The legitimacy of an election depends on more than just the absence of shenanigans relating to the process and mechanics of casting your vote.
Machines or data that have been tampered with, allowing non-citizens to vote, threatening voters -- certainly whenever these happen, the outcome should be contested.
But even assuming that these kinds of malfeasance are minimal, there is still plenty of room for electoral manipulation by those who control access to information, and those who create the content of the mass media. An election is meaningless when the voters have been lied to. Democracy requires an informed citizenry.
Consider that a referendum on the Iraq War would probably have passed back in 2003, on account of the widespread lies about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, his willingness to use them against us, and his role in the 9/11 attack. All of these were pure fabrications, and any referendum by an electorate whose views stemmed from that disinformation would be invalid. Give them the correct information, and it would not have passed.
Presidential elections are always subject to rumors being spread, dirty tricks being played, and hyperbole being used on the campaign trail, by all sides. This is standard "politics as theater," meant to entertain the supporters of one side and rile up the supporters of the opposite side. It is not election-altering disinformation.
Something far beyond that has been unfolding this time, though, where the media have formally merged with one of the campaigns -- that of Crooked Hillary.
First they colluded with the Clinton campaign to sabotage her primary-stage obstacle, the Bernie Sanders movement. To take only one example, the WikiLeaks Podesta emails reveal that CNN provided the Clinton campaign with debate questions ahead of the event, through an intermediary (Donna Brazile) who was both a Clinton superdelegate and a CNN commentator.
I think Bernie still would have lost the primary, even if there had been no urban machine shenanigans and no media collusion, because populist progressivism does not appeal to blacks, who make up such a large chunk of the base of the party. But it would have been by a far narrower margin in the popular vote, at which point the superdelegates could be lobbied to side for either candidate on the basis of who is the most electable among Democrat voters.
Now in the general election phase, the media have dropped all pretense in trying to sabotage the next and more formidable opponent of the Clinton campaign, the Trump movement. No longer is there the cloak-and-dagger tactics of the primary. They are openly all colluding with one another in the media world -- and really only five mega-corporations control the entire media industry -- and with the Clinton campaign.
Every bogus hit job on Trump with no supporting evidence or corroborating testimony, every blind eye turned toward the damning revelations of WikiLeaks, every baseless charge that Putin is behind anything that benefits Trump over Clinton, and every pre-scripted "interview" with Clinton that gives her veto power before publication -- it all goes to show how dissolved the barriers are between the media and the Clinton campaign.
The smoking gun stuff is interesting -- seeing the same individuals play roles in both the media and the campaign, revealed by emails -- but the entire macro pattern speaks for itself.
And it is not merely the liberal media siding with the Democrat, and conservative media with the Republican. This election is not about liberal vs. conservative, but elitism vs. populism and globalism vs. nationalism. Naturally the multinational corporations that control the media side with the globalist elite candidate, leaving no media to balance for the America-first populist side.
However, it is not simply the media expressing agreement with, but actively merging themselves with the Clinton campaign, that cancels out any notion of fairness to this corrupted election.
By all signs, there will be victory for the Trump movement on November 8th. The historical-based data models show this (Norpoth, Lichtman), and the panel-based polls such as USC / LA Times are showing Trump with a solid lead in the final stage.
However, should the election be declared a win for Clinton, Trump will not concede the election if there are signs of unfairness. First would be clearing up all irregularities in the mechanics and process of voting -- busing the same person around to vote in multiple places, altering electronic data, and so on.
Even if correcting for various kinds of fraud still left Crooked Hillary with an apparent win, that would still leave the door open to litigation on the basis of the entire media having merged itself with the Clinton campaign so brazenly and so forcefully, thereby negating the assumption that the voters had unimpeded access to reliable information. Rather, they were hindered from finding out the basic truth, and fed bald-faced lies with no sources.
God willing, it won't come to that level of political crisis, and the disaffection with what the Democrat Establishment has done in office for the past eight years will provide more than enough votes to counteract all the certain irregularities that are about to be thrown at Trump voters. But if not, we have to buckle up and be ready to fight it out in court and in the streets with civil disobedience.
The media-Clinton(-Bush-Romney-Ryan) sabotage against the Trump campaign is not a fair trial but a witch hunt by the globalist elites against the forgotten American people, and we have no duty to respect the outcome of such a nakedly anti-democratic "election" season.