Unsurprisingly, there has been a spike in violence after the beginning of the Trumpocalypse. All jokes aside however, this post-election violence must be addressed by both big wig politicians and the public at large. The orange bag of skin who is set to be the leader of the free world even encouraged his supporters to “knock the crap” out of protestors. Nice.
Shamefully, America is no stranger to post-election violence.
The period between the 1820s and the onset of the Civil War was marked by a substantial increase in ethnic and religious diversity. This period was also notable for an increase in violent conflict surrounding politics and elections.
In a precursor of today’s politics, these clashes stemmed from heightened anxieties among native white Protestants about the consequences of Irish and German Catholic immigration for American identity and social harmony.
It isn’t hard to see how contemporary events have come to mirror historical incidences of hate and ignorance-fueled violence against socially marginalized groups of people. Election Violence, however, isn’t limited to the nation’s early foundational days. Just a few decades ago, white supremacists tried to suppress the African-American and minority vote.
The threat—and repeated execution—of violence remained important features of efforts by white supremacists to suppress African American (and Latino) registration and voting all the way up until enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which strengthened federal voting rights protections and authorized federal monitoring of election rules in states with records of racial discrimination in voting.
Violence implemented by Trump supporters being encouraged by the man who has somehow become our country’s president-elect is not the only election violence the nation should be worried about. Liberals, after this election are collectively heartbroken after the results of the election and as several news outlets have covered, have taken to the streets to protest. There’s no issue with exercising your first amendment right, but the line has to be drawn when peaceful protesting turns into looting and vandalizing.
Using violence to get your point as cross is not only redundant, but simply takes away from the bigger picture a group of people may be trying to get across. If you want your cause to be taken seriously, bashing someone’s head in or looting under the pretense of a protest is definitely not the way to go. Who would be inclined to listen to you whine about something you don’t like after you behave like a Neanderthal?
These sentiments are echoed by the revered Bernie Sanders himself.
"Any person who is a Bernie Sanders supporter, please, do not in any way, shape or form engage in violence," the senator from Vermont said.
The outrage from both the left and right is understandable. The extremes on both ends of the political spectrum are acting like underdeveloped children. This isn’t the way public discourse should take place among those with differing views on how the country should be run. Despite our differences, it’s imperative that we can understand one another’s views instead of quite literally trampling on other people simply for disagreeing with our own perspectives. Being displeased about election results is understandable, but please don’t hurt anyone simply because they don’t agree with you. No matter how right you may think you are.