As the most divisive presidential election in U.S. history draws close, armed militia groups are preparing for the eventuality of war if Hillary Clinton “steals” the election, Reuters is reporting.
Trump has repeatedly said that the elections would be stolen by “Crooked Hillary” and that he may not acknowledge the results, if he does not win.
His claim has galvanized militia groups who connect with the 70-year-old’s disruptive campaign promises which include deporting illegal immigrants, banning Muslims from America, and building a wall across the Mexican border.
One of such groups is the Three Percent Security Force that has stepped up hand-to-hand combat training and rifle practice, as Election Day looms. The group derives its name “Three Percent” from the belief that only three percent of the American population fought against Britain in the Revolutionary War.
The militia group is led by Chris Hill, who also goes by the moniker, “Bloodagent.” He revealed that his group was prepped for what would come before and after the elections adding that they “won’t fire the first shot, but won’t leave their guns at home either.”
Militia groups gained prominence in the early 1990s, notably confronting authorities in Waco Texas, Idaho, and Ruby Ridge. Their numbers thinned out over the years but spiked up when Barack Obama was elected as the first black American president alongside his promises to whittle down gun ownership.
The Southern Poverty Law Center now estimates that there are presently 276 heavily armed military groups, up from 42 in 2008.
Hill said many Americans like him are scared that Clinton would pivot the country to the left.
“This is the last chance to save America from ruin. I’m surprised I was able to survive eight years of Obama without literally going insane, but Hillary is going to be more of the same.”
The Three Percent Security Force camped just an hour south of Atlanta, claims to be affiliated with an armed national movement that can call on members to defend individual rights under the seeming glare of an over arching government.
Hill revealed his group like other militias was ready to march to Washington, if Hillary Clinton won the race to the White House, providing protection for protesters and ready to kick it up another notch, if the President-elect decided to disarm gun owners.
Trump wholly responsible for this.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) October 28, 2016
GOP has disavowed, but too little too late. https://t.co/6sMFq1XLtZ
“I will be there to render assistance to my fellow countrymen and prevent them from being disarmed, and I will fight and I may die in the process.”
In previous elections, any hint of violence brazenly discussed would have been roundly condemned. However, considering the present political climate such ideas are hardly shocking anymore and have been legitimized by plenty of people.
According to a CNN report, former Illinois Representative, Joe Walsh has talked about taking up arms if Trump loses the elections.
Conservative commentator, Wayne Root has fantasized about the deaths of Clinton and senior aide, Huma Abedin, likening their endings to Thelma and Louise, a movie starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon who drive off a cliff rather than be arrested by police.
Another Trump adviser, Al Baldasaro, was investigated by the Secret Service when he said Clinton should be shot for treason.
The Three Percent Security Force wrapped up their rifle practice in the scorching sun, but rather than call it a day, headed deeper into the woods for an obstacle course. Hill has likened their preparation to U.S. Marines, adding that it was crucial to train more than ever because they could not predict what the outcome of the elections could bring.
Donald Trump’s polarizing rhetoric about rigged elections has had far-reaching consequences that even he could not possibly fathom. Political experts have expressed concerns that gunfights could erupt at voting booths and a new racist movement could emerge from the conflict that Trump’s campaign has caused. This they believe will weaken the American political system which has always found strength and stability in diversity.
Shaun Bowler, a professor of political science at the University of California said that Trump had done plenty of damage to the polity already, adding that his continued onslaught against core democratic values that has taken many years for America to build has generated controversy because people are now questioning the nation’s electoral authenticity.
“It’s not just a campaign about who will be president anymore. It’s a campaign about what kind of country America will be after the votes are cast.”
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]