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What happens if Joe Biden wins? 'Fear of violence is real', experts warn

Experts say that Trump may not peacefully vacate the White House if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins, there is a possibility of the Republican resisting a change of administration
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The United States is living in unprecedented times. With cities facing a shortage of plyboards as retailers across the country board up in anticipation of civil unrest post the 2020 presidential results, American voters have found themselves amidst a grim, unwonted election scenario. Although some experts believe that only a Biden upset may result in a violent backlash from the Black Lives Matter and Antifa supporters considering the uproar over the racial tensions in the country, there are several others who are convinced that if President Donald Trump loses his reelection bid, there's no denying that his supporters will resort to violence. 

"In my 70 years here on earth, I have never feared post-election violence. In the United States, that just doesn't happen. This year, the fear of violence is real," Michael A. Genovese, President of Global Policy Institute, Loyola Marymount University told MEA Worldwide. "We have already seen right-wing paramilitary folks plan to kidnap a Governor, we also saw Trump supporters in Texas harass a Biden bus on the highway (and President Trump defended these people as "patriots"). Businesses across the nation are boarding up in anticipation of trouble. This is a sign of just how low we have sunk. If Trump loses some of his supporters may resort to violence. It is shocking and disappointing. We have lost so much in the past several years."

Claims of election fraud

Considering Trump's dubious stand on whether he will peacefully vacate the White House if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins, there is a possibility of the Republican resisting a change of administration. President Trump, over the past few months, has criticized postal voting in the election, claiming it leads to widespread fraud. With millions of mail ballots already cast, numbers show that a majority of these voters are Democrats, particularly in the five battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine and Iowa. Therefore, if Biden were to win, there is a strong plausibility of Trump calling the win a fraud.

Television screens airing the first presidential debate are seen at Walters Sports Bar on September 29, 2020 in Washington, United States. Americans across the country tuned in to the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden held in Cleveland. (Getty Images)

"We have certainly seen more unrest in this country over the past year than we have seen since the contentious 1960s. Hopefully, the results this week will be clear enough to everyone that any claim of fraud will be seen as absurd," Dr. Stephen J. Farnsworth, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, University of Mary Washington told MEA Worldwide. "America is an angry, divided country these days, and a result that is so close that either side could plausibly claim victory would be a terrible scenario for this country. The 2000 standoff in the Gore-Bush election was resolved through the legal process. I suspect a similarly contestable outcome - if it arrives this year - probably will not be as peaceful. There is a great deal more public anger and distrust of political institutions now than there was then."

Fear of violence

Security experts have warned of expected chaos regardless of the outcome of the election, especially in the downtown areas of cities where protests over police brutality have emerged this year, and in battleground states. However, some experts believe that civil unrest over a Biden win is not likely, considering the election polls have consistently shown the former vice president leading over the Republican incumbent. 

"The polls have been telling us that Biden is likely to win, so a win would not be a surprise, muting a violent response," Elizabeth Larus, Professor of Political Science at the University of Mary Washington told MEA Worldwide. "Trump supporters would certainly be resigned, but not inflamed by passion. We likely won’t know the results tonight because Pennsylvania, a swing state, will continue to count mail-in ballots, days after the election. It’s likely that the delay in knowing the results will take the wind out of the sails of any violent opposition.

"The buildings being boarded up in DC, New York, and other major cities are not out of concern of a Biden victory. The concern is a second Trump upset. Store owners are boarding up in fear of rejection of a Trump victory," she added.