While it’s been an acutely divisive couple of years in American politics, both right-wing, left-wing and centrist voters finally agree on something; the likelihood of an impending Civil War. According to a poll from Rasmussen, 37% of Democrats, 32% of Republicans and 26% of Independents believe a second Civil War is imminent. Overall, 31% of likely US Voters say it’s likely that the USA will experience a Civil War sometime in the next five years.
Likely what’s driving this belief is the rapidly escalating political climate in which the ‘#Resistance’ is openly encouraging the harassment of people they don’t like for their political opinions.
First Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was hounded out of a Mexican restaurant by the Democratic Socialists of America. The group shouted “no borders, no walls, sanctuary for all” and chanted “shame!” as the DHS secretary attempted to have dinner.
A few days later there was the mob of protesters outside of Nielsen’s house chanting “no justice, no sleep” and playing the cries of immigrant children over loudspeakers. DHS employees were also made aware of credible threats made against them in a system-wide email that claimed “over the last few days, thousands of employees have had their personally identifiable information publically (sic) released on social media”.
Then there was White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders being made to leave the Red Hen restaurant. Some of the Red Hen’s staff who are gay expressed their desire to owner Sarah Wilkinson to have Sanders removed over Trump’s transgender military ban. Wilkinson later clarified her justification for the refusal of service, citing “moral convictions”. “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation. I said, ‘I’d like to ask you to leave.’”
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
Many leftists gleefully waved this around as some sort of justified vengeance for the Masterpiece Cake Shop decision, which ruled in favour of the baker who refused to decorate a wedding cake for a gay couple on the grounds this participation in their wedding violated his genuinely held religious beliefs. It seems strange they would so happily endorse this, because five seconds ago they claimed the right of a business owner to refuse service on religious grounds was segregation.
To clarify, I support the Red Hen owner’s right to refuse service to Sarah Sanders and anyone else. That is because I believe a business owner should not be legislated into servitude by their government and always has a right to refuse service to anyone. That doesn’t mean the public can’t respond with condemnation and criticism, or that ejecting someone from your restaurant because they’re a Republican working for a Republican President doesn’t contribute heavily to the toxification of the body politic. While Sanders went home immediately after leaving the Red Hen, the rest of her group moved on to another restaurant where they were picketed by a member of the public from the window with a sign reading “SHAME!”.
Meanwhile, pro-Trump commentator Gavin McInnes was confronted by a journalist and her boyfriend who yelled “Fuck you!” and “Nazi!” in front of children at a family-friendly minor league baseball game. The news came to light because the man had bragged about it in a series of tweets, saying “this dad comes up to me and says you shouldn’t have done that ‘cursing in front of kids’ I got in his face and said ‘good I want them to see how we treat fascists’”.
The same weekend, Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has expressed support for the Trump Administration and his stance on was shouted and intimidated out of a cinema. Whitney Ray, a spokeswoman for Bondi, told the Tampa Bay Times that the video shared on social media showed only a small portion of what actually happened. “The video they are choosing to share is of the least aggressive portion of the attack that transpired after police arrived to control the scene. What they are not sharing publicly are several previous encounters involving large men getting in the Attorney General’s face, spitting and blocking her exit,” Ray said.
In the wake of this, the political and cultural left have not sought to temper down the flames, rather, they have used incendiary language to provoke further mob action. Democrat Maxine Waters yelled passionately at a rally about what even CNN called a “mob mentality of the left”, and Michael Moore encouraged escalating the action by saying the left needed to “get off the couch”, and encouraged people to march on Washington to prevent Congress from voting in a new Supreme Court Justice. “What would you be willing to actually put yourself on the line for? That moment is now. We are going to lose our democracy if we haven’t already. We have no choice, my friends. We all have to rise up.”
A refugee from what is now South Sudan, Washington-based political consultant David Acuoth remarked to compatriots recently that America increasingly reminds him of home. “Where we have ethnic tribes, here it is ideological tribes,” he said.
We should all be aware that for many on the left, Trump remains Literally Hitler, and the administration are his Nazi Generals. While incidents like these have happened before, what’s changed here is the huge concentration of these inside of a week. For now, these people have deemed intimidation and harassment in public and at home justified against public officials and commentators. There really isn’t much of a step from that to private individuals, or from harassment and intimidation to violence.
Pop and Locke is a libertarian-conservative popular culture and politics blog bringing you news and opinions that cut through the mainstream mould. It was inspired by an appreciation for enlightenment philosophy and a passion for our increasingly wacky popular culture.
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