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‘At the edge of an abyss’: Experts warn America could plunge into sectarian violence after election

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Militia member Sean Anderson patrols the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (YouTube)

Experts on international conflict resolution are warning that the United States is on the verge of seeing a wave of sectarian violence unleashed by the 2020 presidential election.

In interviews with NPR, several experts said the United States is exhibiting troubling signs that other countries that have been plagued by sectarian violence have shown in recent decades.

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“We thought we were immune to it,” said Tim Phillips, the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Beyond Conflict. “When we looked at our own problems, we thought: ‘Of course we have some big issues, but we’re in a sense immune from an us-versus-them mindset, a sectarian mindset, where there could be real conflict.'”

Hrair Balian, director of the Conflict Resolution Program at the Carter Center, tells NPR that the United States right now is bringing back memories of things he witnessed in Lebanon.

“We have become intolerant, we have started dehumanizing the other side,” Balian said. “We are at the edge of an abyss, and we better see this and try to step back before it is too late.”

And Stephen Pomper, senior director for policy at the International Crisis Group, tells NPR that President Donald Trump is the single biggest driver pushing Americans toward sectarian violence.

“Probably the biggest issue is the president of the United States right now, who has portrayed himself as somebody who, you know, is not necessarily interested in calming the waters,” he said, and added that Trump “might actually court unrest in order to serve his political and personal goals.”

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2020 Election

Obama says some Black men are persuaded by Trump’s ‘macho’ bravado bragging about women and money

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In part two of the SnapChat interview with President Barack Obama, Peter Hamby asked how President Donald Trump was able to persuade so many Black men to support him over President-elect Joe Biden.

When Obama was elected he got about 95 percent of the Black vote, where Biden got about 80 percent.

"Well, look, I think men, generally, are more susceptible to public figures who act tough, sort of the stereotypical macho style," Obama said, while videos of Trump showing off his flabby muscles appeared. "I don't think Black men are immune to that any more than White or Hispanic men are. A lot of the values of pop culture are extolling wealth, power, frankly, greed, not thinking about other people because you're so ruthless you're just looking out for yourself."

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2020 Election

‘I’m utterly embarrassed’: Michigan Republican admits Rudy Giuliani ‘waded into the realm of insanity’

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Michigan state Rep. Aaron Miller, a Republican, this week accused Rudy Giuliani of entering the "realm of insanity" with his testimony to lawmakers in Michigan.

Miller made the remarks following Giuliani's wild testimony to the Michigan House Oversight Committee.

"I’m happy to thoughtfully listen to evidence and claims and that was what today was supposed to be about, but Mr. Giuliani’s final statement waded into the realm of insanity," Miller said, according to The Detroit News. "He made wild and broad partisan insults for several minutes that had nothing to do with the election, and it was frankly unacceptable, shameful, and pathetic and distracts from any evidence that we might hear."

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2020 Election

Trump refuses to say whether he still has confidence in AG Bill Barr

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President Donald Trump on Thursday refused to say whether he still had confidence in embattled Attorney General Bill Barr.

According to Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, the president was asked whether Barr still had his confidence, and Trump replied that reporters should ask him that question again in a few weeks.

Trump is reportedly furious at Barr for two reasons.

First, Barr told the Associated Press this week that so far the Department of Justice has found no evidence of systemic voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 election.

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