It’s going to get UGLY: Glenn Beck issues solemn warning for conservatives ahead of midterms
Nation on the Brink of Civil War
‘I have never been more frightened for my country than I am right now’
America is in a very dangerous place right now – nation on the brink of civil war
America is in a very dangerous place right now. Far-left progressives are doing everything they can to create the right-wing “extremists” they can’t seem to organically find, and many on the right have had enough. Somebody is going to do something stupid, which will only give the left the excuse it needs to brand every last conservative in the nation as a “threat to our democracy.”
“We need a plan of action to save the country,” Glenn Beck said on a recent episode of Glenn TV. But that plan must adhere 100% to the Constitution, he asserted, because if we lash out in anger, we will lose.
“I have never been more frightened for my country than I am right now,” Glenn said. “We have 350 million people and some of them are bat-crap-crazy 24 hours a day, no matter who is the president. Somebody’s going to do something stupid, and the people that I would like to see behind bars — those who are intentionally trying to distort, dismantle, and destroy our republic and the Constitution — they will use any and every opportunity they have to push people in a certain direction, cast them in a certain light […]. There isn’t any way to win unless we remember who we are and rise above it,” he added.
“This is going to be one or the other: You’re going to have an authoritarian state that tells everybody exactly what to do, what you can buy; you will be a serf, or we’re going to have a new chapter of freedom. Getting to either one of these is going to be ugly,” Glenn warned. “We must try absolutely everything we can, and November is the best way to do it.”
Glenn went on to explain why, if we don’t realize that our neighbors are not the same as the “crazies” in Washington, D.C., we won’t have a country anymore.
“I’m sorry if I am out of step with you,” he said. “When I started this job the week of September 11th, I promised [God] I would do my best to find the answers to share them with you and stand up for what I truly believed He would have me do.”
“All we can do is the best we can right now, and the best thing that you can do is, as the crowd gets louder, do not scream for more blood. As the crowd gets louder, we must become more quiet and humble — but in the way of Jesus. Stop thinking of Jesus Christ only as a lamb. He was also a lion. But he was a lion that roared against injustice. Just because you want to be reasoned, quiet, Christ-like, does not mean that you do not turn over tables. The tables here have to be turned over. The money-changers have got to be chased out of our republic’s temple in Washington, D.C., and I am all for that. But notany other way than constitutionally.”
“Don’t give the crazies what they want,” Glenn urged. We are so close to November, then we must vote them out.
The more Trump seems to be cornered, the more dangerous he is… – nation on the brink of civil war
Kayyem posits that “[a] violent movement either grows or shrinks. Its ideology is not defeated; it simply stops motivating people to action.” She further argues that that the more Trump looks like a loser, the more his followers begin to turn on one another. Kayyem writes that, as the ominous circle of accountability closes around Trump, the fever may break, and his remaining followers will be left to “end up cosplaying a civil war.” As she puts it, “the decline of MAGA looks something like that—just a smattering of people respond[ing] to the overheated rhetoric of Trump and his allies.”
Based on no evidence right now, Republicans are promoting a narrative that the events of this week prove that the United States government and its chief law-enforcement agency are Nazi-like, corrupt to the core, at war with its own citizens. This can’t end well.
So, it very much seems like it’s going to go one way or the other, and it remains hard to predict which road signs we should be tracking. As measured in cubic tons of my “die, bitch” emails, it doesn’t seem as though the violence and threats will be contained by Trump’s growing legal exposure, and there’s a good chance that any actual accountability will merely prove that he was a victim of deep state shenanigans and inspire his worst supporters to act on their persecution complex in frightening, lawless ways.
According to Atlantic Magazine, In some corners of MAGA-land, a new civil war is getting under way. The FBI’s arrival at Mar-a-Lago yesterday evening to collect evidence in a criminal investigation related to former President Donald Trump is the trigger that some of his supporters needed to suggest that violence is imminent. Predictably, the unverified Twitter accounts of armchair revolutionaries circulated claims such as “I already bought my ammo” and dark talk of “kinetic civil war” and “Civil War 2.0.”
