On the 29th of September, President Trump quoted Pastor Robert Jeffress on the impeachment inquiry in a tweet, saying “it will cause a Civil War-like fracture from which our country will never heal.” Per the status quo, several news networks instinctively lambasted Trump for the tweet.
MSNBC’s Nina Burleigh said, “Impeachment is provoking concern that Trump’s extreme (and armed) supporters will be moved to public violence.” Lawfare’s Mary McCord said that it would be “foolish to underestimate the power of Trump’s comments to call rogue militias to action.” Renee Graham’s Boston Globe piece claims “For Trump, Impeachment Means Civil War.”
Organizations like the Oath Keepers, a far-right anti-government militia supposedly comprised of “formerly[-]serving military, police, and first responders,” (although most are normal citizens) make the argument. “We ARE on the verge of a HOT civil war. Like in 1859. That’s where we are,” the Oath Keepers said on Twitter, regarding Trump’s Jeffress quote.
At first glance, this seems like a genuine threat. The Oath Keepers, by this tweet, are very clearly planning something or are ready for violence should it come. However, looking at the context of the tweet, there is no plan. There’s no scheme. At best, the statement is simply the Oath Keepers pointing out the effects of political polarization. At worst, it’s an empty threat.
Not that there’s a feasible justification for civil war in the first place.
Civil war is something the people will only do when they’ve reached their boiling point. When something uniquely abhorrent happens, and we catch the government red-handed, we have a civic duty to rise up to oppose that government. In the 18th century, when France’s King Louis XVI abandoned the masses to live his Hedonistic lifestyle, the masses rightly rose up against the King. When the German people suffered because Wilhelm II wasn’t willing to lose a war, those same people forced Wilhelm to abdicate, and they established a Republic. When the state doesn’t meet the needs of the people, the people will inevitably revolt. If that were occurring in the United States, we would do the same.
That is, if it weren’t for impeachment.
Many will tell you that impeachment is simply “an open coup.” This would be true, if not for the fact that impeachment requires a crime, not to mention bipartisan support. Impeachment is the only way Congress is able to go about removing a president from office when they’ve overestimated their executive power. Calling it a coup is simply intellectually dishonest.
Civil war, currently, is a claim with allegorical bases and a river of homely sayings. But, in the end, it would be an affront to democracy to say that we need to militarily oppose those that want to peacefully (and democratically) remove the President from power.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.