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article imageOp-Ed: Are We Being Warned or Threatened in U.S. Presidential Run?

By Carolyn E. Price     Oct 30, 2008 in Politics
In recent weeks it seems to me that the rhetoric and angst is rising at a meteoric rate over whether or not the many polls predicting an election landslide win by Barack Obama and Joe Biden are right. IMO, the warnings have now escalated to threats.
Last week, my fellow CJer Johnny Simpson reported that across the US, police were bracing for Possible Civil Unrest on Election Night. I was disturbed to read that police in cities that have experienced violence and unrest before, Detroit, Chicago, Oakland and Philadelphia, were planning on deploying extra police presence on November 4th in anticipation of possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.
At the time, several reasons were given, the election of a black president, the election of a female vice-president, overloaded polling stations resulting in not everyone being able to vote, etc. etc.
Even way back in early October, just after the second Presidential debate between Obama and McCain, James Carville, a Democratic strategist, said:
Now let me be clear here, if Obama goes in this race with a 5- point lead and losing this election, the consequences are -- bull, man. I mean I don't think that's going to happen, but I think David it's a point to bring up.
But you stop and contemplate this country if Obama goes in and he has a consistent five point lead and loses the election, it would be very, very, very dramatic out there.
A journalist is recycling Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s 2006 piece entitled "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" pointing out just how easy it is for the Republican's to "steal" an election. Kennedy said at the time:
American history is littered with vote fraud -- but rather than learning from our shameful past and cleaning up the system, we have allowed the problem to grow even worse. If the last two elections have taught us anything, it is this: The single greatest threat to our democracy is the insecurity of our voting system. If people lose faith that their votes are accurately and faithfully recorded, they will abandon the ballot box. Nothing less is at stake here than the entire idea of a government by the people.
I think we've all heard how the Obama campaign has around 5,000 lawyers at the ready and are planning to position them all across the county so they can quickly and effectively respond to any voter fraud allegations. An excerpt from The Independent's piece:
The 4 November poll is still not safe. We cannot rest assured that the man the majority of the American people want as president will become president. Barack Obama’s significant poll lead is no guarantee that he will win the White House.
In 2004 the Democrats registered hundreds of thousands of new voters. John Kerry was expected to win and was well ahead in the exit polls on the day of the presidential vote. He lost. Obama, watch out.
Then there's this sort of irreverent opinion piece entitled "Mark Steel: I'm frozen with fear – could Obama still lose the election?". In it, he points out that even though the Republican candidate (John McCain) couldn't possibly be any more idiotic, somehow he managed to scour "the continent, found someone who was and made her his deputy" and then they were "caught spending half the economy on dresses, but they're STILL only a few per cent behind".
The closer we get to Election Day, the more extreme the rhetoric becomes. Last week, MWCNews Dot Net (a website described as a liberal activist site) published an article entitled "A McCain 'Win' Will Be Theft, Resistance Is Planned" and it started off with:
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.
Today, self-described feminist Erica Jong told an Italian newspaper (original article in Italian found here, English excerpted translations found here) that an Obama loss will spark a second American Civil War and that "blood will run in the streets". Specifically:
If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it's not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets.
Jong also says that her fears about Obama losing has turned into an "obsession. A paralyzing terror. An anxious fever that keeps you awake at night". She having back spasms, seeing an acupuncturist and had to get a prescription for Valium.
It is not just Ms Jong who is suffering. According to her, Jane Fonda told her that she cried all night because of the stress, she is unable to cure her aching back and the stress has reduced her to "a bundle of nerves".
To make matters worse (well, in my opinion, anyway), it is being reported that there has been a surge in gun sales in some areas, reports from New Mexico, Oregon, and Florida attributing the surge in sales to the prospects of an Obama victory. I would add my question to the chorus, what happens in the event of an Obama defeat?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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