Not to be outdone, the National Rifle Association posted an image of Justice Clarence Thomas above an indignant quotation from a majority opinion he wrote: “The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second class right.’” Verified right-wing influencers got in on the martial rhetoric, too. “Tomorrow is war. Sleep well,” Steven Crowder promised.
US political violence is surging, but talk of a civil war is exaggerated – isn’t it?
Dr Garen Wintemute used to laugh off warnings of a civil war coming to America as “crazy talk”. Then the emergency room doctor in California saw the figures for gun sales.
Wintemute, who founded a centre to research firearms violence after years of treating gunshot wounds, had long observed that the rush to buy weapons came in waves, often around a presidential election. Always it fell back again.
“Then in January of 2020 gun sales took off. Just an unprecedented surge in purchasing and that surge continued,” he said. “We were aware that, contrary to prior surges, this one wasn’t ending. People are still buying guns like crazy.”
Many were buying a weapon for the first time.
Wintemute wanted answers and they stunned him. A survey for his California Firearm Violence Research Center released last month showed that half of Americans expect a civil war in the United States in the next few years. One in five thought political violence was justified in some circumstances. In addition, while almost everyone said it was important for the US to remain a democracy, about 40% said that having a strong leader was more important.
“Coupled with prior research, these findings suggest a continuing alienation from and mistrust of American democratic society and its institutions. Substantial minorities of the population endorse violence, including lethal violence, to obtain political objectives,” the report concluded.
Suddenly Wintemute didn’t think talk of a violent civil conflict was so crazy any more.
The doctor is quick to note that large numbers of those people expecting a civil war say it is only “somewhat likely”. But half of the population even considering such a possibility reflects the failing confidence of large numbers of Americans in a system of government under assault by Donald Trump and a good part of the Republican party.
The FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this month for classified documents removed from the White House unleashed the latest barrage of threats of violence, this time directed at an institution widely regarded as a bastion of establishment conservatism.
The Florida senator Rick Scott likened the FBI to the Gestapo. In Ohio, the police killed an armed US navy veteran who attacked an FBI office. In Pennsylvania, a man with a history of vaccine denial was charged with threatening to “slaughter” federal agents he described as “police state scum”, and compared to the Nazi SS and the Soviet secret police.
In the days after the search of Mar-a-Lago, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned of a surge in threats of violence against federal agents, their families and the judge who issued the search warrant. The FBI said these included calls for “civil war” and “armed rebellion”.
That comes on top of a wave of threats against election workers since Trump alleged he was robbed of victory by fraud in 2020, and a sharp increase in intimidation of others in public service from school board members to librarians as well as elected politicians.
Wintemute said that the surge in violent threats is made more potent by rising weapons sales. “What happens when you take a society that is increasingly fearful for its future, increasingly polarised, increasingly angry at itself, and throw a bunch of guns into the mix?” he said.
‘Willing to harm other Americans for their political beliefs’
Many Americans flinch at talk of civil war because it recalls the bloodiest conflict in their history. The threat of violent conflict in the US also looks very different from the wars once fought by guerrillas in Latin America and Africa, or during the breakup of Yugoslavia.
But Rachel Kleinfeld, a specialist in civil conflict at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that does not mean it cannot happen. “Countries with democracies and governments as strong as America’s do not fall into civil war. But if our institutions weaken, the story could be different,” she said.
“What most worries me right now is polling that suggests somewhere between 20% and 40% of Americans would like a strongman leader who doesn’t have to follow the democratic rules. That would allow institutions to weaken and an insurgency like the Troubles in Northern Ireland could break out.”
The parallel with Northern Ireland may jar but recent polling suggests it is not unwarranted. In 1973, in the midst of some of the worst years of the Troubles, one in five people in Northern Ireland agreed that “violence is a legitimate way to achieve one’s goals”. Half a century later, a similar proportion of Republican voters in the US say that it is “justified to use political violence to accomplish political goals”.
