|Posted by Elwin Green on September 30, 2020 at 3:55 PM|
For months now, I have done nearly all my writing on Twitter, due to issues I don't have time to discuss right now.
This post is not specifically Homewood-related, but it's about a bit of national news that could affect Homewood - namely, last night's verbal altercation between Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Chris Wallace (I refuse to call it a debate).
My biggest takeaway was not that Trump refused, as so many people have noted, to condemn white supremacy (what else is new?). My biggest takeaway was something that I haven't seen anyone comment on yet - namely, that he threatened to incite America's first civil war.
The 1860s war between the Union and the Confederacy was not a civil war. A civil war occurs when two factions fight for control of the government. The Confederacy wasn't trying to take over the U.S., they were trying to leave it.
Trump intends to fight for control of the government.
Joe Biden's and the Democrats' shared goal is to win the election, so he says to his supporters, "vote." Donald Trump's goal is to remain in power, regardless of the election, so he says to his supporters, "Stand by."
But that was not the most terrifying/enraging line.
The most terrifying/enraging line was not what he said to the Proud Boys, but what he said to the rest of us: "This is not going to end well."
HE SAID IT TWICE.
Reporters and pundits need to stop asking if he will assure a peaceful transfer of power, when he is assuring a violent one.
Ever since his 2016 campaign rallies, when he promised supporters that he would pay their legal bills if they were sued for roughing up protestors, Trump has consistently fed his supporters' appetite for violence. And while some Republicans have fled both him and the party, his hardcore base are doubling down in their devotion. Can anyone doubt that some of them are willing to kill, and perhaps to die, for him? Or that he is willing for them to do so? That would be the ultimate proof of the loyalty he craves.
I believe that all of us who find Trump's presidency oppressive, repugnant, or otherwise unacceptable must vote for Joe Biden. But voting for Joe Biden will not prevent a civil war.
When it becomes apparent that he has lost the popular vote, Trump will certainly launch litigation to contest the results, all the way up to the Supreme Court, if necessary. But I also expect him to continue his rallies, rebranding them as "peaceful protests". He has already begun using the label; after the election it will apply specifically to protesting the election itself. By Jan. 20, his supporters will be so primed that violence will be likely, if it has not occurred before then.
The only way I see to prevent a civil war is to compel Donald Trump to resign. I've been working on that since June 20, and last night's display simply deepened my commitment to keep at it.
If you see another way, please share. But if you say he will never resign, I won't take time to argue. I only have time to work with those who say, with me, that he must, to see how we can make him.
Categories: Citizenship and Governance