OPINION: Americans face real threat from election-related violence - The Week


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  6 months ago  •  29 comments

By:   Justin Graf (The Week)

OPINION: Americans face real threat from election-related violence - The Week
Small and large businesses are boarding up and people are told to stock up on food

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Stirred into fear by a president who continues to undermine the legitimacy of its election, America, the "gold standard" of democracy, is descending into a dystopian mood that has small and large businesses boarding up ahead of the election, as people do for upcoming hurricanes.

Anxiety over what happens if Trump tells his supporters that the election was a hoax has cities like Madison in Wisconsin preparing, as large cities do, for uncontrollable acts of god. Washington, San Francisco and New York, all reported boarded-up stores. USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times have reported on preparations for violence across the country.

Blocks and blocks of Washington are behind plywood, and people are being told to stock up on food, reported USA Today. The 2020 elections in America will be like no other. "This is not going to end well," resonates the voice of the president in a re-election rally. Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and has continued to undermine the legitimacy of the election. Rally after rally, he consistently refused to accept an election in which he is not the winner, and hinted at his supporters coming to defend him.

The great nation, that has, for more than two centuries, relied on science and technology to lead humanity in achievements like putting a man on the moon, has in its president a science-denier who has incited violence at his rallies and tweets.

A Biden campaign bus was ambushed along a Texas highway by dozens of Trump-flag flying pickup trucks that outnumbered protection, swarming and bumping into vehicles and attempting to run them off the road, which caused the campaign to cancel a planned event in Austin. Trump tweeted a video of the incident with a note, "I love Texas!" The message was clear.

"Violence is a very real possibility," says Barbara Cosner of Indiana. "It is real. Very real… They are hoarding ammo and weapons and talk of it freely in chatter pages," added the Biden supporter, and then said she was thinking about buying ammunition for her own guns. "I fear for the country," she said, afraid of the backlash if Biden wins. "There are militias in the rural areas just south of town."

On the west in Nevada, Lesah Rosario of Henderson says she feels anger and disappointment. "Anger that this crap is still happening and disappointment that more of my privileged friends aren't speaking out." She too says she went looking to buy some ammunition. "I am a Hispanic woman, mother to a black woman. I don't have the luxury of fear," said Rosario of her preparations in case violence breaks out.

While both sides people are incredibly passionate about the results of the election, white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys have been fundraising and promoting themselves in the wake of Trump's direct call for them to "stand-down and stand-by" during the first debate. The Boogaloo movement, which seeks a second civil war, has come to widespread visibility.

According to the polls, 90 per cent of Trump voters think that if Biden wins he will turn the country into a socialist state. That plays well with older people who remember the fears of the Cold War and those who escaped Cuba or Venezuela. But, that is not enough for Trump. "If Biden wins there will be no economy, no energy, no heat in the winter, no air-conditioning in the summer," he tells crowds that make no attempt to hide their anger.

The Fox News echo chamber repeats Trump statements and tweets and continues to repeat them until they sound familiar and eventually people assume them as truth. Democrats, on their part, think that Trump's behavior over the last four years has shown that he is likely to turn the country into a dictatorship. Groups on the left are preparing to protest if Trump declares a premature victory, recognising such a move as a coup, and aware that the outcome of coups is driven by a push from the public, a lot of people acting very quickly. Others are organising a nationwide effort called 'Protect the Results'.

Trump, on the other side, has recruited citizen poll-watchers, leaving the left worrying about a repeat of the events in Kenosha and Michigan. For his part, Donald Trump Jr has appeared on a video urging supporters "to join an 'army' and keep the 'radical left' from succeeding in their attempt to 'steal' the 2020 election", referring, without evidence, to millions of fraudulent votes. Indeed, people are really worried on both sides—On the right, the integrity of mail-in ballots; on the left, the attempts to exclude the mail-in vote from counting.

The Republican party continues to work hard on making it harder for people to vote, aware that a larger turnout benefits the Democrats. In Houston, Republicans are suing to throw out some 1,27,000 ballots because the county had made drive-through voting an extension of curbside voting during the pandemic. In the end, measures like that affect those working hard to pay the bills, feed the family, stay safe, and stay afloat. They do not have the privilege of the time to devote to political issues nor the disposable income to load up on guns and ammunition.

"Letter: Dems are terrorists who hate America," screamed a large headline in the Your View section of auburnpub.com, a letters to the editor-like section of the website for the Auburn Citizen newspaper in Auburn, New York. The letter, by Justin Graf of Auburn, goes on to say: "The Democratic Party are nothing but domestic terrorists…Please, I'd like somebody to prove me wrong. Please. However, before you even try, look up Operation Northwoods. If our own government wanted to attack our own people to have a reason to fight Cuba, what makes you think they won't or haven't done it again," in an apparent reference to the explosion of the American ship 'The Maine' in Havana in 1898, an act that sparked the Spanish-American War.

