Election violence in the US in 2024 is a possibility

Date:

Election violence in the US in 2024 is a possibility

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Saturday, January 28, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Many other Republican leaders choose not to speak out against a president who Republican voters support.

  • Businesses such as Facebook attempted to prevent the spread of false election information and the incitement of violence.

  • The most significant change following the 2020 election may be more aggressive police enforcement.

  • Outlook for 2024 Of course, election-related violence could occur again in 2024.

  • Even more importantly, because Trump is not the president, the FBI and other federal law enforcement will work hard to stop any violence that might happen because of the election.

Even though people were worried that political violence like what happened on January 6 would happen again, there were no crowds storming state capitals or other problems during the U.S. midterm elections in 2022. Increasingly effective law enforcement is much to blame. Officials on the federal and state levels were much more cautious this time because of the shock of January 6. Additionally, no public figure attempted to incite riots as President Donald Trump did in 2020. Violence could happen again in 2024, especially if Trump or another candidate who wants to start fights is running. But if law enforcement stays alert, it will be better able to reduce the size and scope of any threat.

The Environment of High Threat in 2021

Since a group of pro-Trump people stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, more political violence has threatened America. Before the 2022 election, government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center warned that there could be violence related to the election. According to polls, one in ten Americans—and one in five Republican male voters—believe that violence is justified right now. Congressmen were getting many more threats, and even local school board elections became much more dangerous. The brutal attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, at their home in San Francisco confirms what many people already thought.

The fact that there were hundreds of election skeptics on the ballot made everything worse, raising concerns that voters who lost the election might incite violence rather than concede defeat. The races for the Senate, governor, and other offices were also very close. A few votes often decided the winner in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and other states.

Even so, there wasn’t much election-related violence in the United States on November 8, even though there were warnings and a feeling of danger. It’s not always easy to figure out why something didn’t happen, but given the bad predictions and ongoing worries about violence, this vital topic is worth looking into.

Why Will the 2022 Elections Be So Peaceful?

To start, it’s essential to know what led to the violent crime that shocked many Americans on January 6. Trump spread the idea that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 election with the help of some of his top aides and well-known media allies. Many other Republican leaders choose not to speak out against a president who Republican voters support. Instead, they keep quiet. Election skeptics gathered very freely in the weeks leading up to January 6, both in person and online, frequently using Facebook to disseminate false information and plan acts of violence. Now, it’s clear that organized groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers planned and prepared for violence before January, even though some of the violence was unplanned and caused by people who just went to the mall to show support for Trump. Even though there were many signs that violence was about to break out, law enforcement and intelligence services ignored the problem. They were surprised when the storm came.

Some of these influencing elements have improved, but not all of them. To start, Trump was not a candidate in the most recent midterm election. So, unlike before the January 6 uprising, he didn’t tell his cult-like followers to march on the Capitol or make them hate each other in any other way. He did support several Republican candidates who fell short in contests where they appeared to have a good chance of winning, including Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, among others, but this did not inspire violence and instead damaged the former president’s reputation. Leading Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that Republicans would lose the Senate because of “candidate quality” even before the election. When this worry was justified, he and other Republicans, along with Fox News and other conservative media sites, attacked Trump for the defeat.

Some candidates questioned the legitimacy of the voting process. The Republican Kari Lake, who ran for governor of Arizona but lost, said that voter suppression was why she lost. Trump’s charisma and national reach were unmatched, and it seems like individual races wouldn’t have gotten as much attention or stirred up as much voter passion without him.

It’s not clear what effect the good things social media companies did have, but their efforts were still not enough. Trump’s reach was obviously reduced by his suspension from Twitter and Facebook. Businesses like Facebook tried to stop the spread of false information about the election and calls for violence. But studies of big companies showed that there was still a lot of wrong information on their platforms.

The most significant change following the 2020 election may be more aggressive police enforcement. In contrast to 2020, when many conspirators thought they could bank on some government collusion, that sense of security has vanished. Official warnings before the election showed that government groups are aware of the risk and are working to stop problems before they happen. In the largest investigation in FBI history, the U.S. government has so far charged approximately 1,000 people with offenses connected to January 6. Organized groups, such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, took a beating as a result of the conviction of their leaders for felonies and the intense scrutiny the groups themselves faced.

Outlook for 2024

Of course, election-related violence could occur again in 2024. This partially depends on whether Trump is on the ballot and how much of the conservative political and media ecosystem supports him in inciting violence once more. There is no reason to think that the former president will stop promoting conspiracies and calling for violence if he loses the election. Trump’s star may be on the decline right now, but he has shown himself to be tenacious and has a devoted following. In addition, the former president has been welcomed back to Twitter by its new owner, Elon Musk, and deadly conspiracies continue to abound on social media in general.

However, there is also good news. Many GOP officials seem to know that supporting violence and being skeptical about elections is a losing strategy. Even more importantly, because Trump is not the president, the FBI and other federal law enforcement will work hard to stop any violence that might happen because of the election. The events of January 6 served as a wake-up call, even though there was no political leadership. Both federal and state officials are much less likely to be caught off guard by future elections.

All of this does not imply that violence is impossible or even improbable. Should elections not go their way, many officials and regular Americans seem too eager to consider bloodshed. However, as long as law enforcement is on guard, it will be harder for politicians to encourage violent throngs and for dangerous organizations to form. Even though the danger is still grave, these are essential to reducing its size and scope.

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