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Team Trump’s dog whistle: “Prepare for civil war”

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It is clear to me that Trump is egging his people toward some sort of civil uprising in the event Mueller indicts him, which seems likely.

Trump’s incendiary speech last week in West Virginia suggests he is prepping his white nationalist followers for extra-legal action. His attack on Democrats, calling them “cheats” who are “demeaning” Republicans, was just the kind of stirring up of resentment Hitler used against socialists and Jews in his rise to power. Within moments of Trump’s rabble-rousing, Fox “News” was goose-stepping right beside him, with their rightwing agitator, Jeanine Pirro, calling for “an uprising” if Trump or any members of his family are indicated. Pirro, of course, ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in New York in 2006, a race Hillary Clinton won easily; one person who donated to Pirro’s disastrous campaign was Donald J. Trump.

An “uprising”? If there is one, the right will depend on their armed troops, the under-educated gangs of white men from rural red districts. One of their gurus, the “everybody should own an assault weapon” head of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, anticipated Pirro in calling for armed resistance, in a defiant speech he delivered earlier this year to the Conservative Political Action Committee. “If you are a member of the leftist media…hear this: You are not going to win and you will not defeat us.” He added, to his white supremacist Christian soldiers, “We face an enemy utterly dedicated to destroy not just our country, but also Western civilization…Are you ready to fight back for what you believe in?”

Most sane Americans don’t take this sort of nonsense seriously, but in places like Breitbart, where sanity is in short supply, it’s their Kool-Aid. One of their most belligerent commentators, Pamela Geller, calls those concerned with Russian meddling in our election and Trump’s possible collusion “mutineers” and headlines her opinion piece “The Coming Civil War.”

And then there’s none other than Alex Jones, the shock jock, who has been egging on his conservative listeners and viewers—an estimated 2.7 million people monthly—to kill more liberal fellow citizens over their political differences.” On his “Info Wars” website, where tea party fans post videos of themselves dressed as Patrick Henry patriots, he riles his fans up like some banana republic generalissimo. Here’s a typical comment from a reader: “If we do have a civil war we will win. We have cops on our side, the army on our side and America loving patriots like trump on our side. But most importantly we have almighty God on our side. Godbless.”

Folks, I hope you see the insanity here—the homicidal rage and delusional madness for which we rightfully lock such people up as dangers to themselves and others. Look, I have a cousin, very dear to me, who is an extreme right winger. He hates the Clintons and the Obamas, although he can’t quite articulate why beyond a generalized fury. I asked my cousin where he gets his information and he replied, “From my gut.” That makes me sad, and alarmed. Your “gut” can’t explain climate change. It can’t explain the way forward in Afghanistan, or how to deal with border issues, or the fairest way to tax Americans. It can’t tell you if the Trump family is owned by Russian oligarchs, or which route you should drive to work, or anything else. These decisions require intelligent analysis based on a careful examination of evidence, not animal instinct. I feel sorry for my cousin, a Vietnam vet who has never forgiven the left for spitting on him when he came home. I understand his decades-old resentment, but it’s no excuse for him, or for any Trump supporter, to be so resistant to facts—including the facts that are steadily mounting against the Trump family. My cousin and I are too old to fight each other if there’s another civil war, and besides, we love each other. But the Pirros and Gellers and LaPierres and Alex Joneses seem to be itching for a fight. If Mueller indicts, things may get very ugly, very fast, and we need to be thinking about what to do if and when the right starts shooting.

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