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‘Just Really Anxious’: An America on Edge Votes on a Day That Really Matters

Category: Political News,Politics

The right speaks with gratitude for a White House dream realized.

“We believe he’s sent from God,” Kathy Kiely, 67, said of Mr. Trump from a mall food court in Prescott, Ariz., “to bring us back to where we used to be, and where we can be.”

More common, though, are the darker appraisals: of enemies real and imagined, of what awaits us if the national rupture remains.

“History always repeats itself,” said Robert Brock, 42, a Trump-supporting truck driver in South Daytona, Fla., forecasting a kind of modern civil war between conservative and liberal. “People aren’t realizing that.”

In flashes, the race’s final weeks have lurched from abstract menace to notes of genuine violence. Mail bombs targeted Mr. Trump’s Democratic opponents. The president praised and re-enacted a congressman’s assault on a reporter, to cheers and laughter inside a Montana airplane hangar. He suggested that the military should fire upon migrant rock-throwers at the southern border.

And inside the Volusia County Republican office, where Mr. Brock spoke of looming combat after a rally for the statewide ticket, gunshots had shattered a front window last week, piercing a poster with the president’s surname. By the weekend, the sign was up again, with a hole visible just above the “R” — a message to whomever had done this, to whomever doubts the tenacity of the president’s people.

“It’s a reminder,” Mr. Brock said. “We’re not going to go away.”

Historians have reached for parallels lately and generally found them wanting. There is a measure of the ’60s-style upheaval and hazard, they say, and some midterm echoes from 1994 or 2010. But the divisions feel deeper, harder. The cement is drying.

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