Thanks to a stubbornly poor economy and philosophical – some would say foundational – high stakes apparent in the presidential election, it’s clear from political blogs, letters to the editor, and word on the street that tensions are running high in the country, and that extends to politics. The recent shooting of a guard at the conservative Family Research Council by a gay rights activist supports that.
“The American people are so hot and so angry that it would not take much to set off a raging political fire,” columnist Michael Snyder writes on Hawaii News Daily website.
Although civil unrest is always possible (check out this long Wikipedia list here), there is very little reason to believe any of the doomsday “civil war” scenarios trotted out by people like Judge Head will actually come true.
Today’s stakes, though substantial, are not of civil-war caliber. Whether Obama or Romney is elected in November, chances are great that the workings of the Constitution will temper any revolutionary strains, as it has since the end of the Civil War.
Take, for example, the tension between the Obama administration and Texas – and, yes, there are a few beefs there, ranging from emergency aid for wildfires to voter ID. Those disagreements, despite the polarization and heated rhetoric, are being worked out in the place the Founders intended: the courts and the electoral system. Houston, Dallas and El Paso remain calm.