A more complex picture emerges when the numbers are broken down, including over whether such violence is targeted against people or property. But even then Kleinfeld said the results are disturbing. “You’re looking at 3 to 5 million Americans willing to harm other Americans for their political beliefs,” she said.
‘Politicians’ attacks on the system’
The US has a long history of political violence and killings, including bombing campaigns by radical leftwing organisations in the 1970s and more recent attacks from the right by anti-abortion groups and white nationalists. The country’s deadliest domestic terrorist attack, the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people, was perpetrated by members of an anti-government militia.
But now the greatest threat to political stability comes from within the power structure including Republican politicians subverting the electoral system and further eroding trust in democracy.
Trump’s allegation that the 2020 presidential election was stolen unleashed actual and threatened violence from the storming of the Capitol to the barrage of threats to kill election workers. The justice department set up a special taskforce to protect election officials after more than 1,000 were directly threatened over their unwillingness to declare Trump the winner in 2020. Many have quit or intend to do so before the 2024 presidential election because of “politicians’ attacks on the system and stress”.
Wintemute said that with the attack on election workers has come a parallel effort by Republican leaders to weight the electoral system in their favour through gerrymandering and obstacles to voting in swing states that further undermines confidence in democracy.
“One of the great ironies is that there is the false narrative that the election was rigged which is being used in order to set up a rigged election in the future,” he said.
“Democrats see democracy is under threat because of authoritarianism from the right and the prospect of stolen midterms and the infrastructure that’s been setting up for a stolen presidential election in 2024. For the right, it already happened. Many people in our survey say 2020 was stolen. So their point of view is that the threat has been realised. It’s hard to see a good way out.”
To Kleinfeld that in part explains the significant numbers of Democrats also prepared to justify political violence in certain circumstances – 13% compared with 20% of Republicans. She said that, nonetheless, actual acts of violence are almost entirely from one side.
“What that suggests is that the American people are very frustrated with our democracy, and don’t think it’s working. But Republicans think they can get away with violence, and it’s being normalised by their leaders, whereas Democratic leaders are keeping a check on their side. But that’s not to say that will be forever,” she said.
Underpinning all of this are America’s changing demographics and the diminishing of white political power.
Wintemute’s survey showed that one in three people buys into the far right “great replacement” conspiracy theory that white Americans are being supplanted by minorities – cited by the murderers of dozens of people in recent massacres from Texas to New York state. The “great replacement” theory is also regularly aired on Fox News.
Lilliana Mason, the author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity, said the election of the US’s first black president, Barack Obama, in 2008 made race “a really salient issue” for many white voters.
“Then Trump said the quiet part out loud. He started using overtly racist and misogynistic language and creating a permission structure for his supporters to become much more aggressive and intentionally offensive in their rhetoric. That really encouraged not just uncivil behaviour but broke all of these social norms that we had previously considered to be sacred,” she said.
Trump’s embrace of white nationalist groups, such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, also brought armed militias into mainstream politics, helping them to infiltrate local police forces and the military.
In December, three retired US generals said that Trumpism has infected parts of the armed forces and noted the “disturbing number of veterans and active-duty members of the military” who took part in the attack on the Capitol. They warned of the “potential for lethal chaos inside our military” if the result of 2024 presidential election is disputed.
“The potential for a total breakdown of the chain of command along partisan lines – from the top of the chain to squad level – is significant should another insurrection occur. The idea of rogue units organizing among themselves to support the ‘rightful’ commander in chief cannot be dismissed,” they wrote
“It really does feel a pivotal moment in in American democracy,” says Mason. “We’re probably going to see more violence. I don’t think we’ll see less in the immediate future. But, ultimately, the way Americans respond to that violence will determine whether it can be calmed down or whether it spirals out of control.”
Kleinfeld said she is not optimistic.
“We’re getting to a point where if the Trumpist faction wins, I think we’ll see sustained extremely high levels of violence for the foreseeable future. And if they lose, I think it’ll be worse,” she said.