An Uncivil War

In the poll by YouGov and the Economist, 65% of all respondents said political violence had increased since the start of 2021. Among all US citizens, 43% said civil war was at least somewhat likely.

I think an actual civil war is unlikely, but an increase in organized violence across the country is something we may witness on election day. This is serious cause for alarm.

A surge of conspiracy believers are signing up for positions as poll watchers and are being trained by others who have propagated the lie spread by The Don and his cronies that the 2020 presidential election was riddled with fraud.

For instance, In Nevada, the Republican Party’s nominee for secretary of state, Jim Marchant, a vociferous election denier of Biden’s 2020 victory was a featured speaker at a party poll watcher training.

With so many election deniers running for office and intimidation promised by Republican poll watchers, it is inevitable that elections will be contested, fraud will be claimed and violence will be an end result. We have to hope that the F.B.I. Homeland Security and the National Guard are tracking it all to intervene. Yes, let me repeat that: the F.B.I. Homeland Security and the National Guard need to be ready to intervene. 

But here we are. One month away from what I am afraid will be an election chaos the likes of which we have never seen before, all kickstarted by The Don.

It is hard to believe, but there are 299 Republican Party candidates running in federal and state elections that are avowed election deniers, some who have already said they will not necessarily accept the results of the election.

The Republicans craven desire for power has led to a chilling lack of civility. 

Here’s what Dana Loesch, the right-wing radio host, had to say about the recent revelations about Herschel Walker, the anti-abortion candidate who paid for his ex-girlfriend’s abortion: “I don’t care if Herschel Walker paid to abort endangered baby eagles. I want control of the Senate.” 

Confession: When I first read this statement, I had a fantasy, that a bunch of mommy and daddy eagles came soaring down from the sky, plucked Ms. Loesch from her radio station, and left her in an eagle nest where she had to watch baby eagles soar into the world.

What the Republicans want is absolute power, no matter what the cost. To what end? To control women’s bodies. To control what students learn about American history. To whitewash the slaughter of the indigenous people of this country. To protect white children from confronting the stain of slavery. To promote a White Christian Nationalism. To prevent the flourishing of an increasingly non-white population.

This movement to oppress and disenfranchise the “other” is  a cornerstone of this country. 

After the civil war, during the reconstruction period (1865-77), blacks, despite 200 years of slavery and dehumanization, managed to flourish. They ran successful businesses, ran for political office, elected a black senator and more than a dozen congressmen. But the south rejected the outcome of the war and could not tolerate that their former slaves were becoming equals. Whites felt like their way of life was stolen from them and they wanted to reclaim their supremacy. The federal government, whose presence in the south during reconstruction made it possible for blacks to thrive, bailed out; Whites took matters into their own hands, creating the Jim Crow laws, disenfranchising blacks and unleashing a wave of violence  (According to the Equal Justice Institute resulted in 6,500 known lynchings.)

Any civility toward blacks by whites eroded. No longer slaves, blacks were still dehumanized and treated as 2nd class citizens. White Supremacy was allowed to ascend and flourish. For a moment, imagine a world where blacks continued to flourish and were integrated as equals. America would be a very different place. But America was not then, nor now capable of this. 

It took until the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts in 1964-65 to finally dismantle the Jim Crow laws. However, from the moment those laws were passed, the Republican wheels were set in motion to do anything they could to disenfranchise Blacks. Though Jim Crow laws were dismantled, the underbelly of White Supremacy has remained and manifested in many ways. What we are seeing today is a bubbling up and fomenting of this country’s White Supremacist underbelly. The Don is like the hot pepper that activated the ulcer. 

The proliferation of conspiracy theories, hate groups, all which are reinforced by a social media world out of control has led to a depressing incivility in our country, where some believe the only way to save the country is to reinforce its White Supremacist roots. In other words let’s scare all the White people into believing that a vote for Democrats is a vote to losing the country you love.

Here are a couple of Republicans recent hits:

Republican Senator from Alabama, Tommy Tuberville: “They are not soft on crime,” he said of Democrats. “They’re pro-crime. They want crime. They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have. They want reparations because they think the people that do the crime are owed that.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene: “Joe Biden’s 5 million illegal aliens are on the verge of replacing you, replacing your jobs and replacing your kids in school and, coming from all over the world, they’re also replacing your culture. And that’s not great for America.”

And no piece about incivility is complete without The Don. who recently went on a rampage on social media about Mitch McConnell and felt it necessary to make an anti-Asian slur when referring to Mitch McConnelll’s wife, Elaine Chao.

Where doe this ramped up incivility and White Supremacy rhetoric lead us? All I can say is that if you feel a lot of anxiety, and are scared, you have every right to be so.

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