about certified.
“Tyranny is knocking on our door. It kicked our door down. It’s on our cusp and we have to push it back, ”said Kevin Skinner, 34, a founder of an anti-lockdown group Stand Up Michigan.
“The media named it for Biden today. Big scream people. We knew they would, ”Skinner said. “The media is the false prophet of Revelation 13. The media is part of the realm of darkness and we are revealing it!”
Many people in the crowd repeated stories of voting misconduct that had already been exposed by local news outlets and election officials, including a respected official
Wow -- highly respected Republican clerk in Michigan (sits on national election board) tees off on Ronna Romney McDaniel. https://t.co/tqAYWC9oHa— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) November 7, 2020
Some Trump supporters said they were just not sure who to actually trust to tell them the legitimate results of the election. “I don’t know,” said a 55-year-old man from Ionia with his wife and two sons. “That’s a good question.”
However, some pro-Trump protesters said they would accept election results from Republican officials.
“At some point, you have to trust your local party officials to say, yes, we are confident it’s fair,” said Tom Barker, 54, of Detroit.
The prevailing sentiment, if any, is that America, which Barack Obama once held as “holding on to guns or religion or antipathy towards people who are not like them … to explain their frustrations,” and Hillary Clinton called ” Deplorables “was only strengthened and supported by Trump.
“It’s not over yet,” said Josephine Kolomov, 24, of South Carolina in Harrisburg. “Trump has stood up for us for four years, and now I want to stand up for him. I’m sad [by the call] But I don’t think it’s over Trump doesn’t give up. “
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