The War Where Nobody Came

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

Let’s be clear: Trump was recently quoting Robert Jeffress about a civil war, and Jeffress in turn was talking about a deep, permanent divide which would last through generations. Neither he nor Trump was threatening an actual conflict.

Let’s also be clear: the “Civil War” rhetoric is not new. Trump has suggested direct conflict might result if he were impeached, and his enablers and supporters have suggested it might be necessary. There have been talks about “watering the tree of liberty” (the quote is actually “the tree of liberty must be refreshed”, not “watered”, but linguistic and historical accuracy isn’t high on the priority list for many of these self-styled patriots) and “taking up arms”. On the other side, there has been talk of “punching a Nazi” and being part of “The Resistance”.

There are some who take these statements seriously. They steal MAGA hats and throw drinks at kids. They gather publicly and march in step as Proud Boys or Antifa, promoting hate. They mail crude package bombs to journalists. They shoot innocents in shopping centers and temples. They are examples of irrational sociopolitical fervor mixed with a lack of respect for human life.

While he may not have been directly threatening armed conflict this time, the President’s past statements make such an interpretation of his latest tweet reasonable.

Unsurprisingly, it received attention from both his adherents and his opposition. Even as mockery abounded on Twitter, Republican talk shows spoke about a “march on Washington” and Democrat venues like Mother Jones warned about potentially violent Republican groups.

There’s an issue here, and its name is reality. Any potential conflict sparking from impeachment and removal of Donald Trump would resemble not the Civil War, but rather the “Storm Area 51 Raid” that resulted in a lot of people standing around talking and no people actually trying to storm Area 51.

Overwhelmingly, the people most devoted to Donald Trump are the elderly. From a purely practical standpoint, many of them are physically unable to join a protracted march or drive across the country to brandish arms against law enforcement and the military.

More to the point, most of these people can’t even be bothered to fill out and return a survey mailer for the party of their choice or plant a yard sign, and among those who will only a handful are willing to man a phone bank or canvas a neighborhood. A march on Washington would require them to spend days in travel while spending on hotel rooms, food, and gas and finding someone to watch their pets.

Being elderly, they’ve had decades to demonstrate their willingness to gather and demonstrate. Many have done so at local events; far more haven’t bothered. If they’ve never done it to date, when it was safe and legal for them to gather, the likelihood that they would take arms against government forces lies somewhere around zero percent.

They’ll talk a good game on the internet, but a march on Washington is a pipe dream, and a civil war is a sociopathic fantasy.

That is right now – when support for Trump is at its highest. As the impeachment investigations continue, more evidence will be revealed which will cast Trump in yet worse light. Independents will shift against him, and as a majority of the country grows firmer in its anti-Trump stance, many Republicans will be emboldened to break with their support of the President. Whether inspired by the blatant inhumanity of his stance against refugees, the support of anti-freedom enemies like China and Russia, or simply his massive spending, some will peel away.

If voters are disinclined to spend their time rallying for something, they’re even less likely to gather for something unpopular. He’s disliked now, and he’s growing more so.

An uprising is the most empty of threats, coming from the most vacuous of people.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.