With uncertainty clouding America’s election process like never before, who doesn’t wonder what will happen across the nation after Nov. 3?
President Donald Trump has questioned the validity of mail-in balloting and declined to say he would accept the results of the election if he loses, and various scenarios for congressional or judicial intervention could play out. Meanwhile, extremist groups have vowed to take up arms if the election result is not to their liking, plus demonstrations and rioting over police killings of Blacks continue to rock parts of the nation.
The Herald Journal used its Facebook page this week to get Cache Valley residents’ predictions and perspectives on the days to come. The answers ran the gamut, starting with this worst-case scenario offered by a commenter going by the name Sonny Cooper:
“Marxism relies heavily on violence and anarchy to upend the system it wants to replace. The riots will continue unless a well-armed citizenry is regulated and deputized to oppose Marxist agitators.”
Commenter Sandy Cook Morgan took a much more optimistic view of post-election America. “We will accept the results, continue to champion the causes we believe in and love our neighbor,” she wrote.
This sentiment was seconded by Gentry Atkinson. “What a perfect response. Love this! I will most likely be upset if the person I didn’t vote for wins but I will accept it,” Atkinson wrote.
Joining the Herald Journal comment thread was newly appointed Cache County Clerk Jess Bradfield, who is in charge of handling local mail-in ballots. Bradfield, however, did not discuss how the election is being run but responded to Trump critic Tyler Riggs with the remark, “It must be nice to be Tyler Riggs and know everything.”
Riggs responded, “Jess, do you think you could get off Facebook and answer the phone at the Clerk’s office? I tried calling but no one answered and it said you’re all too busy ... ”
“Call my cell, you have it,” the county clerk shot back, but he later deleted his comments.
Most of the predictions offered on the election aftermath seemed to be rooted in who each commenter supports in the election. Trump backers tended toward the belief that Americans on the political left will resort to violence, while Biden backers predicted Trump and his supporters will push the nation to the brink of chaos.
“While I have EVERY confidence that Trump will be re-elected, I doubt conservatives would be violent if we lost. We seem to be the adults in the room. We don’t tantrum,” wrote apparent Trump supporter Aaron Allen, while one of the president’s detractors, Chris Hyde Davis, commented, “Trump has set it up so he can challenge his loss. He will cry no fair. If he wins. it will be 4 more years of chaos and violence.”
Owen Sidwell blamed the current state of destabilization on both sides and foresees a bad outcome no matter how the election turns out.
“To be honest, I think it could be true that the left would be more violent if trump won, than the right if biden won. But I think that’s because the left are feeling increasingly estranged from the trump administration because of his constant verbal attacks on democrats and progressives,” wrote Sidwell, forgoing standard capitalization. “… both the GOP and the DNC are using the polarization of the american people to their own political and economic advantage. They make more money the more we’re mad at each other. Either way, whatever happens on 2020 election day is not going to be a good day in american history.”
Edward Rogers offered this assessment: “As a “free” nation, we tend to be (perhaps) a bit more dangerous than other countries. We have free speech, which we liberally apply constantly. We have guns. Even those who would ban them crowd the gun stores prior to election day. If the ‘wrong’ candidate wins, we buy more guns...so far, no calamity has befallen us from our mouths or the massive weapons caches. I do pity any nation foolhardy enough to try and invade us though.”