Igniting Civil War in the USA

Igniting Civil War in the USA, by Angelo Codevilla.

Government sponsorship of violence against opponents or complacency in the face of incitement to violence is a powerful tool of political repression. Regimes such as Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Nicaragua, China, and other tyrannies have used such tactics to great effect. When mobs attack anti-government demonstrators, for example, the police either disappear or stand by watching. In American cities run by Democrats and on the U.S. college and university campuses, the authorities increasingly have been standing by as radicals do the dirty work of beating up or silencing conservatives.

We Americans are now facing the danger of a civil war thus ignited. We do not think of civil war this way because our Civil War from 1861 to 1865 was less a conflict within society than it was a highly organized war between states. …

How it starts, and who started it:

It all starts with getting people accustomed to hating each other. And that starts at the top.

Saying hateful things about one’s opponents is a time-tested way of stoking supporters’ enthusiasm, of building support for one’s own side. …

The story of the contemporary American Left’s sponsorship of hate and violence begins around 1964, when the Democratic Party chose to abandon the Southern constituencies that had been its mainstay since the time of Jefferson and Jackson. In less than a decade, the party found itself increasingly dependent on gaining super-majorities among blacks, upscale liberals, and constituencies of resentment in general — and hence on stoking their hate.

For the past half century, America’s political history has been driven by the Democratic Party’s effort to fire up these constituencies by denigrating the rest of America. As elements of cynical calculation melded into self-images of righteous entitlement to rule inferiors, the boundaries between the party and the constituencies’ most radical parts have eroded.

In the 21st century’s second decade, explicit statements by the party’s principal figures — President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to name only a few — have led their epigones in power as well as millions of followers to think and act as if conservatives were simply on a lower level of humanity, and should have their faces rubbed in their own inferiority. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo simply declared that pro-lifers and other conservatives have no place in his state.

As the media amplified and cheered such guidance from on high, it would be surprising if many ordinary followers have not concluded that harassing if not harming conservatives in restaurants, airports, as well as in their public functions is not just permissible but praiseworthy, and if thousands of persons who exercise power over cities, towns and schools have not concluded that facilitating such harassment and harm is their duty.

Where we are up to now:

Police in leftist jurisdictions have stood aside as violent groups disrupted the 2016 Republican presidential campaign and the 2017 presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., as racial mobs have ravaged malls and shut down major roads, as conservatives have been attacked physically as they tried to speak or merely observed. The media have basically justified the violence. The other side has done nothing comparable — yet.

But since the ruling class’s condemnations of conservatives as racists, environmental criminals, and would-be terrorists are becoming well-nigh universal, the probability of deadly attacks on conservatives, of intolerable convictions or absolutions, and assassinations, rises to certainty. So does corresponding demand for protection and revenge. …

In the closest call yet, a few months after the 2017 inaugural, a Democratic Party activist who had supported Bernie Sanders and regularly posted violent rants against President Trump on social media opened fire on Republican congressmen practicing for a baseball game, nearly killing Representative Steve Scalise (R-La.). The ruling class rushed to exonerate itself. …

We know that our ruling class having largely made government into a partisan thing, America has crossed the threshold of revolution. While we have no way of knowing what lies ahead, we know that the spiral of political violence has already taken its first fateful turns, and that the logic of our partisan ruling class is pushing for more.

hat-tip Charles