The Philippines and Paul Manafort

I confess. As much as I am disgusted by Trump, I cannot stop watching or reading stories about him. He’s the proverbial train wreck; a scab worthy of obsessive picking. I know it’s not good for me. I’m left angry and wanting to lash out at his hypocrisy and illogical rhetoric. And yet, I find myself checking Twitter and Facebook even while I’m watching the news.

His latest verbal diarrhea seems to be brought about because of his falling poll numbers. He is losing this election. Losing bad. And though he knows it, he will never admit it. Instead he’s chosen to blame everyone and everything around him. If he does lose, it will not be because of anything he did or because of anything he is lacking. It will be because “the system is rigged.” It will be because the media is “dishonest and corrupt.” Because “Hillary is being protected by the media.” He’s even gone so far as to say that the polls are wrong. He’s sure that the size of crowds at his rallies are proof that he’s winning. Winning bigly I’m sure.

But the truth is that he is losing. He’s polling in the 30% range. Many in his own party have publically come out against him even if they are not voting for Hillary. Over fifty national security officials have said he’s not fit to hold office. One minute Trump is spewing such absurdities as Obama and Hillary are the founders of ISIS, the next he quips that he was being sarcastic. An excuse he uses frequently. Even his own surrogates can hardly keep up.

Once again he complained it was the media’s fault. But was it? The media merely reported his exact words. They even showed the videos of him repeating this bullshit over and over. How is the media being biased here? How is it that the media favors Hillary when they are constantly going over and over her emails with nothing to show for it? She has been more scrutinized than any other politician in history. Trust me, the media would run with a story that had the slightest nugget of impropriety in it if they thought they could get something on her.

The accusations of the election being rigged months before it happens is different though. By this, he is telling Americans that if he loses, the entire American election system is a fraud. This goes beyond trying to win the election. He is trying to destroy the whole system. In his mind, if he can’t win, not only will he take his toys and go home, but he will burn down the playground. None of this is surprising to me when I consider his personality. Trump is a narcissist. If he ever did win an election, he’d be the type to become a dictator. My way or the highway sort.

That’s when I started thinking that this is more than Trump just going off. This is a strategy. And that’s when I found out that this same exact strategy, same rhetoric verbatim is being used at this very moment in another election, the Philippines. The Philippines just elected Congresswoman Maria Robredo of the Liberal Party as vice president. Her opponent is none other than Ferdinand Marcos Jr., aka Bongbong. Yes, that Marcos.

During the election, Bongbong realized that his poll numbers were lower than Robredo’s. According to GMA News’ Elizabeth Marcelo, he claimed “his victory was in the bag if only there would be no cheating.” He also stated that “pre-election surveys were being manipulated to establish a ‘fake-trend’ as part of the administration’s plan of securing Robredo’s victory at all costs.” Once the ballots were counted and Robredo won by nearly 300,000 votes, Bongbong claimed he was ahead in the exit polls and therefore there had to be “irregularities” and “contradictions.” In other words, the system was rigged. Sound familiar?

How is it that Trump and Bongbong could be using the exact same strategy? That’s what I wanted to know. Turns out, the link is Paul Manafort. Manafort is Trump’s campaign advisor. He was also Ferdinand Marcos senior’s advisor back in the 80’s. In fact, when Marcos senior lost the election to Aquinos, they declared the election was…you guessed it, rigged. Now am I saying that he is now advising Marcos Jr.? I am not. Is it possible? Yes it is possible. His track record would suggest so. Especially when you consider that the strategy is exactly the same as is the language they are using now and have used in the past while under Manafort’s advisement.

What does all this mean to Americans? It means that Trump and Manafort would rather burn the country down than lose. It means that they are telling their supporters that the American election process is a fraud. There is no evidence of poll tampering, voter fraud, media bias or the system being rigged. Trump’s second Amendment remarks may have been a dog whistle for his supporters to consider doing actual harm to Hillary, but this is a whistle for them to tear down the entire system. At the very least, it deserves a thorough investigation.