Riots After the Election?

The Drudge Report linked to this article on infowars which asks the question whether political tensions in the United States have risen so much that rioting by disappointed followers of either Obama or Romney is likely.

Will the most divisive campaign in modern American history culminate in massive riots in our major cities?  Right now, supporters of Barack Obama and supporters of Mitt Romney are both pinning all of their hopes on a victory on November 6th.  The race for the presidency is extremely tight, and obviously the side that loses is going to be extremely disappointed when the election results are finalized.  But could this actually lead to violence?  Could we actually see rioting in communities all over America?  Well, the conditions are certainly ripe for it.

A whole host of surveys over the past few years have shown that Americans are very angry and very frustrated right now.  In fact, a Pew Research Center poll from late last year found that 86 percent of all Americans are either angry or frustrated with the federal government.  We have seen this frustration manifest in protest movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, but right now things are fairly calm as liberals and conservatives both look forward to November 6th.  Many Republicans started the countdown to the next election literally the day after John McCain lost back in 2008.

All of their hopes of getting Obama out of the White House are riding on a Romney victory.  For many Democrats, Barack Obama is a “once in a generation” icon.  Just the thought of Mitt Romney replacing Obama in the White House is enough to push many of them to the brink of insanity.  In recent years we have seen horrible rioting erupt in cities after major sports championship games.  How much worse could the rioting potentially be if this bitterly contested election is decided by a very narrow margin – especially if there are allegations that the election is “stolen”?

First of all, this is not the most divisive election in history. However this election turns out, it is not likely that any of the principal candidates will end up in a duel, as in the election of 1800. I am certain that one of the candidates will get a majority in the Electoral College, unlike the election of 1824. I highly doubt any state will secede from the Union, as they did in 1860.  So far, neither side has descended to the depths of character assassination of some previous elections, though there is still time.

I notice that the writer of this piece, Michael Snyder, tries to imply that both Republicans and Democrats are equally angry and frustrated and so are equally prone to violence. That isn’t the case, as the article makes clear a little further on.

The election is nearly four weeks away, and many Obama supporters are already threatening to riot if Obama loses.  The following are some very disturbing messages that were posted on Twitter recently that have been reposted on Twitchy.com….

“If Romney wins I’m Starting a Riot….Who’s WIT ME???”

“I Hope The USA Is Well Aware That If In The Event This Character Romney Wins The Election, The People Will Start A Country Wide Riot! #Power”

“If Romney is elected president, its gon be a riot its gon be a riot.”

“If ROMNEY GETS IN THE WHITE HOUSE …U MIGHT AS WELL KILL ME NOW …..CAUSE ITS GONNA BE A ************ RIOT !!!”

“If Romney became President and took away welfare Downtown Cincinnati would become a riot”

“If Romney takes away food stamps 2 Chainzz in this bit IMMA START A RIOT”

“If Romney wins. (which i highly doubt) THERE WILL BE A RIOT—”

The following are a few more tweets that I found which threaten a potential riot if Obama loses the election….

From @joecools_world….

“Need 2 come up wit a game plan if Romney win…. Riot all thru Newark”

From @killacate….

“I swear on everything I love if Romney wins ima riot. I don’t even care if its just me.

Some of these people seem to be saying, “continue to support us, or we will riot”. That must be the 47%. The most incoherent tweet is the one saying that the “People” will start a country-wide riot if Romney wins. If Romney wins the election by a majority in both the popular and electoral votes, doesn’t that mean that he is the choice of the majority of the people in the country? Are the People going to riot against themselves.

Meanwhile, the best Snyder can come up with on the other side are vague threats to leave the country.

Romney supporters are not really threatening to riot, but many of them are proclaiming that they may leave the country if Obama wins.  Here are some examples….

From @BrentskiTheBoss….

“If Obama gets reelected I may leave the country”

From @AbbieFickes….

“im sorry but if obama were to win again, i might as well leave the country and live in zimbabwe”

I think the author of that second tweet is not so much threatening to move to Zimbabwe as making the point that four more years of Obama’s policies could leave the US becoming indistinguishable from Zimbabwe.

There may be despicable acts being committed by despicable people on both sides, but there is far, far more anger, hatred, and bad behavior on the Left. There are angry and hateful Conservatives, but Conservatives seem to have less tolerance for bad behavior in their ranks. Words and acts that are immediately denounced by the Right seem to be celebrated on the Left. If Paul Ryan had acted as boorishly as Joe Biden had in the last debate, most Conservatives would have immediately distanced themselves from him and there would be calls for Romney to pick a new running mate. So far, the majority of Democrats have seemed to praise his behavior.

Rush Limbaugh and other Right-wing talk radio hosts are supposed to be full of hate and anger, but I have never heard it in all the years that I have been listening to Rush and others on and off. As far as I have seen, none of them have fantasied on-air about the deaths of their political opponents. The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have been compared to each other, but if the Tea Partiers are angry, it is the righteous anger that causes one to try to improve the community. The Tea Party has gotten involved in politics and taken steps to really make a difference. The anger of the Occupy movement is more the nihilistic hatred that only results in smashed windows. The two sides, Left and Right, are simply not equivalent. The Left is based more on anger and envy and appeals to the worst in human nature.

I don’t really think that there will be massive riots after this election. There may be some violence, if Obama loses, but I have a feeling that most of these tweeters may like to think of themselves as being “bad” and they may able to bully children,  but experience has shown they are no good against people willing to stand up to them.

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2 Responses to “Riots After the Election?”

  1. Could this be the OCTOBER SURPRISE in November? « THE SURF REPORT Says:

    […] Riots After the Election? (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com) […]

  2. quinnmaddux Says:

    I would like to think that once again there would be a peaceful transition if Romney were to win. I think too many people in 2008 voted and expected Obama to be Santa Claus and when he was not, they expect that he needs four more years.
    I think Romney wins – and I am hopeful that his business experience can get the economy back on its feet.

    Q

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