In June of this year, a national poll of Americans conducted by Rasmussen Reports suggested one-in-three voters believe the United States is “on the brink of another civil war.”
Breaking down the numbers by political preference, 40 per cent of Republican voters were of the view a second civil war would break out within five years. Democrats were more optimistic, with only 28 per cent predicting internecine conflict, while 38 per cent of politically unaffiliated voters expressed the view the United States would engage in potentially ruinous internal strife.
Will Nov. 3 and the presidential election prove to be a watershed moment for such a development? We should all pray that it’s not.
There is though open concern about what may transpire post-election on the streets of the United States. That concern is expressed on air by American guests like pollster John Zogby of John Zogby Strategies, Fran Coombs of Rasmussen and Curtis Sliwa, Guardian Angels founder, WABC radio host and 2021 New York City mayoral candidate.
Achingly painful race relations, increasingly nastily divergent political views, states challenging federal authority, nationwide accusations of systemic police brutality and now a heavily politicized coronavirus pandemic have divided a nation whose chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A” not so long ago displayed a perhaps false façade of what was developing in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Americans are our neighbours, our friends, and in so many cases, our family. We exist along the longest undefended border in the world. Our men and women have served and fought side by side during war. We share many cultural experiences and are blessed to live in democracies constitutionally bound to respect the right of the individual.
Perhaps and hopefully, the election on Tuesday will result in peaceful though likely noisy demonstrations of both support and opposition to whomever American voters ultimately send to the White House.
The great fear, though, is that talk of impending post-electoral violence, when combined with the backdrop of national unrest already experienced in metropolitan areas in this calendar year, may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s not just America, either. Look around the world and you will see evidence of discord and frustration.
This week, we in Canada are commemorating a time 25 years ago when the very existence of our nation, as we know it, hung in the balance as Quebecers by referendum and the narrowest of margins voted to reject exiting Confederation.
Today, while separation from Canada remains a favoured option, we’re repeatedly assured, to approximately 40 per cent of Quebecers, there is simultaneously a growing divide between East and West in the true north strong and free.
Just days ago, the Saskatchewan provincial election offered Western Canadian voters, through the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan, the opportunity to endorse at least some of the much-discussed Wexit thinking.
How did the Buffalo Party fare? After its first excursion into the elections arena, the party placed third in the province, pushing aside the Greens in voting totals, even though the Buffaloes contested far fewer ridings (17 vs. 60) than the Green Party of Saskatchewan.
The focus of the world and most certainly its northern neighbour in the coming days will be the United States of America.
Hopes and concerns about how Americans respond to the results of their national election has us all on edge.
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.