A MAGA-led civil war? That’s not going to happen.
Thousands of Donald Trump supporters storm the United States Capitol building following a “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation’s capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Summer in Montana draws to a close. The harvest of the field is ripe, fragrant and bountiful, once again giving us many, many reasons to be grateful for our lives, friends and family.
Yet, in the seething dog pit of the political arena, we are told that the nation is looming on the edge of civil war over, of all things, a reality-TV grifter in a “Make America Great Again” hat being busted for stealing federal documents that endanger national security. But this isn’t a third-world country, this is the United States of America – and a civil war? It ain’t gonna happen.
It’s astounding that individuals like Sen. Lindsey Graham could possibly stand up in all his faux-righteous indignation and claim there will be “riots in the streets” if the Department of Justice dares prosecute a former president for stealing top secret government documents and storing them haphazardly at his Florida resort with no control over who may have seen, copied or stolen them.
You know what, there have been “riots in the streets” in this country many, many times before. But perhaps Graham has already forgotten the race riots in the battle for civil rights, the vast, nationwide protests and riots against the Vietnam War, or going back further, the riots of workers and the hanging of their labor union leaders fighting for living wages against cruel corporate overlords. Riots? Ha! We’ve seen that movie before, Mr. Graham – and yet, here we still stand, a proud and generally good people who are not consumed by the hatred for each other as you seem to be.
But what about the Civil War? Well, what about it? Those were actual armies arrayed against each other. You remember, don’t you Mr. Graham, the “Blue and the Gray” – they weren’t simply mobs of individuals roaming the streets shooting at each other.
Let’s take these reckless threats of a new civil war even further. Tell me, who will the MAGAs, supposedly so prone to violence against their fellow citizens, attack? Do you really think a tiny minority of the population is going to go out and start shooting anyone who isn’t White? Or Republican? Or isn’t wearing a red MAGA hat? Really?
The numbers alone predicate against any such possibility. Generally speaking, it’s well known that the U.S. citizenry breaks down politically into about 30% who consider themselves Republicans, 30% who consider themselves Democrats, and a whopping 40% who, like me, consider themselves Independents or have no political affiliation whatsoever.
Of the 30% who consider themselves Republicans, a sizable group finds the MAGA movement reprehensible, further diminishing those who might be enraged should Trump be held to the law. It’s seriously disingenuous to assume all Republicans are nutty MAGA cultists when many still believe in law, order, and that violence against those with whom you disagree is not the path to the future.
Graham also seems to think federal, state, and local law enforcement will simply stand aside while the MAGAs commit violence in the streets. Good luck with that. Society cannot and will not tolerate that kind of disruption in the lives of those simply trying to make a living for themselves and their families.
Like all bullies, Graham, the former guy, and his cultists are big on threats – and their temporary power over those cowed by them. But America will not be bullied, Mr. Graham. We will not abandon the rule of law to the chaos of anarchy by delusional adherents to a quickly fading, would-be dictator. Civil war over prosecuting the criminal acts of a former president? Got news for you Mr. Graham – ain’t gonna happen.
George Ochenski is a longtime Helena resident, an environmental activist and Montana’s longest running columnist.
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