By Finian Cunningham
October 31, 2020 “Information Clearing House” – As America heads into a torrid presidential election next week there are widespread fears of violence breaking out. Some pundits are even concerned that the violence could turn into a civil war.
It’s a perfect storm. Partisan hostilities are at boiling point. President Donald Trump and his Republican supporters are oozing with contempt for Democrat rival Joe Biden and his so-called “liberal” followers. The latter likewise despise Trump and his “deplorable” base.
The distortions speak of frenzied misapprehensions. The “soul of the nation” is at stake, so they claim. The most absurd distortion is Trump telling his base that Biden is a “socialist” who will unleash a Marxist revolution. It really demonstrates how misinformed Americans are and how dangerous ignorance can be. If only Americans really did have a genuine socialist choice to vote for then the country might find a way out of its collapsing state.
Then there is incendiary issue of the election’s legitimacy. Trump has already undermined the credibility of the ballot, calling it “rigged” and the “most corrupt ever”. So if he loses, as polls suggest, millions of his supporters won’t accept Biden as the next president. Trump has already threatened he won’t consent to a peaceful transfer of power.
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And if Trump manages to pull off a surprise victory, there will be millions of Democrats who won’t accept his legitimacy, claiming that the incumbent suppressed mail-in votes and other high jinks.
Added to the sharp tensions is the anticipated confusion over final results. The tally of mail-in votes could take days to complete and each of the 50 states have different rules about when to close the counting. It is therefore possible that both candidates could simultaneously claim to be the winner citing different ways to compute the votes.Still more alarming are reports that gun sales in the US are off the charts, with 17 million firearms having been bought so far this year – a record. Analysts point to the ongoing anxieties from months of street protests against police brutality and shooting of black people. Those tensions again fall along partisan lines, with Republicans accusing Democrats of fomenting protests. The antagonism has already led to deadly shootings.
Another factor boosting gun sales is the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump supporters in particular believe the pandemic is a cover for federal government quashing civil liberties. This has prompted armed militia to prepare for insurrection. The discovery of a plot by 13 militia members to kidnap and execute a Democrat governor is typical of the sinister underground networks in the US which can be expected to react to a disputed election.
A civil war is thus not a far-fetched scenario. Or at least an eruption of massive gun violence among heavily armed factions or between these factions and law-enforcement agencies.
What is derisory, however, is the media effort to blame Russia for the chaos.
It is an article-of-faith among media networks and pundits that Russia is interfering in the US election, in the same way, it is claimed (again without evidence) that Russia allegedly meddled in the 2016 election. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed these claims as ridiculous.
Former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats this week in an interview with CBS News took the false narrative up a sinister notch by linking alleged Russian interference with the anticipated post-election violence.
“The nightmare scenario is that on election night, people will draw conclusions or days after will draw conclusions that their candidate has been denied a victory and that public riots will result and violence might result from that,” said Coats. And he added that Russia is fomenting this violence.
“They’re [Russia] going after us. They’re the New England Patriots of messing with elections,” commented Coats using a corny football metaphor.
So there you have it. American politics and society is a mess from its own inherent problems. Those problems are in danger of exploding into large-scale violence, if not a civil war-like conflict. Yet American media and supposed “intelligence” figures are striving to lay the blame for this dystopia on Russia.
That’s why the US is in such an irreversible mess. Because it is in denial about how bankrupt its supposed democracy has become. Instead of facing up to how Americans are living in an oppressive oligarchy that runs a puppet show every four years, the political class seeks distraction by scapegoating Russia and other “foreign enemies”.
America’s political class is delusional and in denial. That’s why they are facing terminal dysfunction. It is the antithesis of “democracy” because the politicians and media are never held to account by the people for the warmongering, poverty and inequality. That’s part of the perfect storm for violence in the US. Falsely, disingenuously blaming others for their own inherent disorder only makes for more disorder. It’s a downward spiral.
Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.