We must prepare now for the possibility of violence following the election this fall. If it turns out to be a close or contested election, extremists from both sides may likely use it as an excuse to riot and attack. This will not be a repeat of the 2000 election, when the disputes were ultimately resolved by the Supreme Court in a controversial decision along partisan lines. The loser accepted it and told his followers to do the same.
But in this election, the candidates are not George Bush and Al Gore, and the country is not what it was 20 years ago. This is a very different and far more dangerous time. We are a much more divided nation. Violence is in the air in many of our cities and has received a degree of legitimacy from people on both sides who should know better. We are not prepared for a possibility of dangerous reactions to an election that may seem unfair to people on one side or the other based on the outcome.
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