Chest-thumping rhetoric on social media about a looming “civil war” in America has historically amounted to so much hot air, but when the Washington Post offers a serious look at the discussion, the potential for a violent collision between liberal and conservative ideologues takes on a certain degree of credence.
According to the newspaper, “two political commentators from opposite sides of the divide concurred” recently that the country just might be “on the verge” of a conflict. The newspaper noted, “With the report by special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly nearly complete, impeachment talk in the air and the 2020 presidential election ramping up, fears that once existed only in fiction or the fevered dreams of conspiracy theorists have become a regular part of the political debate. These days, there’s talk of violence, mayhem and, increasingly, civil war.”
The story quoted Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney and frequent guest on Fox News, who stated, “We are in a civil war. The suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over…It’s going to be total war.”
Then the story turned to MSNBC commentator Nicolle Wallace, who apparently concurred with diGenova’s assessment, for different reasons. She reportedly blames the discontent on President Donald Trump, upon whom the political left would place the blame for that iceberg struck by the Titanic if they thought they could get away with it.
But a few months ago, the Washington Post wasn’t so concerned about a civil war potential. The newspaper at that time—mid-October—dismissed the notion.
What has people riled up now to change the scenario? House Democrats have pushed through two pieces of anti-Second Amendment legislation this week, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, that both affect background checks, and they have other measures waiting in the wings.
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While those bills may be dead-on-arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate, the anti-rights philosophy guiding those Democrat majority votes hasn’t lost a single spark.
Lest anyone think this new “civil war” would only amount to a bunch of loud words and pointed fingers, an incident that occurred about two weeks ago at the University of California – Berkeley in which a conservative activist was physically attacked could be a skirmish signaling more trouble to come. According to Fox News, a suspect has been identified and will likely face criminal prosecution.
There was something else diGenova reportedly said during an appearance on Fox with conservative host Laura Ingraham that raised eyebrows: “I vote and I buy guns. And that’s what you should do.” He later clarified the remark by insisting that he owns buns “mostly to make a statement.”
But what sort of statement? Some might suggest to diGenova that if he wants to make a statement, he should rent a billboard.
The Washington Post article also quoted University of Pennsylvania professor Boaz Hameiri, who reportedly explained that violence becomes more likely “when political leaders use ‘dehumanizing language’ to describe their opponents.”
Would that include such terms as “deplorables” and “gun nuts?”
One could say that all of this rhetoric might just blow itself out. Then, again, one could observe that the history of divisive politics in this country has demonstrated that cooler heads normally prevail, as they did right up the moment that somebody fired on Fort Sumter.
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