Considering Trump’s recent fabricated national emergency to get money for his Mexican border wall, it is not far-fetched to think that he will continue the drumbeat about supposed election fraud and declare another emergency to hold onto power. Assuming a close Electoral College win by the Democratic nominee, it would not be surprising if Trump aggressively disputes the results in a few states — and claims, as he did the last time, that non-citizens voted in high numbers, this time stealing the 2020 election from him.

Whipped-up crowds, Republican party loyalists and the right wing media would undoubtedly support his claim. With this as background, the election would be seen as “disputed,” “controversial” or “too close to call.” Trump would then insist upon remaining in office while these non-issues were resolved.

If this occurred, our political and legal system would be in real jeopardy. Trump and his acolytes’ refusal to respect our most sacred norm of peaceful succession could fundamentally transform the United States into yet another failed republic. Two hundred and thirty years of our constitutional democracy would be teetering on the edge of a cliff.