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

Comments

DrRichard 19 weeks 4 days ago
#1

What really concerns me is not just a sporadic civil war environment, though that is bad enough, but that Trump is building a narrative to use after losing the election. With every right wing extremist stirred up it will be easy to tell them that he lost because of a "stab in the back" by those liberals/Jews/Blacks/Hispanics whatever. The QAnon insanity fits perfectly into this; blame a formless "them" for your problems. This is exactly the playbook that right wing Germans used in the '20s to explain why they lost World War I. And naturally it led right into having someone who promised to make their nation and (ficticious) race "Great Again."

I'm not sure Donald is smart enough to do any such thing; he seems both lazy and ignorant, but for all we know he could be part of something much worse. Maybe not exactly a conspiracy, but certainly a group of right wing opportunists who will use what he has "built." Such mass movements don't just disappear. Trump got in thanks to a lot of somewhat justifiable anger in this country. That is still there, now squared and cubed, and the next would be tyrant will have learned from his mistakes.

James Campbell's picture
James Campbell 19 weeks 4 days ago
#2

It seems factional street violence is currently being fueled in part by real and trumped-up doubts about the integrity of our voting system. These fears could be greatly dampened if an overwhelming number of people who are genuinely concerned that their votes be fairly counted were given a way of proving in court how they voted.

This could be done by organizing a massive online notarization of ballot affidavits that would be completed in time to challenge in court every certified vote tally that shows fewer votes for a candidate than the corresponding affidavits do.

There are two reason for thinking such a campaign is feasible: (1) online remote notarization is currently legal in twenty-one States, and at least four allow their notaries to certify documents for clients living anywhere in the United States; and (2) 140 million ballot affidavits could be notarized in twenty working days by about 350 thousand out of the 2.2 million licensed notaries legally permitted to perform online face-to-face services.

What kind or degree of confidentiality such ballot affidavits would enjoy in the courts is a question for legal experts. The real question is whether or not enough people really want a fair election, and whether or not they want it enough to stand up in court and attest to the votes they cast.

To the degree people are confident that affidavits are being collected that will protect the integrity of this election, there would be one less temptation to fall for politicized provocations to street fighting - and we would have a much better chance of avoiding an electoral catastrophe this time around.

alis volat's picture
alis volat 19 weeks 4 days ago
#3

Two county sheriffs have refused to send deputies to Portland at Governor Brown's request. And, so the divide widens.

I am betting those showing up for the destruction are not who any of us think they are. I hope they are prosecuted and made to pay for the damage

My thanks goes to the brave, peaceful brothers and sisters. Keep your camera-phone handy and never give-up!

whatabout's picture
whatabout 19 weeks 4 days ago
#4

Thom, how delicious is the fact the very people the democrats encourage and support are now turning on the most progressive of fools that have permitted their reckless destruction of Portland which has replaced Seattle as the anus of the United States.

Wake up Thom, it is the very weakest that the blm and antifa animals eat first and your clueless support makes you their main course.

Save your city by demanding the removal of your idiot mayor and feckless governor.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost? Portland Mob Shines Strobe Lights Into Ted Wheeler's Condo at Night

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BLM with demands swarm Portland mayor’s condo, stage sit-in, hours after he praised ‘peaceful protests’

Excuse me for laughing hysterically at the freaking irony of it all.

avn013's picture
avn013 19 weeks 4 days ago
#5

What goes round comes around.

YOHAN CHU's picture
YOHAN CHU 19 weeks 11 hours ago
#6

Right now, we are in a new form of civil war. The war started at Charlottesville in 2017.

vetinla's picture
vetinla 19 weeks 9 hours ago
#7

Covid 45 doesn't need a civil war, just enough unrest to convince some morons only a "real tough guy" like him, can save them.

America deserves a gutter rat like our current "fearless leader"..Poetic justice says I..

Why a little insurrection is no big deal to Republicans

Thom plus logo If their true scam is admitted, the GOP could wander in the wilderness for two generations

It seems inexplicable.

A group of Americans invaded the US Capitol with a plan to kidnap and kill the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, hoping that would throw the Electoral College vote to the US House, where Republicans would declare Donald Trump the winner.
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"In an age rife with media-inspired confusion and political cowardice, we yearn for a decent, caring, deeply human soul whose grasp of the problems confronting us provides a light by which we can make our way through the quagmire of lies, distortions, pandering, and hollow self-puffery that strips the American Dream of its promise. How lucky we are, then, to have access to the wit, wisdom, and willingness of Thom Hartmann, who shares with us here that very light, grown out of his own life experience."
Mike Farrell, actor, political activist, and author of Just Call Me Mike and Of Mule and Man
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of RebuildTheDream.com and author of The Green Collar Economy