The Hill reported that more than half the people taking a recent poll expect violence after Election Day. Another poll reports that 56% expect to see violence erupt at the polls themselves.
A good indicator of the credibility of these polls is the outbreak of partisan violence that’s already happened at political rallies and otherwise peaceful protests. Another indicator is the arrest this week of people plotting to kidnap Michigan's Governor, Gretchen Whitmer.
Trump's Twitter attacks against Governor Whitmer fanned the flames of discord -- a tactic that keeps his base coming back for more and mobilizes them to build a united front. His refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power gives him the rogue outlaw image his base loves -- that unwavering bunch of 40 million.
Since the police shooting of unarmed Jacob Blake point blank seven times in the back and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests, elements of that same base have raised over half a million dollars for the defense of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who was charged with murdering two of those protestors.
The Washington Post reported that, in the past 16 weeks, more than 50 drivers have plowed into peaceful protesters all around the country. Armed militants shut down Michigan’s legislature. Unidentified law enforcement officers heaved demonstrators into unmarked vans. Security forces in Washington used low-flying helicopters to harass citizens decrying police brutality.
Is this the world we want to live in?
Change.org has initiated a petition demanding Trump to peacefully transfer power if Biden wins. What good is signing such a petition? I'm asking the same question but I signed it nevertheless. Change.org appears to be using it as a means of generating donations, although donating is not a requirement.
Another organization is asking people to join with fellow citizens to raise awareness and influence others to create a broad base of support for nonviolence in their own families, workplaces, and communities.
The organization, Braver Angels, was founded after the 2016 election. It is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to political depolarization. In a new initiative, Braver Angels is inviting all Americans — on both sides of the aisle — to sign a public letter, that calls on us to reject violence in the event of an election crisis.
The letter begins,
“At a moment of danger in this era of divisiveness, We the American People come together to speak for the Union. Some of us will vote for President Trump and others for Vice President Biden. But in this season of intense and legitimate partisanship, we the undersigned commit ourselves also to a higher partisanship – for the maintenance of our Union; for the importance of our shared civic life; and for those feelings of goodwill that Lincoln called the better angels of our nature.”
They are asking that people go to www.braverangels.org to sign the letter. They are also conducting Zoom gatherings in November to help Americans process the election results.
The two organizations mentioned above may offer tepid responses to the violence reported by The Guardian, The Hill, The Washington Post, and countless other media outlets. The problem is that nobody is offering much of anything else.
As Trump says, we'll have to see what happens.
Publisher, LA Progressive