“I think it’s a civil war,” Zach Scherer told me.
we sit on his back trump cardWhen he made his prediction earlier this week, the brand’s pickup truck.
“I think if we lose, that’s the only thing that will bring America back together after this election.”
civil war? When I moved to the US a year ago, I remember people raising this fear. I remember thinking they were crazy. How could anyone believe that “the greatest democracy in the world”, as it is sometimes affectionately described, is headed for civil war?
Over the years, I have reported many failed or failed states. It seems absurd to suggest that the United States of America might be one of them.
Well, a year later, my perspective has changed, and I’m deeply concerned about that.
Armies and fronts are not formed in the traditional sense. But don’t get me wrong, there are troops and there are fronts. The fault lines are surprisingly deep. It would be a mistake to think that the United States can go its own way in a muddled way at this turning point in its history.
Recent opinion polls show that more and more Americans think political violence is acceptable.Just last week, the third senior U.S. politician, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attacked in their home. Police say she was the target.
The attack came on the same day that authorities warned of a sharp increase in threats of violence against politicians across the country.
The country is deeply divided, and there’s a reason for the uproar — about a third of voting-age people in the country believe the 2020 election has been stolen. They believe Donald Trump won.
Doubts about the structure of American society
If you’ve been thinking for the past two years that this is a fringe view peddled by the former president; a hoax that can now be dismissed as background noise, think again.
Doubt has been sown into the fabric of American society. People are being deceived. They are refuting the institutions on which American democracy is built. They were told not to trust their electoral process.
Back in the pickup, Mr. Scheler’s friend Cory Chuck was pissed. The two young Trump protégés are convinced the election was stolen by Joe Biden and the “awakened radical left.”
“Everything. Everything is at risk. America is at risk. If we lose it, our country will go to hell…” Mr Check said.
Loyalists still believe Trump won
Horrified by their grim predictions, I sought out another generation of Republicans, hoping for a more measured and nuanced view.
Local activist Cindy Hildebrand invited me to meet six friends and activists at the local Republican headquarters.
My first question – how many people think Trump is the legitimate winner in 2020? Their hands were raised.
“Definitely won,” said retired U.S. Marine Paul Garcia.
He was interrupted by another person on the panel, Cheryl Guenther: “…this is not just an election day prank. It is everything that led to that. Suppressing the news, suppressing everything that happens, bringing Here comes the media. The media is just the Democratic arm that helps suppress all this information.”
To be clear, there is simply no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election. Audits, recounts and court cases in states across the country have concluded that nothing happened that would change the outcome of the election. Mr Biden won by a big margin.
Even Trump’s closest aides and his own family say he lost. However, he persevered and his loyalists believed in him.
Conspiracy theories spread faster than facts
Our conversation turned to political issues. They have perfectly legitimate conservative views on abortion, crime, drugs, guns, the economy. Broadly speaking — abortion is wrong, crime and drugs are out of control, gun control is unconstitutional, and a struggling economy is Biden’s fault.
But that’s the problem. They believe they have failed to succeed on these political issues not because the majority disagrees with them, but because the minority stole the last election from them.
American society is isolated in an echo chamber. They consume extremely partisan cable news, they believe social media bullshit, and they ignore factual reports. Conspiracy theories spread faster than facts.
Threat to democracy ‘low profile’
Not far away, at a rally for the local Democratic candidates, I spoke with a young Democratic voter who was about the same age as Mr. Scherer and Mr. Check, but had very different views.
I ask if this idea of a threat to democracy is overblown.
“I think it’s probably underestimated. I think there’s a real threat to democracy in this country, and it really freaks me out,” Ryan told me.
“I don’t want to end up like what we’ve seen in Europe in the past. If we don’t learn from history, we’re doomed to repeat it, and we need to hold on to our democracy to keep going, or we’ll just be shaken. I’m worried.”
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If the U.S. goes to the polls for this medium term Bearing the direction of the country, anger and division cannot be overemphasized.
Looking back on all the conversations I’ve had, it’s shocking and confusing.
So many things happened; so many problems, the other side absolutely distrusted. There was anger and betrayal, but I also felt fear. There’s a real sense that Americans on all sides don’t know what’s going to happen next or how they’re going to react.