Slouching toward civil war

Tempers rise as legal options run out

“Republicans don’t riot” was a common phrase around the time of the election. The conventional wisdom was that if Biden lost then cities would burn. Whether there would be violence if Trump lost was another question.

So far, Trump’s loss has not resulted in violence, but many of the president’s supporters don’t yet realize or accept the fact that Mr. Trump has “the shape of an ‘L’ on his forehead.” That delusion, stoked by Trump himself and with many other Republicans fanning the flames, may erupt into a violent conflagration at some point between the upcoming meeting of the Electoral College and January 20, when Donald Trump’s tenure of president ends.

Now that the reality of a Biden presidency is staring them in the face, the MAGA crowd is going off the rails. On December 1, Mike Flynn called for “limited martial law” to overturn the election results. Keep in mind this is the same party that was petrified that President Obama would use a 2015 military exercise to impose martial law.

Then on Tuesday morning, the Arizona Republican Party tweeted a picture of Rambo with a quote saying they were ready to “die for something.” The tweet by the blue check marked group seems to have been removed, but the fact that it was posted at all is symptomatic of the deep disease that infects the new Republican Party.

I guarantee that for every call to violence that is visible on social media, there are many that are hidden. Most of these posts are nothing more than virtue signaling, but some won’t realize that they aren’t supposed to take the claims of stolen elections and armed revolts seriously. The logical course of action for these people, who consider themselves patriots and don’t realize that they are being used by President Trump in an attempt to enact a coup against the rightful president-elect, is to take up arms.

And what do Donald Trump and the spineless Republicans who are enabling the fantasy that Trump is entitled to a second term expect? Many Republicans have spent the past nine months arguing that the pandemic was a hoax being used to usher in either communism or fascism or some form of generic tyranny, depending on the day of the week. Now they’ve upped the ante and claim that the election - and by extension the country - are being stolen.

I remember years ago, back when Rush Limbaugh claimed to be a conservative rather than merely anti-left, the EIB host said, “If you want to know what Democrats are up to, just look at what they accuse Republicans of doing.”

Today, that seems to be the modus operandi of the Trump Administration. Distract from the president trying to disenfranchise 80 million American voters by claiming that Democrats conspired with Hugo Chavez and North Korea to steal the election.

Talking about dead people voting is passé. Now we have dead dictators undermining democracy from the grave!

”What’s the harm in humoring him?” a Republican reportedly retorted when asked why party officials were not calling out Trump’s lies about the election.

The answer to that question may be measured in blood. There are many possibilities ranging from riots to domestic terrorism to assassinations to civil war.

America is caught between two radical extremes, both of whom are ready to start killing their countrymen. One side seems ready to vent its anger if its demands to throw out the election results and install Trump for a second term are not met. The other side, justifiably in this case, is likely to take to the streets if the Trump supporters get their way.

And what if Trump does lie, threaten, and bluff his way to a second term? Would he decide that a third term would also be his for the taking? That seems far fetched now, but the prospect of Trump refusing to accept the results of the election was also (somewhat) far fetched just a few short weeks ago.

This is the time to draw a line in the sand. America does not negotiate with terrorists. Even Republican ones.

It is past time for Republicans to stand up for the rule of law and tell their voters the truth. I applaud Republicans like Gabriel Sterling who have spoken out against Trump’s lies but far too many of the elected officials that I used to respect are disturbingly silent.

Republicans need to decide whether their loyalty is to Donald Trump or to the Constitution. A man cannot serve two masters.

And, as for the Arizona Republicans, what are they willing to die for? Will they give their lives for a liar and con man? Will they die for a lie intended to subvert the Constitution they profess to love?

Pray for an outbreak of common sense to spread across the land.