Can this year's presidential race end peacefully? Earlier this year (July 20th to be precise) I published a column entitled “If Obama Loses In November, Will America Suffer?” In it, I referenced the many things that were being said and written about the historical and cultural significance of Obama’s candidacy (especially the many things that Obama has written about his “life’s journey,” and the extraordinary declarations that he has made about his own historical significance). I then contemplated what might happen if, despite all the “significance” of his candidacy, Obama were to actually lose the election.
As I pointed out in that column, many influential friends of mine from both political and business circles, and from both the East and West Coasts, were telling me that they feared “trouble in the streets” if Obama lost the election. That was in July. And now, as we begin the last full week before the election, I can’t help but think that we’re even closer to “trouble in the streets,” regardless of the election’s eventual outcome.
I say ‘eventual outcome,” because I do not anticipate that we’ll actually know who the President-elect is on election night. I may be wrong about this, and the Obama camp’s predictions of a Reagan-styled landslide may come to pass. But I expect a “close score” on this one, and for election night to be clouded with claims of voter fraud, and demands for investigations and ballot re-counts, all of which will likely delay the declaration of a “winner” for several days.
As for “civil unrest,” it appears quite clear to me that many of our fellow Americans are planning for this. A report that appeared in a recent edition of the Washington publication “The Hill” indicated that law enforcement agencies throughout the country are beefing-up their resources, in anticipation that there could be civil unrest on election day and the days that follow. The report included quotes from several agency spokespersons, many of whom seem to be saying, essentially, “we don’t expect trouble - - but the S.W.A.T. team will be on high alert just in case…”
Other law enforcement agents indicated that this year’s presidential election has attracted a level of “youthful enthusiasm” comparable to that usually reserved for high-profile sporting events, and noted that, even when a team wins a championship (say, a Superbowl, or a big collegiate competition), the hometown crowd often trashes its own surroundings in “celebration.” Whether or not you accept this “sports team wins big” analogy, law enforcement professionals are making these observations, and it is worthwhile for the rest of us to make note of them.
And law enforcement folks aren’t the only ones anticipating election night “action.” At the liberal activist website MWCNews Dot Net (media with conscience), the following rhetoric appeared in a “report” filed last week:
“If your television declares John McCain the president elect on the evening of November 4th, your television will be lying. You should immediately pick up your pre-packed bags and head straight to the White House in Washington, D.C., which we will surround and shut down until this attempt at a third illegitimate presidency is reversed.” The implications of such language are obvious - - a McCain presidential victory simply will never exist, and anyone who might declare that such a thing exists will be lying."
Later in the piece, the author writes “If Obama officially wins, McCain is likely to challenge it, charging the Obama campaign with some of the very crimes engaged in by McCain himself. Our reaction should be exactly the same in the event of a McCain challenge as in the event of a McCain ‘victory.’ We should not sit back for even a split second and wonder how it will work out…We should be prepared already to immediately travel to Washington, D.C., head straight for the White House, occupy Lafayette Square Park, the Ellipse, and surrounding streets, block entrances, and shut the place down until Obama is recognized as the president elect or we are guaranteed a credible election with universal registration and hand-counted paper ballots. We may be there for days or weeks or months…We must show each other, and the nation, and the world that we have had enough, that we will not stand for one more stolen election, that we will not give in to fear, lies, theft, and intimidation…”
Additionally, Rolling Stone magazine published a piece last week written by the “esteemed” Robert Kennedy Jr. Kennedy claims that Republican “operatives” around the country - - Secretaries Of State, Lieutenant Governors, County Clerks, and other elected officials - - have a well-coordinated system of disenfranchisement in place, even better than in 2004, and will be arbitrarily throwing-out untold numbers of ballots so as to “give it” to McCain.
I suspect we'll be in for a rough night in November - - and maybe several of them.