During his nationally-syndicated radio present this week, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh gave an prolonged monologue concerning the present coronavirus-induced state shutdowns. In Limbaugh’s view, the Democratic-controlled ‘blue states’ are conspiring to maintain shutdowns in impact so as to drive unemployment whereas the actions of the Republican-controlled ‘red states’ are attempting to assist expedite the nation’s restoration. And in fact, Limbaugh predicts that each one of that is a part of a conspiracy to get President Trump voted out of workplace. It was the standard Limbaugh radio fare that each delights his followers and infuriates his detractors and that may not benefit point out… till he stated this:
“Folks, I’m gonna tell you, these next four months are gonna be a veritable war like we have not seen.”
And out of the blue, Rush Limbaugh doesn’t appear so loopy.
Because the reality of the matter is that we ARE heading down a harmful path of outright nationwide battle. The indicators are all over the place. In Michigan, armed protestors and self-identified proper wing militias are marching on the state capital, protesting Governor Whitmer’s extension of her stay-at-home order. Similarly, in Pennsylvania not solely companies, however native officers, are defying Governor Tom Wolf’s tips for reopening. But the frustration and anger across the nature and tempo of reopening can be sparking harmful acts of civil disobedience. In Owosso, Michigan, armed residents got here out to assist a barbershop open in contravention of the state orders. In California, a resident brazenly wore a KKK hood whereas procuring at a grocery retailer, and a Target shopper broke the arm of an safety guard attempting to implement the shop’s face-covering coverage. The checklist of a majority of these occurrences continues to develop, particularly whereas Americans’ nerves get extra frayed because the coronavirus spring melts right into a curve-defying summer season.
But are we on the sting of an actual civil conflict?
Probably not, however there are some troubling parallels to the same time 160 years in the past through the run-up to the Civil War. Back then, the fractious 1860 election was primarily a referendum on slavery and states’ rights, with the northern and southern states at deep odds over the way forward for the nation. Lincoln, the Republican candidate, claimed an electoral landslide over the three different candidates, but solely gained 40% of the favored vote. The election outcomes brought on a nationwide rupture, and earlier than Lincoln might be inaugurated, 11 southern states had seceded from the Union. Within weeks, the confrontation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina sparked the Civil War, and the remainder is historical past.
With the 2020 election solely months away, and a divided nation is as soon as once more grappling with the problem of states’ rights, it’s cheap to wonder if the aftermath of this election might equally spark open civil battle on a nationally contentious challenge. And with President Trump and others leaders and media shops calling on residents to “liberate” their states, we’re coming perilously near these days in 1860 when an election turned a referendum of whether or not a divided nation might maintain itself collectively.
So throughout lately when a vacuum of public management is being stuffed by worry and loathing, and the place language is turning into extra vitriolic and firearms have gotten extra seen, the query stays – how can we stop the subsequent civil conflict?
Ultimately it stays a query of not solely political management, however of particular person civic management as properly. While it’d very properly be that because the nation opens back-up and stay-at-home orders expire, the anger and frustration will subside. But it is usually potential that the financial despair that’s starting to grip the nation will foment a brand new wave of anger. In response, will probably be paramount for elected officers, enterprise leaders and even media personalities to used measured language and customary sense actions to assist pull America again from the precipice. Economic stimulus, state and federal welfare companies, and charitable efforts will all assist. Ultimately, nonetheless, will probably be a matter of discovering unprecedented and optimistic management in unprecedented occasions.
No, Rush Limbaugh might be mistaken a couple of looming “veritable war.” But the earlier we act like he’s proper, the higher off we might be.