Just this week, I ran into one too many people of conservative, Republican leanings who truly believe that the time has come for armed and violent rebellion against the Union and lawful authority of the duly-elected American national government.
I’d made the mistake some half dozen times now since this fall alone, with different people I considered yet rational, who though they truly hate Obama quite literally, yet retain a healthy respect for the rule of law and elections and our democracy. No such luck.
Since that November night in 2012 when Barack Obama and his Democratic Party won the election, he being re-elected and his party picking up a few seats in the House and holding the Senate firm and picking up a couple of totally unexpected seats there, the Obama hate contest, obstruction, and now even destroying the nation’s economy and ability to have a functioning government is fully on the line.
We are a nation at risk. Republican 24-7 hate for Obama, liberals, people of color, gays, the poor, women and their control over their own bodies, has morphed yet again, into something that is no longer partisan in terms of political parties. It is two factions, what Norm Ornstein has called a kind of “tribalism,” one that wants our government, our democracy, and country to thrive and the other that has outright revolution by force increasingly in mind.
There comes a time when the nation needs to plainly understand that this is a dire threat to the very existence of our government. It is real and actual now. It is not some panic-stricken anti-Republican Party diatribe by those hateful liberal Democrats.
More and more Democrats, liberals, and especially independents, are yearning for a return to what McCain for President 2008 Campaign Manager Steve Schmidt called recently, “honorable, respectable conservative principles.” For it then would be a matter of common ground, compromise, accepting the results of elections, actual governing and doing the people’s business, and so much more. We need two solid and rational, and yes loyal to the United States, political parties.
Here is the essence of what this thing is that I have had hit me in the face so many times so recently:
I say, “well you can hate Obama and all Democrats and work to defeat them but at least we’d agree that when it comes to defending the Constitution of the United States and the integrity of this Union just as our forbearers did 150 years ago in the American Civil War we’d do that much now.”
The other guy says, “No, you don’t understand, we defend the country by destroying this tyrannical government led by that despot Barack Obama.”
“Well, at least no one is talking about outright revolution by force with guns, killing and all that.” I laugh nervously.
“No. The time has come for that. We can’t have a country any longer without ridding ourselves completely of what we have now.”
That is what things are developing into out there among the Waco-Bird right and more and more mainstream Republicans if they exist at all any longer. In a mad rush so reminiscent of the one in the Election of 1860, where Southern secessionists led this nation to disunion and war against ourselves.
It then hits you. Where is this revolutionary heart, the center-of-gravity of this tribe’s homeland? Yes, the red meat States of the Old Confederacy among lily white conservatives who talk in 2013 of secession again.
Then, it was fear that the Lincoln Administration would take away slavery and destroy the “Southern way of life,” meaning slavery and its twin sister, white supremacy.
Now it is immigrants, gays, blacks, the poor, women who actually think for themselves and want gender equality, Latinos and liberal Democrats so honestly championing basic human justice in our nation and world. We all bring change that the other tribe of emergent and incipient revolution and insurgency so fear, hate, loathe, cannot accept—even at the cost of disunion, dysfunctional government, civil unrest, and war.
The white dominated, discriminatory, Ozzie and Harriet 1950’s bible thumping straight laced conformist, misogynist, Confederate nation these grumpy middle aged white guys and their Stepford wife consorts want to come back is not coming back. They know it now. They said it themselves in attacking Obamacare in that House Committee the other day: “I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore,” one Tea Party member of the committee said to House and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
And they are concluding that in righteous anger at a changing world they refuse to accept the only solution is to destroy that world they are so defiant of.
That is in essence the thing that now stalks the land and threatens the nation’s second Civil War in its history. Only this time it will be everywhere, and not by geographical section at all. It will be waged by vigilantes convinced of their right to refuse to respect the majority of their fellow citizens and the democracy so many have defended with their very lives.
This thing is not rational. It is decidedly irrational. The Neo-Confederate Tea Bagging of America is not even as rational as the madness of disunionists of the Confederate insurgency of 1861-65. It is Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Ted Cruz, Anne Coulter, Glen Beck, and the NRA on steroids and convinced they are in such dire threat themselves that they must not only eliminate President Obama and his entire family, but do so to any liberal Democrats or their allies they might encounter who get in their way.
Struggles for Justice has been commenting at length and in depth on a second coming of a great Civil War for this country, some sort of cataclysmic disturbance to the normal order of government and civil society by a group of people guided by their hatreds, fears, and a distemper of the mind and soul so brutal it is almost too unbelievable to accept or even entertain.
But the thing is here. It is a matter of maybe a year or so. If the Tea Party dominant Republican Party, right-wing groups they ally with, and angry white Americans yearning for that lost America do not win in 2016 it will come. Any liberal or even moderate Democrat who is constitutionally elected President in a free, fair and democratic election in November 2016 and all who stand with that person, even if white and male, will face an armed and violent and irrational insurgency here in America.
Again, our Union and our genius for the rule of law and civil society and doing what is just and right by everyone, including more and more people in the blessings of liberty, will get a second ultimate test, “testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.”
The American democratic experiment is not about continuous armed revolt, brute armed force, ignorance, irrational fear and hatreds. Those supporting the Union and increasingly recognizing slavery and armed rebellion as the real threat to our system of government and civil society back in the 1860’s will in a new generation of the 2010’s see that the last gasp of white supremacy, intolerance for those who are different and the refusal to recognize the results of national elections, the rule of law– everything commonly accepted for so long since 1865 come to center stage.
We are a nation at risk. We are a troubled people with a significant group of citizens turning to extremism and hate and their fears rather than the moderation of common sense, love for one another and a care for the civic good. God save the United States and heaven defend the right.