AVN 67.05 Increased By ▲ 1.85 (2.84%)
BAFL 31.05 Increased By ▲ 0.31 (1.01%)
BOP 4.88 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (1.67%)
CNERGY 3.78 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (1.89%)
DFML 14.49 Increased By ▲ 0.28 (1.97%)
DGKC 41.61 Increased By ▲ 0.56 (1.36%)
EPCL 46.22 Decreased By ▼ -0.23 (-0.5%)
FCCL 11.63 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (2.02%)
FFL 5.11 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.19%)
FLYNG 5.80 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
GGL 10.40 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (0.68%)
HUBC 67.54 Increased By ▲ 0.67 (1%)
HUMNL 5.77 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (1.05%)
KAPCO 28.00 Increased By ▲ 0.24 (0.86%)
KEL 2.29 Increased By ▲ 0.09 (4.09%)
LOTCHEM 25.06 Increased By ▲ 0.16 (0.64%)
MLCF 21.67 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (1.07%)
NETSOL 86.06 Increased By ▲ 2.46 (2.94%)
OGDC 92.38 Increased By ▲ 6.48 (7.54%)
PAEL 11.06 Increased By ▲ 0.05 (0.45%)
PIBTL 4.23 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.24%)
PPL 80.15 Increased By ▲ 5.67 (7.61%)
PRL 13.64 Increased By ▲ 0.21 (1.56%)
SILK 0.89 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-3.26%)
SNGP 43.47 Increased By ▲ 3.07 (7.6%)
TELE 5.93 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (1.19%)
TPLP 15.82 Increased By ▲ 0.42 (2.73%)
TRG 114.88 Increased By ▲ 3.47 (3.11%)
UNITY 13.76 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.07%)
WTL 1.16 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (1.75%)
BR100 4,124 Increased By 87 (2.16%)
BR30 14,930 Increased By 518.1 (3.59%)
KSE100 41,191 Increased By 719.6 (1.78%)
KSE30 15,494 Increased By 331.4 (2.19%)
World

Threat of "unfamiliar violence" looms ahead of divisive Presidential Election, warns report

  • As political polarisation in the electorate has reached a fever pitch and the stakes are beyond existential, the U.S. Presidential Election is primed to be a drawn-out and protracted affair, increasingly at the risk of being derailed due to “violent actors”.
Published November 2, 2020 Updated November 3, 2020
Source: Reuters.
Source: Reuters.
The report summarises that “while Americans have grown used to a certain level of rancor in these quadrennial campaigns, they have not in living memory faced the realistic prospect that the incumbent may reject the outcome or that armed violence may result”. Source: Reuters.
The report summarises that “while Americans have grown used to a certain level of rancor in these quadrennial campaigns, they have not in living memory faced the realistic prospect that the incumbent may reject the outcome or that armed violence may result”. Source: Reuters.
Follow us

According to a report by the International Crisis Group, as political polarisation in the electorate has reached a fever pitch and the stakes are beyond existential, the U.S. Presidential Election is primed to be a drawn-out and protracted affair, increasingly at the risk of being derailed due to “violent actors”.

This description could have just as easily been attributed to any failed state, or one that is undergoing democratic backsliding, yet the report highlights that President Trump’s incendiary rhetoric and pencha nt for stoking tensions has contributed to dangerous levels of political polarisation in the country - which could extend well beyond his term in office, and threatens to derail an already tumultuous political process.

The report summarises that “while Americans have grown used to a certain level of rancor in these quadrennial campaigns, they have not in living memory faced the realistic prospect that the incumbent may reject the outcome or that armed violence may result”. Furthermore, the report highlights a variety of factors which could potentially result in violence and strife on and in the aftermath of the Election day.

The proliferation of online misinformation and hate speech, especially against minority racial and religious communities, has seeped into the political discourse at an unprecedented scale during the Trump presidency, with the report adding that “his [the president’s] toxic rhetoric and willingness to court conflict to advance his personal interests have no precedent in modern U.S. history”.

President Trump’s blatant refusal to denounce and condemn violent factions of the far-right, including the Klu Klux Klan, in addition to his incendiary comments pertaining to his “perceived political enemies” (which he often terms as the radical left), raise serious questions about his ability to use “the full weight of his office to quell violence”, not to incite it.

The report highlights that President Trump has made repeated attempts to diminish the electorate’s confidence in mail-in voting, making inaccurate allusions to voter fraud in the process, which could prove to be catastrophic for the electoral process, as his campaign will continually use this rhetoric to hijack the outcome of this election.

President Trump has also on multiple occasions flatly refused to allow a smooth transition of power, if he fails to secure a second term, raising serious concerns pertaining to an escalation of politically-motivated violence in the immediate aftermath of the election - harkening back to the Bush v. Gore saga in December 2000, in which the Supreme Court had to get involved in a botched recounting process. The report elaborates that “President Trump has already seeded the baseless narrative that mail-in voting will occasion massive fraud and sought to delegitimise post-Election Day vote counting."

The report urges both state and federal authorities to “become as familiar as possible with the tools and resources that are at their disposal to fend off voter intimidation”, while also bringing social media companies into the fold in ensuring that disinformation does not spark violence or lead to a premature announcement of results prior to the December 8th deadline.

It urges social media companies by stating that “Traditional and social media should take extra precautions not to pronounce winners prematurely, which can create the impression that the result has been fixed, or, conversely, foster resentment in the event the call has to be reversed”, especially in battleground states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Twitter has recently announced stricter regulations on political ad campaigns, and in countering election misinformation; with the company stating that political candidates or representatives cannot claim to have won an election before it is formally announced from state election officials.

Why does this matter? The implications of a botched election, and any gravitation away from democratic norms, could seriously diminish the United States’ reputation and credibility in the international community, especially when the country is at the cusp of undergoing a period of major socio-political change.

The turnout of this Presidential race is expected to reach historic heights, with 93 million people having already cast their votes as of Sunday, with the incumbent President trailing significantly behind Biden by an increasingly wider margin (approximately 9-10%). While President Trump was riding on a wave of political fervour and enthusiasm throughout his presidency, despite the many controversies that surrounded it, the shadow of the administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of 225,000 Americans, has extinguished any hopes of a clear-cut second term.

Comments

Comments are closed.

Threat of "unfamiliar violence" looms ahead of divisive Presidential Election, warns report

Pakistan, IMF grapple for consensus to unlock critical funding

PM Shehbaz orders immediate restoration of Wikipedia

Daraz Group lays off 11% global workforce to prepare for ‘current market reality’

Rupee up 0.46%, ends day at 275.30 against US dollar

KSE-100 jumps over 700 points amid return of positive sentiment

Pharmaceutical companies seek ‘inflationary adjustments’ in medicine prices

Second hike in two weeks: Honda Atlas jacks up car prices by up to Rs550,000

PM Shehbaz announces aid for quake-hit Turkiye

India opens its largest helicopter factory in new defence push

Govt projection of achieving $3bn current account surplus in FY23 ‘unrealistic’: PBC