The Next American Civil War is Upon Us

Yesterday, the media declared Joe Biden as President-Elect of the United States. People celebrated. People lamented. It was the very spark of a new civil war. You see, many are under the impression that the media calls out the winner of the election. They do not. When George Bush ran against Al Gore for the US Presidency, the media declared Al Gore as the winner. Yet, there were recounts and indeed George Bush was the winner, much to the chagrin of Al Gore supporters. All of which helped to fuel the leftist-hatred of George Bush. Today, history is repeating itself before our very eyes. (Check out the video below.)

Despite the celebrations and media reports, Joe Biden is not the President of the United States… yet. This is why.

The winner of the Presidential election is not official until the Electoral College meets and casts their votes. As of now, the Electoral College cannot decide anything because of the various lawsuits in play. The video below explains how the Electoral College works.

Court proceedings are guaranteed to happen in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona. Here are links to articles as further proof of that.

It has been speculated that the Supreme Court won’t allow any litigation to proceed beyond inauguration as that would lead to a constitutional crisis. As such, a relatively quick decision on election matters is likely. There is historical precedent for this. Check out this quote from the History.com article, “How the 2000 Election Came Down to a Supreme Court Decision

After lawsuits, challenges and recounts, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a recount of undervotes in all of Florida’s 67 counties, which was quickly appealed by Bush, and the case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

According to Busch, the Supreme Court had telegraphed its displeasure with how things were going in Florida a week or so before by sending the first Bush plea to the court back to the Florida Supreme Court by a 9-0 vote, “saying basically, ‘We would rather not get involved, but you are messing this up. Fix it.’”

The Florida Supreme Court ignored the warning signal and pressed forward with its call for a recount, and the case was returned to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, according to Hasen’s book, put the Florida election under a microscope, examining election machines, voter lists, vote-counting rules, the state’s poorly drafted election statutes, partisan election officials and the role of courts.

“At that point there were actually two key votes,” Hasen says. “The first was a 7-2 determination that the Florida recount, as it was being conducted, was unconstitutional on the grounds that there were no clear standards that were being applied consistently to all ballots. Then, by a 5-4 vote, the court declared that time had run out to devise a remedy. That stopped the process, with Bush ahead.”

The decision resulted in one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in American history. With the Florida win, Bush led Gore in electoral votes nationally 271-266, and, out of legal options, Gore conceded.

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All that to say, it is still possible for President Trump to be sworn in despite the media coverage to the contrary. And whether or not President Trump is sworn in for another term, I think civil war is imminent and that scares me. Consider this scenario.

MEDIA: Joe Biden won the election.

SUPREME COURT: Donald Trump won the election.

MEDIA: Trump stole the election.

TRUMP SUPPORTERS: Yay! We stopped the steal.

BIDEN SUPPORTERS: I hate all things Trump. I want to burn things.

MEDIA: Trump is bad! Stay tuned to our networks as we fan the flames, increasing our ratings and thereby making more money with our commercials!!! I mean… Trump is bad! And now, sports and weather.

In an environment like this, which is unlikely to change anytime soon, its difficult to see a pathway to unity. Take for example what Don Lemon said recently on CNN. He said that he had to get rid of a lot of his friends because they were Trump supporters. He went as far as describing them to dug addicts. See for yourself in the clip below.

And consider Joy Reid’s recent comments where she called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Clarence,” an intended racial slur. Why? She disagrees with his politics, so she feels that name calling is justified. See for yourself in the tweet below.

Whether or not Trump is re-elected for a second term, the political divisions in our society will not dissipate no matter who resides in the white house. Either way, one side will continue to accuse the other of cheating and gaffes made in jest or accident, will spread across the interwebs like wildfire. Case in point, I’m sure you’ve seen this famous gaffe where Joe Biden admits to having the ‘most extensive VOTER FRAUD organization’ in history.

So, where does this leave us? If you are an American citizen (or live in America) it seems inevitable that the topic of politics will present itself especially as the holidays loom near and traditional family gatherings happen. (Hopefully. Who knows with Covid?) Whether it is a discussion over software glitches or celebrations of Biden victories, there is the chance of conflict. Multiply these incidents by a nation and quite possibly a second Civil War could happen. How do we prevent this from happening, at least within our own sphere of influence? I have a few suggestions.

My first suggestion is to not involve yourself in political discussions. Avoid them, like the plague. Why? Academic studies have proven that if someone’s mind is made up on a topic, presenting opposing viewpoints based on facts will not matter. Consider a study calledExposure to Opposing Views Can Increase Political Polarization: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment on Social Media.” It was conducted by several professors of Sociology, Political Science and Statistical Science from Duke University, Princeton University and New York University. The findings were published on March 19, 2018, so fairly recent. This is the summary of what they discovered.

There is mounting concern that social media sites contribute to political polarization by creating “echo chambers” that insulate people from opposing views about current events. We surveyed a large sample of Democrats and Republicans who visit Twitter at least three times each week about a range of social policy issues.

One week later, we randomly assigned respondents to a treatment condition in which they were offered financial incentives to follow a Twitter bot for one month that exposed them to messages produced by elected officials, organizations, and other opinion leaders with opposing political ideologies. Respondents were re-surveyed at the end of the month to measure the effect of this treatment, and at regular intervals throughout the study period to monitor treatment compliance.

We find that Republicans who followed a liberal Twitter bot became substantially more conservative post-treatment, and Democrats who followed a conservative Twitter bot became slightly more liberal post-treatment. These findings have important implications for the interdisciplinary literature on political polarization as well as the emerging field of computational social science.

My second suggestion is to not allow ignorance to dictate the winner of an argument. Quick, what’s in my left pocket? You have no idea? Then, you are obviously not as smart as I am and by extension, my arguments are superior to yours. As ludicrous as that statement is, apply it to any political disagreement. If you say Trump is __________ then why did he _________________? If you say Biden is___________ then why did he ______________? If you say I don’t know the answer to your query, does that mean you are any less competent than the next person? I think not. I think it simply means you don’t know the answer.

If winning the argument is that important to you, simply say, I don’t know but I will research an answer and get back to you. This causes both parties to be knowledgeable. For one, doing some homework will cause you to better develop your fact based points and for two, it will cause your opponent to research. Maybe in doing so, they will be swayed to your view without you having to engage further. And that brings me to my third suggestion.

My third suggestion is to choose your battles wisely. For some people, politics is like a religion and they wrap their personal identities in it. Just as you are unlikely to convince a Jewish person to adopt the Muslim faith, it is unlikely to convince a hardened (insert political party defender here) to jump ship. Although, it is certainly possible to do so.  This is where discernment comes into play. If your intention is to persuade people away from the opposing party, take the advice of the late, great, Herman Cain who said repeatedly on his talk show and in interviews, “You save the saveable. Some people are just never going to get it. Don’t waste a huge amount of time on those.”

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My other suggestions can be summed up with this:

  • Be polite. If you remain calm and take the high road, there’s a chance they will do the same.
  • Stick to the facts without being defensive. Keep emotion out of it. If the sky is blue, do I have to explain that? It just is.
  • Limit contact with people who simply want to be difficult. Agree to disagree and preserve relationships when possible.

My hope in sharing this is that it will help us as a society better get along with the other. However, I am not ignorant that some will be triggered by this article anyway. That’s fine. I’m okay with people disagreeing with me. But, if we ever were before, are we still friends now?

Jim