How a Right-Wing Minority Is Raging in the United States

 

 

 


The country is rife with worry over unrest after the presidential election. Is it all just fearmongering? Not at all: A right-wing fringe group is trying to intimidate the majority — even in pick-up trucks on the highway.

The images are distressing. Donald Trump supporters harassing a Joe Biden campaign bus on the highway in Texas; flags fluttering in the wind on their pick-up trucks just like they once did with the desert fighters of the Islamic State group terror militia. The president has also incited these people. “I love Texas!”

Trump supporters blocked a bridge on one of New York’s multilane arterial roads, chanting slogans, waving posters. Democrats in Georgia canceled a demonstration against attempts to intimidate potential voters, for fear of an incident because heavily armed militiamen were gathering near the planned assembly location.

These are not isolated incidents anymore. There is a pattern behind them. A right-wing minority is trying to intimidate the majority. In front of them is the bully president in the White House.

It is not just what could somewhat pretentiously be called the political discourse in America that has derailed. The social climate of tolerance, the respect for different opinions has been lost. The feeling of having core values in common is gone. This is not just the unspeakable president’s fault, whom America and the world have already had to endure for almost four years.

This development had already been apparent for years in the United States. The doggedness with which Republicans in the 90s tried to take down Democratic President Bill Clinton was a first taste. Then, a decade later, came the tea party movement which, in its radicality and intolerance, preempted the Trump era. But Trump himself has pushed the polarization to the extreme and is fostering it to the best of his ability.

Americans feel this. An atmosphere of heavy tension settled on the country long ago. Meanwhile, according to surveys, more than half of U.S. citizens are greatly concerned that their centuries-old democracy is in acute danger. But these are not just vague fears. There are, in fact, concrete concerns that there will be severe outbreaks of violence in the coming days.

The National Guard Bureau in Washington has put together a special unit for combating unrest. In a video conference, the National Retail Federation announced recommendations for how stores could prepare themselves. In New York and elsewhere, display windows are being barricaded. Facebook has prepared de-escalation tools which the company has apparently already tested in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. And a New York Times columnist writes: “The weeks following the election could very well be the most dangerous weeks in this country since the Civil War.”

Is it all just fearmongering? That would be nice. One can only hope that the vote against Trump is so clear that no doubts about the result are justified. If not, the United States is in for difficult times.

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About Michael Stehle 52 Articles
I am a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA in Linguistics and Germanic Studies. I have a love for language and I find translation to be both an engaging activity as well as an important process for connecting the world.

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