Photo: Erik Mauer / flickr
Art Cashin of UBS describes an alarming vision in his daily note.Cashin shares some of the conversation he and his drinking buddies – “The Friends of Fermentation” – have been having recently about the presidential election.
Given the extremely polarised political climate in America today, Cashin says things could get ugly if the race is close.
From Cashin’s note:
Could This Be A “Dangerous” Election? – The Friends of Fermentation drifted onto the Presidential Election at a recent non-plenary session. The conversation was not what you might call “reassuring”. The strong consensus was that whoever wins the election, it would be best if they won by a significant margin.
The feeling was that the nation is so tightly and tensely divided that a close election could well inspire challenges to its validity.
Those challenges might take the form of an almost endless series of court cases like Florida in 2000. That could delay swearing in the President or some Senators or Congressmen.
But, the challenges might not stop there. The FoF discussion worried that the challenges might spill out into the streets, perhaps starting as demonstrations and quickly devolving into riot-like occasions.
Could we be seeing the end of the American tradition of the orderly transfer of power? Could we be slipping into banana republic mode?
The heart of this discussion is the acrimonious tone that has evolved and grown in our political exchanges. All the “us and them” and class warfare posturing sets a dangerous backdrop to a close election.
Even the polls, which have been basically frozen for months, suggest a cement-like partisanship in the land.
What would happen if this election wound up back in the Supreme Court?
I’ll try to get the FoF to talk about something less partisan….maybe the World Series.
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