WASHINGTON—A war is being waged in the United States. It is a “cold war”—that is a war in which the shooting has not yet erupted. It is a cold, civil war, with the wealthy, White supremacist tribe on the one side, and Black people, all other non-Whites, and the poor—erstwhile citizens—on the other side. Few people outside of the die-hard instigators among the White group—the Proud Boys, QAnon members, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters—realize that there is a war going on.
“Well yes, and the unthinkable has become thinkable,” Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Houston told The Final Call.
“I’m afraid to say that too many in the liberal community have not only been drinking the Kool-Aid propaganda about so-called liberal democracy, but they’ve been guzzling the Kool-Aid and in fact, have allowed their misjudgment to affect and afflict our own community, which I think has been lulled into a false sense of security and is ill-prepared to confront the dire situation we are now facing,” he said.
Twice-impeached, one-term, former President Donald Trump continues to stoke the flames of rebellion against the federal government and the electoral process, repeating again, and again his “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him, and that he may even be reinstated into office sometime in August, 2021.
Mr. Trump’s former National Security Adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was prosecuted on charges of lying and foreign lobbying and then pardoned by Mr. Trump appeared recently at a conference where he said there’s no reason why what happened in Myanmar—a violent coup by the country’s military—shouldn’t happen in this country.
“No reason, I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right,” Mr. Flynn responded to a questioner, who was identified as a former U.S. Marine, according to published reports. The audience in attendance cheered.
This is not an isolated idea. Gen. Flynn is the same person who, along with his attorney Sidney Powell, was in the Oval Office in December, 2020 suggesting that Mr. Trump invoke martial law to nullify Mr. Biden’s election victory, according to CNN’s reporting at the time.
In addition, far-right militant Ammon Bundy—who led the armed seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County Oregon in 2016—is now potentially running for governor of Idaho.
Residents and lawmakers in that state are alarmed over his violent intimidation campaigns against public officials over the last year, aggressively protesting outside the homes of elected officials, where his followers have banged on their walls and have left threatening symbols, including a pitchfork and a stuffed animal wearing an opponent’s tee-shirt “hanging from a rope around its neck” on his lawn after a Bundy protest, according to The Daily Beast.
Dozens of Republican-controlled states have enacted or proposed hundreds of laws to restrict voting access, and to make it easier for disputed elections to be overturned. The GOP’s efforts to stack the electoral decks are broad. From Georgia to Arizona and Florida and in many other states, Republicans are mobilizing behind efforts to shorten voting hours, crack down on early and mail-in balloting and to throw out legitimate ballots—all under a banner of “election security.”
At the same time, current President Joe Biden warned that U.S. democracy is in peril. “Democracy itself is in peril, here at home and around the world,” Mr. Biden said in a Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery. “What we do now—what we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen will determine whether or not democracy will long endure,” he said.
Meanwhile, a group of scholars said the American experiment could fail, because Republican efforts to restrict voting across the country are posing a grave threat. More than 100 scholars of public affairs warned in a new statement released by the New America think tank on June 1.
“We, the undersigned, are scholars of democracy who have watched the recent deterioration of U.S. elections and liberal democracy with growing alarm,” the statement said. “Specifically, we have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election.”
The scholars said that the GOP-led initiatives “are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections. Our entire democracy is now at risk,” the scholars said. “History will judge what we do at this moment.”
The professors, deans, and other academicians who signed the statement come from a range of universities and institutions across the United States, including Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Duke, and Stanford.
Such an idea would have been unthinkable through much of this country’s history. But since Mr. Trump left office after destroying the tradition of peaceful transfers of power in his failed attempt to steal the 2020 election, political observers have begun to believe that his insurrectionism was only the first battle in a longer political war as his allies present ridiculous fantasies about returning him to power to applause and online acclaim.
Over the years of the Trump presidency, and particularly since the fatal insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, top scholars have repeatedly said that the GOP has morphed into a fundamentally anti-democratic party determined to win elections by any means.
It is becoming apparent that the mechanisms of this country’s institutions which barely survived Mr. Trump’s attempt to illegally stay in power are still being manipulated by Republicans to make the country less democratic.
In mid-May, a group of 124 retired admirals and generals—calling themselves “Flag Officers 4 America”—published an open letter that questioned the legitimacy of the presidential election and criticized President Biden and the Democratic Party, according to The Washington Post.
Ironically, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have called into question the long-standing theory that “Black militancy” was the greatest domestic terror threat, now warning that the danger posed by White extremists is far more worrisome.
“I’m afraid to say that you’re onto something and that’s reflected in the penetration of the upper ranks of the U.S. military by so-called White nationalists,” said Dr. Horne. “Ditto for police departments.
“You may have seen the article in the New York Times with regard to gun sales skyrocketing. In fact, the sale of guns dwarfed what was thought to be the sale of toilet paper in the earliest stages of the pandemic and I think that that sends a message to our (Black) community that the time has come to declare that we’ve reached a state of emergency and that that state of emergency means that the status quo is hardly sustainable.”
Black people and their allies in this country, “need to have an analysis of how we were able to push back against slavery and Jim Crow,” said Dr. Horne. “If you look at that historically, what jumps out at you is that we had global alliances.
“We had alliances in the 19th century with revolutionary Haiti. We had different alliances in the 20th century as well. But with the apparent retreat of Jim Crow; post 1954 and Brown versus the Board of Education; many were lulled into a false sense of security that our alleged U.S. citizenship was now iron-clad.
“But I think that that was a misjudgment. That was a miscalculation. I think it’s possible to say that our antagonist felt that what was involved was not a final settlement of our fight, but a truce, a ceasefire.
“Anyone who knows anything about warfare knows that either side can determine that the conditions for the ceasefire or truce no longer pertain and that war should resume. I think that that’s the situation we’re facing today,” said Dr. Horne.