US election-2024 – premonition of Civil War?

10:33 20.08.2023 •

November 5, 2024, is the scheduled date for the next presidential election. Of course, it’s too early to predict who will win, but it can be useful to speculate, proposes at Counter Punch David Rosen, an author of many scholarly articles, book reviews and popular pieces on media-tech, telecom, politics, sex and American life.

Given where things stand today and no disruptive developments occur, Joe Biden will run for reelection on the Democratic Party ticket and Donald Trump will attempt to seek a second term asthe Republican candidate. One likely outcome is that Biden wins the election with a large margin and Trump suffers a very disappointing defeat.

Like in 2021, individual state election outcomes are awarded to “electors” whose votes are aggregated by the Electoral College and the candidate with 270 electoral votes is the winner. In 2025, the Electoral College outcomes will be sent to the Congress who will, on Monday, the 8th of January, formally elect the next president. On January 20, 2025, that person – in all likelihood, Biden — will be inaugurated as president.

One can well expect the Republican candidiate, Trump, to claim that the 2024 election was stolen; that ballot-counting procedures were faulty; that some election officials were corrupt. For Trump and many within his diehard base, 2024 will be a replay of 2020. But it could be something worse, something much worse.

Trump’s defeat in 2020 has had a number of significant consequences. It helped propel his ongoing candidacy, an effort to reclaim his “true” victory. More so, it legitimized state Republicans in, e.g., Florida and Texas, to pursue ever-more “conservative” policies. It also fostered an ever-increasing number of ulta-right-wing groups across the country.

The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates that “there are 1,225 hate and antigovernment extremist groups currently operating in the U.S.” Many white Americans, especially men, believe they are being “replaced” by women, African Americans, Jews and the growing number – and diversity – of immigrates who’ve settled in the U.S. over the last quarter century. It is embraced by Trump and other white conservatives.

Robert Pape and his associates at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Threats (CPOST) found that “63 percent of the 21 million adamant insurrectionists in the country believe in the ‘Great Replacement.’” In June 2022, Vice reported that in a recent poll two-thirds (68%) of Republicans surveyed believed in the “great replacement” theory.

Fox TV host Tucker Carlson ranted on-air about replacement months before the January 6thattack. “In political terms,” he said, “this policy is called ‘the great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries.” “They [i.e., liberal Democrats] brag about it all the time,” he added, “but if you dare to say it’s happening they will scream at you with maximum hysteria.”

One can assume that a strong backstory of Trump’s current campaign effort is acknowledging a key question: “What happens if he, yet again, is defeated in 2024?” In all likely, someone on the Trump team has prepared a “2021-Plan B: 2025 Victory” that is now buried in someone’s files. However, by mid-year 2024, as Trump’s electoral defeat becomes ever clearer, it will like be pulled from the files, copied and sent to many Trump operatives in and outside the Republican party.

And the great unknow regarding a replay of January 6th in 2025 will be the role of U.S. military, regional militia and DC police. Will they support the State or will a meaningful number desert and join the Trump insurgency?

One can also well imagine that a Trump-team’s “Plan B” action plan could well include scenarios that go beyond Washington, DC, in its effort to secure Trump’s victory. One such plan might include linking selected hardcore militant groups in a coordinated campaign to enforce Trump’s fictitious “victory” at highly targeted state capitals and other sites (e.g., Wall Street).

Would such hypothetical actions in Washington and throughout the country be successful in forcefully installing Trump as president? Would their efforts signal a new civil war?

If there is a replay of January 6, 2021, in 2025, it could be far bloodier and nation-wide but will likely not challenge State power. In all likelihood, the U.S. military, state national guards and local police forces will suppress such a far-right insurrection, David Rosen concludes.

The Dangers to Democracy report indicates that a growing number of Americans support the use of political violence as the 2024 presidential campaign heats up and further indictments of Trump are probably imminent.

“The indictment is radicalizing support for Trump, but that’s not the only source of radicalization,” said Robert Pape, a University of Chicago professor who led the research. “You’re seeing growing anger and radicalization on the left as well.”

The number of Americans who believe the use of force is justified to restore Trump to the White House increased by roughly 6 million in the last few months to an estimated 18 million people, according to the survey conducted by the university in late June and shared exclusively with the Guardian.

Of those 18 million people, 68% believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump and 62% believe the prosecutions of Trump are intended to hurt his chances in 2024. An estimated 7% of Americans now believe violence could be necessary to restore Trump to the presidency, up from 4.5%, or 12 million people, in April.

The university’s Chicago Project on Security & Threats (CPost) research center has been conducting Dangers to Democracy surveys of American adults on political violence and attitudes towards democracy since shortly after the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

The most recent report marks the first increase in radical, violent support for Trump since April 2022, according to Pape, who directs CPost.

“The public is more radicalized than it was in April and it’s really quite significant,” he said. “We’ve been tracking this quite a while, and this is a really big bump.”

Democrats, however, expressed support for political violence for a different purpose. The survey found support for the use of force to coerce members of Congress to “do the right thing” grew from 9% in January to 17% – an estimated 44 million Americans – at the end of June, with the sharpest rise among Democrats. Support for violence to restore the federal right to an abortion also increased during this time.

“Things are definitely heading in the wrong direction in terms of the radicalization of the country and we need to be aware of that because there were some hopes that the Trump indictment would actually reduce support for Trump,” Pape said.

Survey respondents also said they view Trump as a bigger threat to democracy than President Joe Biden, with a difference of 52% to 33%.

The survey also found that nearly 90% of Trump’s most radical supporters believe the federal government is run by a “deep state” of immoral people.

With more indictments of Trump likely to come in the next few weeks, both from the federal government and the Fulton county, Georgia, district attorney, Pape said he was concerned that further radicalization of the public is likely to occur.

“Things are going in the wrong direction of radicalization, and we haven’t even gotten into the really heated part of the 2024 election season,” Pape said.


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