If the legitimacy of the government derives from the consent of the majority, then at some point, we will have to address this disjuncture between the popular will and our elected bodies. We should start with nonpartisan redistricting reforms, and a fresh look at the Electoral College. But Mr. Trump’s comments make the adoption of democratic reforms that much harder.
Second, there’s a more insidious longer-term purpose here as well. Propaganda about illegal voting has been used — throughout history and in modern times — to justify unnecessary restrictions on voting. Unpopular incumbents like Mr. Trump can help their odds of re-election with measures that make it harder for people to vote.