By Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post
Not for generations has there been such a profound division in the US and question about whether the country will come out of this unscathed.
The boarded-up stores in Washington and several other US cities, along with the fear of election violence and rioting, has capped a turbulent run-up to one of America’s historic elections. The election was historic because of COVID-19 and the large voter turnout, as well as the eccentric, controversial, divisive and sometimes chaotic nature of the Trump administration.
That means this referendum on US leadership is different from many in the past. Not for generations has there been such a profound division in the US and questions about whether the country will come out unscathed.
The fears of violence are part of a growing rhetoric in the US that talks of “civil war” and “burning it down,” phrases used on the Right and Left, respectively.
Gun sales are often reported to be high, and there has been real violence this year, including killings at protests, and looting. Some of this results from anger over continued police violence, but the looting earlier this year also revealed that large numbers of Americans feel they have a right to destroy their own cities.
The looters also seem to be from a cross section of society, not just disenfranchised, angry young men or minorities, but also apparently upper-class youth underpinned by some toxic blend of anarchism and extremism.
On the other side, the far Right has been stoking rumors of violence, parading with guns and looking like armed militias from countries gripped by civil wars.