I was shocked to learn that more than a third of Americans, most of them Republicans, now believe that violence against the government is sometimes justified. Equally shocking is that over 70 percent of registered Republicans believe Trump won the 2020 election—in the face of irrefutable evidence that he lost. The recent FBI seizure of classified documents at Trump’s estate at Mar-a-Lago has brought calls for attacks on the FBI and one actual attack against an FBI field office on August 11 in Cincinnati, resulting in the assailant’s death. Then, Sunday’s Washington Post featured an article by Marc Fisher titled, “Fighting words: Are we headed for civil war?” The same day, staunch Donald Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ominously warned of “riots in the streets” if the former president is hit with charges for taking classified documents to his Mar-a-Lago home when he moved out of the White House.
In other words, there is a real possibility that Trump Republicans might unleash violence against the federal government now under the control of duly elected Democrats. That would justify response by the U.S. military. And we would find ourselves in a conflict correctly defined as a civil war.
Our nation has never during my long life been so threatened. The ultimate perpetrator is Donald Trump, still harping on his false claims that his defeat in the 2020 election was due to fraud. He encourages his supporters to protest and approves of violence. Were he restored to power without winning an election, fascism would triumph.
Have we really come to this?