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US election 2020: Is this set to be the most contested election?

US election 2020: Is this set to be the most contested election

this is america three nights before election day philadelphia is a city silenced by covid shut down by curfew the shops are boarded up the streets deserted and the national guard are on the lookout for trouble american election season is normally a frenzy of activity and noise the slogans talk of american pride or hope and change but this time around this time it’s the silence that gets you there is an odd kind of darkness to the politics right now you can blame the pandemic or

that sense of civil public unrest but i keep hearing this time that democracy is on the ballot and i’ve come to find out what that even means we could ask the question almost anywhere in this vast country but we’ve come to pennsylvania because quite frankly it’s the place on everyone’s mind battleground pennsylvania is the biggest of the big blue states president trump flipped four years ago the president said to hold rallies in four different parts of the state today my message is simple pennsylvania is critical in this election and if we win pennsylvania it’s over so we begin our road trip in a place

renowned for battle getty’s burst adams county is deep republican red they helped turn the whole state trump in 2016 by just point seven percent we’ve been invited to meet walt takalski who represents the local republican party at a rally just outside town the guest speaker today one donald trump jr and then we’ll fix up roads and tunnels and bridges in afghanistan that will be blown up two weeks later i want to fix the roads in pennsylvania as soon as we start filming there the atmosphere sours and again i’ve told you to stop recording and you’ve been recording again so now i need to get law

enforcement involved because you are here and with that despite our invitation to attend we’ve asked you to leave we’re escorted off the premises something i’ve never experienced at a political event before you know pennsylvania has been a battleground state the last several elections back at his offices i catch up with walt he’s been working with the party for decades so is our experience the new normal i don’t know these guys from adam i’ve never met them before although i’ve seen them at other rallies like the religious rally they were there to help keep the crowd in their corrals and uh when he said no foreign press that made no sense to me and i really don’t know what to make of it beyond that so what have you

loved about the last four years what has he done that’s made you come back for more for me its promises made promises kept he has told us what he was going to do in 2016 and he has tried to do it now he’s had to fight the congress he’s had to fight the senate he’s had to fight impeachment just imagine where our country would be today if instead of the establishment and the swamp fighting him they would have joined in i want to know if walt himself thinks democracy is on the ballot this time round a lot of the democrats or a lot of voters are really nervous uh when they hear donald trump refuse to recognize a peaceful transfer of power if he loses it’s a little bit nuanced there’s a lot of media out there that says

he is not going to leave peacefully well that was him wasn’t it he refused to he didn’t say quite that what he says is we’ll have to see with just 72 hours to go they’re keen for all the support they can get hey rita check this out this man has just come in to give us a box of uh trump hats that we can sell to help pay the rent all right michelle has been republican since she first door knocked as a child for richard nixon she tells me she fears the liberals and what they’ll do to america’s freedoms no we just don’t want to go along with you know socialism no we like our guns we like a lot of things and i don’t

want to have to pay for somebody else’s stuff when i’ve had to work for everything i got it’s like you’re free to go work anywhere you want and get a job and go for her america’s division is pretty personal her little brother’s on what she calls the wrong side what happens then if you and your brother talk politics um well quite frankly we probably won’t talk for a few months and we will yell and scream and you know there might be a little even though we’re older a little pushing and

i’m thinking about michelle her brother and countless other families feeling the strain as we head into the town that lives under the shadow of republican america’s favorite son gettysburg was the turning point in america’s civil war a clash between confederate south and the more metropolitan north and without pushing the metaphor too far it was bloody and it was self-inflicted to borrow the words often attributed to abraham lincoln america will never be destroyed from the outside he said if we falter it will be because we destroy ourselves so is america on a course of self-destruction right now

seems a fitting question to ponder as we head east to philadelphia the largest city in pennsylvania the cradle of american democracy it was here the founding father signed the declaration of independence and later the u.s constitution here in other words the very foundations were laid america always finds a way to come together and america after this election

