Divided States of America

November 10, 2020 - 10:1

TEHRAN – The United States plunged into the unknown after the two main presidential candidates in the November 3rd election declared victory over each other, further exacerbating the social divides that started to emerge since the early 2000s.

Joe Biden, who was recently declared as the U.S. president-elect by the mainstream media, has pledged to be a president for all Americans across the political spectrum, including those who voted for the incumbent President Donald Trump. 

“I ran as a proud Democrat. I will now be an American President. I will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did,” Biden said in a victory speech on November 7, four days after a presidential election whose results were fiercely contested by Biden’s rival Donald Trump. 

Biden noted, “I pledge to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify; who doesn’t see red states or blue states, only sees the United States.”

He added, “Now that the campaign is over — what is the people’s will? What is our mandate?” Biden asked. “Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. To marshal the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.”

But as Biden declared the campaign was over, Trump just started a new legal campaign to challenge the election results in many battleground states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.  

Calling into question the results of the presidential election, Trump has said many times that the Democrats have stolen the election and that the election is far from over. 

“All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud. Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!” Trump tweeted on November 5. 

The president continued to question the results of the election in the ensuing day even after the mainstream media announced that Biden had won the election. 

More disunity than unity

Trump claims that he easily wins the election if the “legal votes” are counted. 

“I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST. The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. U.S. Supreme Court should decide!” he tweeted on November 6.

Trump declared victory even before the results were announced, a move that prompted many analysts to warn about social chaos across the U.S. Biden sought to heal in the U.S. and reduce the divides created during this election. But analysts believe that the United States will remain the Divided States of America despite Biden’s efforts to portray himself as the healer-in-chief.

The debate over social divides in the U.S. is nothing new. When Trump moved into the White House four years ago, the mainstream media warned that Trump’s victory will deepen the discord among ordinary Americans. This was reflected by the Time magazine’s decision to choose Trump as Person of the Year in 2016 when it called him the President of the Divided States. 

“For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year,” the Time magazine wrote as it announced Trump the 2016 Person of the Year. 

Four years after Trump came into office, the Democrats mobilized their supporters in what Biden called “the broadest and most diverse coalition in history” to defeat Trump with a landslide victory in the November 3rd presidential election but their efforts in this regard failed miserably and led to more divides in American society than unity. 

On the other hand, Trump, who is accused of fanning the flames of racial tension and creating divides in society, keeps insisting that he has garnered the support of more Americans than in the 2016 election, and thus intruding himself as the sole protector of the American people’s will against the Washington establishment, which, according to Trump, seeks to undermine the interests of the American people.

“71,000,000 Legal Votes. The most EVER for a sitting President!” Trump tweeted on November 8.

Risk of secession

As Trump and Biden continue to tussle over the election results, analysts warn about the divisions that could be created as a result of the election disagreement. Two recent books have argued that these divisions could lead to the U.S. being disintegrated. 

Trump has gained more than 71 million popular votes in the recent election, nearly 9 million votes more than his votes in 2016. Pundits believe that almost half of the U.S. population is likely to feel betrayed by the result of the 2020 presidential election, especially after Trump questioned this result. That will further exacerbate the existing polarization that dates back to the 1990s.

In 2016, more than 61% of voters lived in "landslide counties" — areas where voters supported one presidential candidate by at least 60%. That was up from 50% in 2012 and 39% in 1992, according to the American news website Axios. 

“If Democrats continue to congregate in heavily populated metropolitan areas as projected, the American political system's skew toward rural areas and states would only grow, so much so that by 2040, 70% of Americans could live in just 15 states, giving them a voice in just 30% of the Senate,” the website wrote. 

In light of these facts, authors moved to sound the alarm that the U.S. is on the verge of being divided. 

“There is not a single important cultural, religious, political or social force that is pulling Americans together more than it is pushing us apart,” writer David French notes in his new book “Divided We Fall: America's Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation.”

French — whom Axios described as an anti-Trump conservative — argues that America's divisions are so great, and the U.S. political system so poorly designed to handle them, that secession may eventually be the result.

“If we keep pushing people and pushing people and pushing people, you cannot assume that they won't break,” he told Business Insider in a recent interview.

Axios pointed to another book whose author also warned about the breakup of the U.S.

“We associate secession with Confederate states and the Civil War, but ‘almost everybody at one time or another in every different part of the country has considered the idea of breaking up,’ says Richard Kreitner, the author of ‘Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America's Imperfect Union’” wrote the website, adding that after the 2012 election, secession petitions were launched in all 50 states, with campaigns in six states receiving enough signatures to require a response from the U.S. government.

French has laid out two plausible secession scenarios: one involving Democratic West Coast states leaving the union over gun laws, and the other involving Republican Southern states led by Texas seceding because of abortion laws, according to Axios. 

SM/PA


 

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