In the Near Future I See US Becoming More and More Divided and Angry – Prof

© REUTERS / Brian SnyderUS Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage at a campaign rally in Windham, New Hampshire, January 11, 2016.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage at a campaign rally in Windham, New Hampshire, January 11, 2016. - Sputnik International
US Republicans, their staffers and offices have seen at least eight attacks this year, the Daily Caller reported. Sputnik has discussed the reports of growing violence against politicians in the US with Daniel Kovalik, Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh.

Sputnik: Now in your view why are the Republican politicians getting attacked this year?

Daniel Kovalik: Well look, I think in general in the United States there is real division amongst the population politically and it's become a country frankly where things are being settled through violence rather than discussion; and I think you're seeing that played out a bit in these attacks.

Sputnik: I think the interesting question is why is it Republican politicians that are getting attacked more so than Democrats, I haven't got any figures obviously, but is there a reason why they're getting attacked? Is it to do with this political divisive environment that the American country is living in with this current president of the United States that you've got?

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Daniel Kovalik: I think it's not just the president. I think people do not feel that their voices are being heard in Congress. You really have, frankly, a real economic divide. There's a lot of class content to the struggle here, and you have the Republicans fleecing the population with tax cuts for the rich while they threaten to cut off social programs, very popular social programs, and there seems to be very little that the population can do to stop that and I think some of the frustration may be manifested in violence because folks do not feel they have the democratic means to deal with these issues.

Sputnik: Very interesting, the situation politically in the United States in the last few years. I was reading an article by Ken Livingstone, the ex-London mayor, who actually wrote an article and said it's not particularly the president and the current administration, it's the political situation; the American political functionality is broken. It's a broken political arena within the United States, how would you assess that, do you think he's fair in saying that or is that not correct?

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Daniel Kovalik: Absolutely, in fact, former President Jimmy Carter also said that we do not have a functioning democracy and I believe that. Congress doesn't legislate; really the only body in the government that legislates is the Supreme Court. So you now have nine people who really make the decisions about the law in this country, and that's not a very democratic system and these people have appointments for life.

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And I think people are very frustrated by that, and I think you see some of that being played out through violence. I think the other thing that needs to be kept in mind is that a lot of the issues that divided this country during the Civil War, particular issues of race, continue to reverberate in this country and to motivate people politically and in their daily lives and I think that can never be forgotten.

Sputnik: If the political machine is broken how is it going to be repaired then? You're the number one global economy, the policeman of the world, how can this political position be changed to be more democratic? It's very, very divisive the Democratic-Republican situation you've just alluded to the situation with the nine Supreme Court judges having absolute autonomy. There's lots of people being frustrated, you're on the back of a populist administration being voted in and people are still unhappy with the situation, and that's on the backdrop of some good economic figures. It's a very, very complex situation in the US at the moment, isn't it?

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Daniel Kovalik: Yes, and I want to emphasize that those economic figures are very misleading. You now have levels of poverty never seen in this country really since the Great Depression. The UN just did a study in the US and they said particularly in the south, in states like Alabama they have not seen this type of poverty in any other first world industrialized country in the world. This economic boom is not benefiting most people and how is the system going to be changed? We really need a constitutional convention. We have a Constitution that's now well over 200 years old. It's now out of date. It's not working, and we need to kind of go back to formula and do something different.

Sputnik: What role has the US media played in these attacks against politicians in your opinion? Because similar to the political parties you've got the likes of CNN with a political ideology and you've got completely the reversed ideology with the likes of Fox, and the interesting thing that somebody actually pointed out that they're either all pro-President Trump debated on Fox,  or anti-President Trump on CNN. There's never a mixture of the two pros and cons. It's very much a focused ideology, either pro or against on the television and that can't be helpful either, can't it?

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Daniel Kovalik: I think the media definitely sharpens the divisions in this country, that's how they get ratings, and I think they probably make things worse than they have to be. So I definitely think that the media is playing a very divisive and negative role in the political system; and unfortunately for the near future I just see the country becoming more and more divided and more and more angry.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Daniel Kovalik and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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