U.S. on the edge of a civil war

October 10, 2020 - 18:38

As Trump spent the year warning about voter fraud, the Oath Keepers and other Trump’s supporters were listening. 

“What would happen, I wondered, if Trump lost, said the election had been stolen, and refused to concede? Or the flip side: What if he won and his opponents poured into the streets in protest?” Defense One

writer Mike Giglio wrote on October 4. 

The U.S. was already seeing a surge in political violence. In August, the FBI put out a bulletin that warned of a possible escalation heading into the election. 

“How much worse would things get if trained professionals took up arms?” Giglio asked, according to Defense One.

The American Civil War began because slaveholding Southern nationalists refused to recognize the lawful election of Abraham Lincoln. The underlying cause may have been fear that a Republican president

would ban the expansion of slavery into the West, but the triggering incident was losing a presidential election.

Aaron Sheehan-Dean, the Fred C. Frey professor of Southern studies at Louisiana State University, said, “We are confronted with a similar crisis today. According to the reporting of Barton Gellman in the Atlantic, a group of loyalists is laying the groundwork to disregard the results of the November presidential election if they send Democrat Joe Biden to the White House. These new fire-eaters, taking a cue from President Trump himself, advance what scientists call a ‘non-falsifiable hypothesis’. If Trump wins the election, the system works; if he loses, the system is corrupt. Any critique of this logic is only more proof that hidden forces are conspiring against him. The danger this posture poses to the United States is as great as the one manifested by Southern secession in 1861.”

Sheehan-Dean added, “While states are not threatening to leave the Union today, Lincoln faced a similar situation to the one confronting us.” 

America is already split, Trump Nation has seceded

Robert Reich wrote in the Guardian that “before Trump, most Americans weren’t especially passionate about politics. But Trump’s MO has been to force people to become passionate about him – to take fierce sides for or against. And he considers himself president only of the former, whom he calls ‘my people’.

Trump came to office with no agenda except to feed his monstrous ego. He has never fueled his base. His base has fueled him. Its adoration sustains him.
So does the antipathy of his detractors. Presidents usually try to appease their critics. Trump has gone out of his way to offend them. ‘I do bring rage out,’ he unapologetically told Bob Woodward in 2016.”

Robert Reich went on to say, “in this way, he has turned America into a gargantuan projection of his own pathological narcissism.

His entire re-election platform is found in his use of the pronouns ‘we’ and ‘them’. ‘We’ are people who love him, Trump Nation. ‘They’ hate him.”

In late August, near the end of a somnolent address on the South Lawn of the White House, accepting the Republican nomination, Trump extemporized: “The fact is, we’re here – and they’re not.” It drew a standing ovation.

At a recent White House news conference, a CNN correspondent asked if Trump condemned the behavior of his supporters in Portland, Oregon. In response, he charged: “Your supporters, and they are your supporters indeed, shot a young gentleman.”

In Trump’s eyes, CNN exists in a different country: Anti-Trump Nation.

Polls warning of civil war, violence

Meanwhile, a new poll shows a large swath of Americans harbor deep reservations about the election results weeks before Election Day and are concerned about what actions people might resort to as a consequence.

The YouGov poll of 1,999 registered voters found that nearly half – 47% – disagree with the idea that the election "is likely to be fair and honest."

And that slightly more than half – 51% – won't "generally agree on who is the legitimately elected president of the United States." The online poll was conducted Oct.1-2 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.56 percentage points.

In addition, a YouGov poll of 1,505 voters found that 56% said they expect to see "an increase in violence as a result of the election." That question had a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

For Fry and many other Trump supporters, the concern over the election's legitimacy is tied to the largely unproven claims Trump has raised about potential fraud involving millions of mail-in ballots that already have begun to pour in to election office across the nation.

Leaked FBI report warns of violence in advance of election

A leaked September 29 FBI intelligence report prepared by the Dallas, Texas, field office warns that leading up to the November election, “Boogaloo adherents” and “militia violent extremists” are increasing “violent and criminal activity” in the Dallas area.

The assessment was made the same day Trump, in the first presidential debate with his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, refused to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, instead instructing the fascistic street gang the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

The intelligence document, leaked to the Nation’s national security reporter Ken Klippenstein, confirms that the federal government continues to downplay the threat violent far-right groups pose to the general population. It also demonstrates that homicidal terrorist violence overwhelmingly emanates not from amorphous “Antifa” or “insurrectionary anarchist” groups, as the New York Times recently argued, but from far-right anti-communist and racist groups. These include the Proud Boys, “Boogaloo” and “back the blue” militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters (III).
 
Stewart Rhodes, the founder of far-right Oath Keepers, believed it had an ally in the White House for the first time. In 2016, when Trump had warned of election fraud, Rhodes put out a call for members to quietly monitor polling stations. 

When Trump warned of an invasion by undocumented immigrants, Rhodes traveled to the southern border with an Oath Keepers patrol. He sent members to “protect” Trump supporters from the protesters at his rallies and appeared in the VIP section at one of them, standing in the front row in a black Oath Keepers shirt. When Trump warned of the potential for civil war at the start of the impeachment inquiry last fall, Rhodes voiced his assent on Twitter. “This is the truth,” he wrote. “This is where we are.”

If you live in the United States, what is your view about the polarization of society. Which side is right? leave your comments.

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