Will America survive Trump's effort to stoke a Civil War?

Thom plus logo George W. Bush had 9/11, and Adolf Hitler had the burning of the Reichstag. In both cases, an attack on the nation brought people together behind their leader.

White nationalists, including those embedded in police departments, have been attacking Black Lives Matter protestors in high profile ways the last few months, and Donald Trump is hoping it will help him. Over the weekend, both Kellyanne Conway and Laura Trump said as much, even implying that people being killed in the streets is good for Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, white supremacist leaders are donating enthusiastically to the Trump campaign, including Louisiana's head of the Aryan nation, while Trump's national security chief says he's no longer going to tell Democrats in Congress what the administration knows about foreign efforts to subvert our election. In the White House, his advisers are not allowed to use the phrase "domestic terrorism" because it is identified by the FBI as a tactic overwhelmingly used by rightwing white racists.

Historically, Americans come together when our country is attacked by its enemies. Historically, however, those enemies that attacked the nation are not the president's friends and allies.

Trump is now tripling down on Richard Nixon's 1968 strategy. Back then, following the murder of Martin Luther King, our cities were smoldering and Nixon, pointing to footage of Black people rioting, based his campaign on "law and order."

In this iteration, Trump is actively trying to provoke riots so he can claim, like Nixon, that he's the law and order guy who can fix things.

Outside of the Fox News and rightwing hate radio bubble, Americans are increasingly horrified by Trump and his followers' constant glorification and provocation of violence by police and vigilantes.

Many Americans had worried that Trump's actions might eventually lead to some sort of Civil War a few years down the road. But what if Trump himself, in an effort to influence the election, is successful at getting more and more Americans to kill each other right now?

Will that help him get elected? Or will enough Americans see through this transparent effort to create death and chaos so he can claim, "I, alone, can fix it!"

Trump, Conway and Murdoch all seem to be betting that the more often they can provoke people into the streets, the more likely it is there will be more property destruction and death.

If they succeed with this strategy, America will have been put on a course followed by numerous countries in the past, and in every single case it has ended badly.

-Thom

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