If there is right-wing extremist violence in this country as we approach the election, many assume it will be caused by right-wing organizations. However, there is some indication that conservatives, especially those openly supporting President Trump, may also be the target of violence, this time from left-leaning people and groups.
- In February 2020, Gregory Trimm from Jacksonville, FL, was accused of plowing through a voter registration tent with his van. The tent was handled by Republicans supporting the President. While no one was hurt, a spokesperson for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department said Trimm told police he does not like Trump and that “someone had to take a stand.” According to a former coworker who worked with Timm, this caught friends and family by surprise because, in the last election, he hated Hillary Clinton.
- At about the same time, a 34-year-old man, Patrick Bradley of Windham, New Hampshire, slapped a 15-year-old boy across the face following a disagreement. When two adults intervened, they were assaulted as well. Once again, the victims were all manning a Trump campaign tent. While no one was seriously hurt, the attacker did manage to knock over the tent and destroy many Trump campaign signs.
- Earlier this year, a video taken by bystanders at the University of California at Santa Cruz shows two protestors smashing a College Republicans information table. Placards, banners, and signage were ripped apart along with what appeared to be a 13-star “Betsy Ross” American flag.
- Finally, local police were alarmed when they saw a video circulating on social media of a man urging students at Arizona State University to “slash the throats of Republicans.” The video has since been taken down, but who or what group put it up remains a mystery.
Compared to a right-wing extremist group’s attempt to kidnap the Governor of Michigan and take over the state’s government – foiled on October 8 by the FBI – the acts discussed above look like child’s play.
However, according to Dr. Erroll Southers, Managing Director at TAL Global, “this all could change very quickly if the election is disputed, especially if there are close contests in some key swing states.” Should that happen, the “child’s play” acts discussed earlier could become much more serious and certainly more violent.
His thoughts appear to be supported by a report in Politico magazine. The October 1, 2020 report states the following:
“Our research shows an upswing in the past few months in the number of Americans—both Democrats and Republicans—who say they think violence would be justified if their side loses the upcoming presidential election.”
The report then goes on to say:
“This growing acceptance of the possibility of violence is a bipartisan movement. Our data shows that the willingness of Democrats and Republicans alike to justify violence to achieve political goals has essentially been rising in lockstep.”
According to Southers, this report should send a chill up the spine of every corporate executive, business owner, building owner, and manager. “Our country has seen difficult times before, but the current tensions are unprecedented. I am confident we will make it through this period, but we must take these reports seriously and take steps now to protect ourselves.”
Southers suggests that organizations work with corporate security organizations and have security/vulnerability risk evaluations conducted, before and after the election, to determine their level of security and safety.
“We are witnessing numerous warning signs, which all too often are ignored or dismissed,” says Southers. “Based on my years of experience in the corporate security industry, dismissing these warnings or procrastinating, will invariable lead to profoundly serious trouble, most of which can be avoided.”
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More information on Dr. Erroll Southers here: http://errollsouthers.com/
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