will find a way to come together and it’s in a quiet suburb just outside the center that i find sean taggett he’s a white working-class mail demographically speaking the backbone of the trump vote last time round but sean is a biden guy and perhaps most controversially of all a political optimist sean it’s quite striking here you’ve got a trump pence sign up there and abide these are very close neighbors right yes no problem no problem at all for the majority of people in the city and from where we’re standing right now in northeast philadelphia uh people people feel it’s okay to disagree you know with

politics everybody has their own interest everybody has their own ideas and ideals and for the most part we generally we get along we get along as neighbors in the community you know the street we’re standing on right now uh we had a hero we lost officer jimmy o’connor in the philadelphia police department who was murdered earlier this year and that was a

big hit to this community in this street in this neighborhood and he was a friend of all of ours so naturally a lot of the police department you know and a lot of the cops are republicans and they back donald trump myself in organized labor i back joe biden still we all seem to get along we all care we all love each other and that’s what this neighborhood’s all about it’s community first here i don’t know what this year is going to be it’s going to be nice it’s going to be is it going to be

quiet you think you’re home sean’s wife erin is more wary whoever wins i just think there’s going to be it’s going to be problems unrest jess what kind of unrest um i think if trump wins um biden people are going to retaliate and you know probably protest and if biden wins it’s going to be the same thing our american democracy was born here and what we do this weekend in this next four days we’re going to save it here in philadelphia now this morning’s rally has brought the big

democrats to town to energize the blue-collar workers that turned this state red last time i just want to pick up on something that you said on the stage a second ago the future of our democracy is at stake why do you say that donald trump is the first president in american history who i don’t believe in his heart of hearts he’s a small d democrat you look at the people he reveres on the international stage they’re all the dictators they’re the authoritarians you don’t think he

believes in american democracy i don’t i don’t i genuinely believe that this is the first president in american history who in his heart of hearts does not believe in democracy who wishes that he could be an autocrat like the other strong men he reveres delaware senator chris coons now tipped to be the next secretary of state if biden wins tomorrow has more specific concerns look the republican party has honed the tools of voter suppression and of ballot manipulation over the

last decade federal courts have concluded that in a dozen different states they’ve changed the laws around voter id around the number of pallet of locations for voting the timing of voting it sounds from what you’re saying like you fear for democracy in america right now we are defined globally as a democracy that has had free and fair elections and a regular peaceful transfer of power for over 200 years whether we are still the world’s leading and most visible democracy is on the ballot on november 3rd here in the united states do you not think that there will be a peaceful transfer of power we

have a president who over and over has refused to publicly commit himself to accept the results of the election and to peaceably transfer power i’m not concerned by what i’m saying i’m concerned by what he said he said let’s see didn’t he that was what he said who says that what president has ever said will see as opposed to of course whenever the election is decided by our voters and our courts i will accept the result how is it acceptable for a president of the united states in a

national debate to say i don’t know peaceful transfer of power we’ll see pennsylvanian law allows posted ballots sent before election day to be counted up to three days after november the third but remarks by president trump suggesting it would be bedlam to have no result on election night have raised the specter he won’t wait for legitimate votes to be counted before self-declaring victory which may explain why in deluvian end of day’s weather the cities dotted with activists manning drop in balor boxes telling voters to get their papers in now you have a lot of people that signed up for the melon ballots but we need them to drop it off the election is tuesday um there’s some things going on with the

supreme court as far as violence being counted after election day and maybe you know with the with the mail system and they slow it up so we want to make sure we get people to drop it off so that you know they can get their vote to be counted and get things done yeah when you violate somebody right and frustration kicks in it’s going to be protesting there’s going to be writers because people are frustrated you got to understand the people that died for the right to vote so violating

that and taking their vote away is going to cause problems can this once great democracy really be held hostage to the fortune of postal deadlines counting speeds and the whim of leaders as the world awaits for its decision america’s third president thomas jefferson reminded his people america does not have government by the majority but by the majority who participate simpler times perhaps the quote needs a 2020 caveat america’s government by the majority who participate wants the county of their vote is done

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