You don’t need me to tell you that it’s been a bad week for civility, and it’s only Tuesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders got kicked out of a restaurant for her political beliefs on Friday night, and liberals celebrated the owner who did it.
Occupy ICE PDX — a Portland, Oregon, group of extremist activists — managed to temporarily shut down an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office by blocking the entrance, according to CNN.
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat never exactly tethered to rationality or civility, finally seems to have floated off into the ether of hatred by issuing a thinly veiled incitement to physical confrontation against Trump cabinet members during a rally in Los Angeles. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, never one to be left out, blamed the threats on President Donald Trump.
This, in short, is making comedian Samantha Bee’s sexist, ill-informed rant look positively quaint by comparison.
So, is America heading down the primrose path to civil war? It’s been a question posed many times over the past few years as the American polity seems to moving from a grim trial separation to acrimonious divorce. Any sort of “civil war,” however, seemed more metaphorical than literal, particularly in a nation where avocado toast and Netflix are more common than hardtack and cannonade.
At least to one prominent congressman, however, the possibility of physical conflict is a very real thing.
Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican known for his opposition to illegal immigration, posted an article about the Occupy ICE PDX incident on his Twitter account, along with a very ominous message.
“America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry,” King tweeted Sunday. “After that comes Ft. Sumter.”
America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry. After that comes Ft. Sumter. https://t.co/5PmwlwcdSQ
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) June 24, 2018
Harpers Ferry, of course, is the now-West Virginia town famous for John Brown’s 1859 abolitionist raid, widely considered the first salvo in the Civil War. Fort Sumter, meanwhile, was the site of that war’s first official battle.
So, how were liberals handling it? Proving King right by protesting outside his office in Ames, according to the Ames Tribune, saying that he “racist,” “close-minded” and “homophobic.”
King, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, is a controversial figure, particularly regarding a 2017 tweet about immigration in which he said, according to USA Today, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
That doesn’t make King wrong about this the state of the country, however. When so-called activists are stopping law enforcement from enforcing laws, they’re more or less declaring war on America. Maxine Waters is clearly calling for physical resistance to the current administration, and party leaders aren’t disowning Waters, even as they mildly distance themselves from the sentiment.
Are those the first steps toward civil war? Is #TheResistance going to become the hashtag Confederacy?
Only time will tell, but the past few days have not been a pleasant augury.
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