With the rise of both Trump and Sanders from almost opposite ends of the political spectrum, and Hillary’s FBI indictement looming around the corner, the general election is not going to be a pretty sight for anyone hoping for positive change in 2017.
There are multiple ways a civil war could break out. Racial groups against each other or against the system. Impoverished groups against the system. People within the system abandoning ship. People within the system using their power to attempt to silence the oppressed. Oligarchs against each other or even oppressed groups against each other. The recipe for any civil war, however, is civil unrest, and America currently has quite a bit and growing.
If Hillary wins the Democratic nonimation, calls for her indictment will only increase and Bernie supporters will be protesting even more than they already have. If Bernie wins, it’ll be a democratic socialist vs. a fascist dictator, the harshest political battle we’ve seen in American politics to date.
If Trump wins, mass protests will become more than a regular occurance. In 2003, when George W. Bush wanted to invade Iraq, the largest pre-war anti-war protest in U.S. history occurred. Despite calls for his impeachment after it was clear that weapons of mass destruction did not exist in Iraq, Bush won the presidency for a second term and protests continued, but he had one thing going for him: he wasn’t a racist bigot.
Race relations are sweltering these days, especially at Trump rallies. If people are shocked at the actions of both Trump supporters and protestors thus far, they may not be ready for what is about to happen over the next few months. Aside from race issues, Trump rallies also feature a fascist overtone of suppressing media, arresting reporters, and he even declared back in February that, if elected, newspapers will “have problems”. While the media has been deregulated and given more freedom to sell airtime and content real estate, the freedom to say whatever they want may be in serious danger from a Trump regime.
If ever there were a reason for a nutcase like Lee Harvey Oswald or John Wilkes Boothe to take matters into their own hands, this election season is rife with them. Opponents of Bernie Sanders are generally opponents of socialism and falsely view his policy as dictatorial and damaging to the economy — after all, they argue, if we pay too much in taxes we won’t be able to afford to spend any money on goods and services. If you also factor in his anti-war stance, neo-conservatives hell-bent on continuing the occupation of the Middle East aren’t going to enjoy his policy of pulling back military intervention and closing bases around the world. The worst issue Sanders faces from opponents, however, is fighting against the 1%. The 1% has every reason to want to assassinate the man and it’s not too far-fetched to imagine them at least attempting to pull it off.
A Hillary presidency means a whole lot of war. If elected, she’s going to increase military spending on Middle Eastern conflicts, making new free trade deals that enslave people around the world, and making no real advances in solving domestic problems for U.S. citizens living in poverty, and she definitely is not going to do much about the mass incarceration of african and latino americans, especially since she makes money off of it. This gives her opponents much reason to protest, but it’ll be benign in comparison to Sanders and Trump presidencies. However, avoiding an FBI indictment, her corruption is going to spawn more mass protests and people are not going to enjoy their daily lives being disturbed by them. In this way, things won’t be too much better than a Trump presidency.
All in all, we don’t have a bright future ahead of us. It’s going to be at least a year of serious problems and mass protests. We’re only seeing the beginning now…
Lars is a freelance journalist, part-time activist, copywriter and technical writer residing in the Manhattan, New York area. For 7 years, Lars has reported on current events, political spars, technology and environmental issues.