Insurrection reflects slide to civil war, lack of democracy in U.S.

January 7, 2022 - 22:59

TEHRAN-- This time last year, Americans were still suffering aftershocks following a vicious attack on Capitol Hill by an angry crowd of former President Donald Trump’s supporters.

Indeed a U.S. President was and still is convinced that he won the election, that the vote was rigged and the election was an illegitimate one which he, his supporters and a considerable chunk of the Republican Party do not recognize. 

Even Americans themselves, if they hadn’t before, have now lost faith in their country’s election integrity. That’s according to a new ABC/Ipsos poll which reveals that only 20 percent of the American public are very confident about their election system. 

Among Republican supporters, the number is even lower, just 13 percent are very confident in their country’s elections. The research finds that also among Republican voters a considerable majority of 59 percent have little faith in the system, saying they are either "not so confident" or "not confident at all”. 

The poll also asks Americans to sum up in one word the last U.S. presidential election; with an overwhelming majority responding with critical terms like treason, like riot, such as chaos, a setup and also in the top ten was disgust.

So much for American democracy. 

The international community is used to hearing such kinds of allegations by Washington being leveled against other countries, who oppose American hegemony. Allegations by the U.S. that essentially seek to undermine a real democratic process being held elsewhere; but in essence, this time, the chickens have come home to roost. 

Analysts say what America tries to commit overseas with its regime change policy took place back at home one year ago. 

The country has never been so polarized; headlines in America have been dominated with fears of another civil war on the horizon. 

Recent research has backed up what experts have been saying about the looming prospects of a civil war. Studies have found 80% of President Joe Biden’s voters and 84% of former President Trump’s voters view elected officials from the other party as presenting a clear and present danger to “American Democracy”.

41% of those who would vote Democrat and 52% of of those who would vote for the GOP favor their states seceding from the Union to form their own separate country. And with a record number of firearms on the streets, there is certainly enough ammunition for people to take matters into their own hands. 

What is of more concern, according to the Center for Politics, 30% of Republicans and 11% of Democrats say they are ready to resort to violence to save their country. That’s 40 million Americans in total who are publicly declaring they are ready to fight in a country with 400+ million firearms. This is while voters are expressing increasing distrust for elected officials and media sources which they associate with “the other side”. 

Before Trump, many had already questioned what exactly makes America democratic. A political landscape governed by a two-party system, the “popular vote” does not choose the next president, unprecedented spending on the election itself, nowhere else in the world is this seen. The last election cost a record $14.4 billion (according to an estimate from the Center for Responsive Politics), the majority of which was spent on campaigning with political donations. 

Most of that money does not come from ordinary individuals. It comes from the pockets of billionaires and lobby groups or super PACs to be more precise, who undoubtedly want favors in return, once their “elected” officials are in power. 

The controversial emergence of a two-party political system came about in the 1790’s. Third parties do exist, but for Americans unfortunately only on paper.

For the elite, the Democrats or Republicans (despite the fact they are blaming each other for the current state of affairs), would rather it stays that way. Two parties in control by an establishment with little attention being paid to reducing the inequality gap but more concerned with the military industrial complex. The facts on the ground speak for themselves. 

In fact, since the January 6 armed violent attempt in Washington DC to “hang Nancy Pelosi” and stop the transition of power from one president to the other, the Republican Party has stepped up efforts to undermine a system already on the brink of collapse. 

Republicans have put in place measures to try and make sure future efforts to halt a transition of power be more successful. The potential for a stolen election is now higher in the U.S. than before and analysts say the backlash that this would cause is likely to be a civil war. 

The Republican Party is trying hard to enforce voter suppression, with GOP lawmakers making efforts to change election rules, in essence, to make it harder to vote as well as efforts to take control of election process including vote counting itself.

Republicans have encouraged and fomented doubt about the results of the 2020 election. They have passed new legislation in states under their control that inject more partisanship into the election administration. They have also sought to take over key election offices from which they could exert unilateral power over vote-counting and post-election certification. 

In Georgia for example, a new law gives authority to state lawmakers to review local election boards and replace them if the state election board determines they are underperforming. Georgia Republicans have also been quietly working to overthrow Democrats from their positions on county election boards. Similar to what state officials did in Arkansas. 

It was the post-election certification process of Biden after all that led to the “stop the steal” march and the insurrection. 

The director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, Wendy Weiser, says “what we’re seeing is an unprecedented, multi-pronged assault [on the U.S. election system]”, we’re really seeing an all-out effort to undermine election administration in America.”

Senior Republicans have strongly condemned their own fellow GOP members who dare to utter the words that the last election was legitimate. Meanwhile, on a federal level, Republicans continue to make arguments about the 2020 vote and continue to widely denounce the process and outspokenly question the legitimacy of the election results.

With the measures Republicans have taken so far and there may be more to come before the midterm Congressional vote and the next presidential election, it’s difficult not to see the Democrats; should they lose, undertaking similar measures of voter suppression to try and return their hold on power. 

And there you have it; a country descending into deeper polarization with a two-party system; leaders fighting among each other and militias armed to the teeth exchanging fire with running battles across the country, and with so much ammunition around. It’s perhaps difficult for some to imagine but experts say it’s a slippery (once unimaginable) slope that America is heading towards. 

In January last year, as the White House made preparations for Biden to sit in the Oval Office, over 25,000 troops were deployed in the White House vicinity in Washington alone. At the time, that was five times more soldiers than the number of American troops occupying both Afghanistan and Iraq. 

But the troops in Washington were not deployed to take part in the inaugural parade. 

Biden had a monumental task of healing a divided nation, all the indications so far are that he has done the opposite. 

The nation is more divided than ever. The American people are more armed than ever and the risk of violence breaking out is greater than ever. And what’s worse is the question of whether the U.S. military is even capable of handling a civil war.

The U.S. armed forces are not exactly designed in nature to be an efficiently productive domestic player. The U.S. military’s track record to occupy and deal with armed resistance in foreign countries has been a disaster. Who knows how it can handle an insurgency back at home?

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