Amid intolerant messages and dehumanisation of the other side, regular people are feeling the rising tension and are worried about a violent response to a Trump loss which could be ignited by a simple tweet by the president to his 85 million Twitter followers. For some time now, people have been disliking and hating others just because they are from the other side, a trend that has led even long-time friends to disconnect their Facebook friendships, unfriending or blocking each other. On the macro level, however, the danger is of actual brawls that could well turn into bloody armed violence.

Neither side says they will start the violence, but both sides are willing to fight if the other side does. Despite the involvement of extremist groups on both sides and white supremacist groups and other hate groups, these events may be driven by people who start from a good place and then end up taking the situation in America to a bad place.

Affinity groups on the left are organising to take to the streets to prevent what they see as a developing attempt to steal the election. Right-wing militias in Michigan say they are afraid of protesters on the left and are preparing to protect their communities. Police departments and National Guard in various states say they are looking at how to keep people safe, and positioning equipment in case it is needed, according to multiple reports in American media.

Regardless of the outcome at the polls, except at Biden or Trump landslide, Americans can expect a tsunami of misinformation which could lead to outbreaks of violence. "I believe this is fear tactics to scare people into not voting," said Rosario. "There's only one party threatening to counter the will of the people with violence."

"As far as for myself, I'm not frightened in the least," she said. "The threat of civil war doesn't make sense. If they don't like who the people choose and they plan on overthrowing the will of the people, the military is on the people's side."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the author's own and do not purport to reflect those of THE WEEK


jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    6 months ago

Trump plans on declaring victory tomorrow night whether he has won or not. 

His cult loves it. 

Sparty On
Masters Principal
2  Sparty On    6 months ago

Life as usual in many big cities after what happened this summer.

In more rural areas?   Not so much ......... in fact,  not at all.

Masters Quiet
2.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Sparty On @2    6 months ago

Exactly. So glad I live in a small rural community that is two hours away from a big metropolitan area, which is Tuvson, AZ. People here are both Republican and Democrat that get along and mostly treat each other with respect  regarding political views. I guess we are far enough away that it is just not worth the radicals time to come down here. Not to mention that Tucson is the closest major media outlet so agitators don't get the publicity they want. I am certain we will have no political unrest here.

Sparty On
Masters Principal
2.2.1  Sparty On  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.2    6 months ago

Same here.  

Most of the vitriol is in bigger cities although it's starting to spill over into smaller areas with the COVID and working online allowing it to happen.

Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
3  Paula Bartholomew    6 months ago

Here, something is happening that I have never seen with any presidential race.  Business owners are boarding up their businesses due to the potential violence and looting if Trump loses.  This is Trump's America.  He loves Kim and Putin, but neither of them would put up with this shit in their countries.  Their LE and military would shoot first and ask questions later.

Sparty On
Masters Principal
3.1  Sparty On  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3    6 months ago
Business owners are boarding up their businesses due to the potential violence and looting if Trump loses.

See a lot of Trump supporters rioting and looting this summer did you?


Senior Participates
3.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Sparty On @3.1    6 months ago
See a lot of Trump supporters rioting and looting this summer did you?

Actually no, there were some at the local Clan meeting though, and quite a few are winding up coming down with that Democratic "HOAX' thingy, Trump calls Covid 19, times a day, but , it's probably still busy gettin call waiting, on a friend, Truymp will never find.

Sparty On
Masters Principal
3.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  igknorantzrulz @3.1.1    6 months ago
Actually no, there were some at the local Clan meeting though,

Attend a meeting did you?

Senior Participates
3.1.3  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Sparty On @3.1.2    6 months ago
ttend a meeting did you?

yea, usually three hard C's a week, oh K...?

Sparty On
Masters Principal
3.1.4  Sparty On  replied to  igknorantzrulz @3.1.3    6 months ago

atta boy

Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3.1.5  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Sparty On @3.1    6 months ago

I would be more interested in seeing a list of the places this is happening ,  businesses boarding up that is . 

there are not any around me doing so.

Professor Principal
3.1.6  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.1.5    6 months ago

CNN just had a rather long segment about businesses being boarded up in various places around the country. New protective fence put up at the White House too. 

Sean Treacy
Professor Participates
3.1.8  Sean Treacy  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.1.5    6 months ago
a list of the places this is happenin

Wherever there is a high density of Democrats. 

Sparty On
Masters Principal
3.1.9  Sparty On  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.8    6 months ago

Yep, that is just the fact of the matter.  

