The United States has a long history of violence. We fought a bloody war against the British empire, and won our independence with the help of France, and a great deal of luck. From the time of the first settlers, we waged genocide against Native Americans and took their land from them.
The Civil War was the bloodiest war in our history, fought over states rights to permit the slavery and exploitation of African-Americans, but legalized segregation was still allowed to continue for another century. Even after the 13th and 14th amendments, Jim Crow laws were the law of the land across the South, and the discrimination continues even now.
The far-right has been livid ever since segregation was outlawed, and they have found a new champion in Donald Trump. The alt-right is a strange and toxic brew of white supremacists, corporate interests, Russian agents, and millions of easily manipulated Americans who believe the country they think they love is going away.
The Southern Strategy brought racist white Democrats into the Republican Party. Spend a little time in the working class communities across the country, and you’ll hear unemployed working men and women repeating the conservative talking points about how America is being destroyed by minorities and liberals.
Thanks to corporate greed, the American Dream is gone. Gone are the days when one parent could sustain a household, purchase a home and a car. Jobs have been shipped overseas, and unions have been reduced to nothing. Republicans have waged a war on workers’ rights, and working class are rightfully angry, but they’re furious with all of the wrong people.
Donald Trump wants his followers to believe he will make America great again and bring back all of those jobs that were lost. The alleged billionaire mixes that economic populism with a rabidly xenophobic and tacitly violent message that the alt-right amplifies on sites like Breitbart.
As Rolling Stone explains, the agitation is reaching a boiling point, and it may spill over into violence if Donald Trump loses the election in November.
Since Barack Obama was elected president, the number of armed right-wing militias in the country has exploded, from 42 in 2008 to 276 in 2016 – a direct response to a president who doesn’t “look like them” or “share their views.” Bevin’s audience was people who train sniper rifles on federal agents over “government tyranny” and white supremacists who shoot cops – without any real interference from the GOP. In fact, the incitement of violence and violent rhetoric have become mainstream in the Republican Party. In this election, the GOP nominee has said he could kill a man in broad daylight and not lose a single vote, has alluded to the assassination of his rival, and has openly courted white supremacists.
So when Bevin, a Republican governor, says the election of a Democratic president could necessitate domestic bloodshed, his audience is already steps ahead of him in terms of extremism; his comments read as just another solution to one of their shared problems. (Source)
It’s bad enough that the conservative media is encouraging this animosity, but it is even worse, even treasonous, that elected officials are hinting at the need for blood in the streets. In their minds, the only acceptable America is the country from decades ago, where minorities “knew their place” and white conservative Christianity was the ruling religion.
I fear that if and when Donald Trump loses, some of his supporters will feel cheated. Not by his long scam and empty promises, but by the loss of the superior rights they never should have had. I won’t be surprised if some of them decide to take out their frustrations in violent ways, which is why I am sadly armed and ready.