By Terry Miller
In a truly unprecedented general election year, political and personal resentments plus coronavirus has this country facing the epitome of fear and folly.
Leading up to the election, state of emergencies were declared, and some very high-powered and well-known “adults” were bullying and insulting one another, especially on social media. President Donald Trump continued to tweet divisive and unsupported statements like: “Joe Biden is the candidate of rioters, looters. Arsonists, gun grabbers, flag burners, Marxists, lobbyists and special interests.”
Sadly, the recklessness appears to give credence to rumors and conspiracy theories. Take QAnon and countless others who believe a colossal conspiracy overshadows just about everything in America.
With reactions to the election still to be seen, many took no chances of losing more than they already have in this extraordinary year. In Old Pasadena on Election Day, we visited numerous businesses that decided to board up in preparation for whenever the outcome is announced.
People were on edge, and law-enforcement agencies, and even social media companies, were at the ready. Knowing their platforms could be used to help disinformation spread, Facebook and Twitter implemented stricter policies for the election. Take, if you will, the latest doctored video that purported to show former Vice President Joe Biden confusing what state he was in during a campaign speech that was viewed more than 1 million times on Twitter before it was labeled as manipulated. The background was altered to read “Tampa, Florida” instead of Minnesota.
“A JL Partners-Independent poll found that 72% of voters say they’re concerned about post-election violence. A YouGov survey says 56% of voters expect such unrest after Nov. 3. And a group of scholars who wrote an op-ed for Politico earlier this month said their research shows that about one in three Americans who identify as Democrat or Republican believe violence could be justified to advance their party’s political goals – a substantial increase over the last three years,” writes Ryan Chatelain for Spectrum News.