Donald Trump is a threat to American democracy.

Democracies work because we all agree to let them work.

We debate. We argue. We persuade. We protest. We vote.

And then we abide by the result of that vote.

We do not necessarily like the results of that vote, but we accept them.

We do not suggest in advance that if our side loses the system is rigged.

We do not threaten to jail our political rivals.

We do not suggest, or even casually “joke,” about assassinating our political opponents.

These are not just the basic elements of civility; They are the foundations of a working Democracy.

If we do not accept these basic rules, we will not have a democracy for long.

If we do not accept these basic rules, we have allowed ourselves to indulge in the practices of dictators and strongmen.

Elections are revolutions by democratic means.  Every 4 years we can come together and overthrow or affirm our government  (every 2 if we are serious about real change). We do this without violence or bloodshed. We do it with the rule of law.

When Donald Trump suggests that he will not accept the result of the election if he loses and says he will jail Hillary Clinton if he wins, he proves himself to be a threat to Democracy and the rule of law.

Donald Trump’s threats against democracy are, like so many other aspects of his candidacy, simply the logical extension of current Republican doctrine.  Starting with their vow to make Obama a one term president, Republicans have denied Obama’s legitimacy as president even refusing to hold hearings on Judge Garland. Voter suppression tactics of Republican lawmakers around the country are also part of this assault on Democracy. Republican tactics have been tearing at the fabric of democracy, Donald Trump seeks to shred that fabric once and for all.

We must, as a society, agree to abide by the results of elections- elections wherein all citizens have easy access to the ballot.

If we cannot agree to this, then Donald Trump’s dystopian view of our country will become a reality. We will replace bullets with ballots and the American Democratic experiment will come to an end.