A fact Dems try very hard to hide and/or rationalize away with talk of the dangers of white supremacy movements and such.   They can't look inward unless it benefits them in some way.

Dems in big cities ..... rioting, damaging property, looting ,etc ...... the crazy uncle in their family they don't want to talk about or deal with

Senior Quiet
3.2  Ronin2  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3    6 months ago

What took them so long? Antifa and BLM have been rioting, looting, committing assault and arson for how many consecutive months now? 

But Trruuummmmpppppp!!!!

Funny, I only hear left wing pundits espousing the if Trump loses BS. Yet they ignore the direct threats from far left Brown shirts to burn everything down if Trump wins. Which side currently has a worse track record of violence and carrying through on threats? That would be the leftist Brown Shirts, if you are still trying to figure it out.

Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3.2.1  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Ronin2 @3.2    6 months ago

i read an opinion piece about that a few days ago on my news feed and have been giving it some thought myself , about what happens IF biden loses.

the drist pretty much was that the far left having compromised the last 2 elections ( hillary and biden) on candidate, if a loss should come about are getting ready to take a no compromise stance or in the words of the author , "are sharpening their knives  to separate themselves from the establishment dem leadership and set out on their own after their own version of the night of the long knives within the party."

now the odds of that after 2 failed runs.....who knows but would definitely warrant watching if it happens . my reasoning is those moderate dems and some that consider themselves somewhat conservative for their party , might just find out they are no longer welcome unless they change their views and values. thus finding themselves without a party otherwise.

The Magic 8 Ball
Masters Guide
3.2.2  The Magic 8 Ball  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.2.1    6 months ago

for years I have been saying the democrat party was heading for a split. they have gone way too far left for this country.

today's left has a severe communist bent and will only double down in the future. driving the few remaining moderates out  ( like all communists do )

regardless of this election, I believe that split is inevitable.

I wonder which side will inherit the "green party" or will another party be started?

should be fun to watch,  i'm patient :)

the green party is a perfect fit for the new green deal.... LOL

Sophomore Participates
3.3  MonsterMash  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @3    6 months ago
Here, something is happening that I have never seen with any presidential race.  Business owners are boarding up their businesses due to the potential violence and looting if Trump loses.

Business owners are boarding up their businesses due to the potential violence and looting if BIDEN loses

Business owners in Democrat-controlled cities are boarding up in preparation for an onslaught of mostly peaceful demonstrations should Trump win the election Tuesday.

The real concern is that the party of love and tolerance loses the election.

“We just want to make sure our businesses will be safe from the sudden outpouring of peace, love, and tolerance,” said one frightened business owner in Los Angeles as he frantically boarded up his hookah lounge. “You know, too much peace can sometimes intensify and end up destroying millions of dollars of property. You know, from all the peace.”

“Can’t be too careful when there’s roaming bands of people spreading peace.”

Many business owners are even arming themselves with firearms to protect themselves from all the peace.


Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
4  Mark in Wyoming     6 months ago

i think a lot of declaring any victory is going to be contingent on what the media talking heads report during the day , frankly unless a state says they have at least 90% of the count , or counties reporting , declaring anything , win or loss is a fools errand 

Masters Participates
5  Jasper2529    6 months ago
A Biden campaign bus was ambushed along a Texas highway by dozens of Trump-flag flying pickup trucks that outnumbered protection, swarming and bumping into vehicles and attempting to run them off the road, which caused the campaign to cancel a planned event in Austin.

Since the investigation is ongoing, readers might be interested in this:

The police department also said it has researched the crash and watched online video. It said the “at-fault vehicle” may be the Biden-Harris staffer’s car, while the “victim” appears to be one of the Trump vehicles.

“The at-fault vehicle may be the white SUV and the victim appears to be the black truck,” a statement from SMPD reads.

“Calls to the driver of the white SUV have gone unanswered and SMPD has not been contacted by the driver of the black truck.  Since SMPD has not spoken to either driver at this time, additional investigation would be required to fully ascertain who was at fault.

Senior Quiet
5.1  Ronin2  replied to  Jasper2529 @5    6 months ago

Why wait for investigations; when it is so much easier to sling BS? The leftist media's new lower standard- shoot from the hip- and hide the truth later.

Masters Participates
5.1.1  Jasper2529  replied to  Ronin2 @5.1    6 months ago

One would think that after having egg on their faces so many times (Covington, Smollett,  Kavanaugh, RussiaRussiaRussia, etc) people would wait for facts and completed investigations.

MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
5.2  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Jasper2529 @5    6 months ago

thanks for the link!

Masters Participates
5.2.1  Jasper2529  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @5.2    6 months ago

You're welcome, MsAubrey!


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