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Is the Left Preparing for Civil War?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Biden has finally said it – the F word. Seventy-four million Americans voted for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. And according to Biden, support for the Trump agenda is “semi-fascism.” No American President has ever spoken of law-abiding American citizens this way. Biden is basically labeling us enemies of the state.


Ever since Trump was elected, leftist rhetoric has been shrill and hysterical. But the language has in the past year or two become much more hateful and outright menacing. Words like “treason” and “traitor" are thrown around with gleeful abandon.

Last night on his show on MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell twisted a comment by Senator Lindsay Graham into an indictment as a traitor. I don’t mean “traitor” as an overheated metaphor, as in “that dress is appalling, Carrie’s a traitor to fashion,” but rather literally a traitor who deserves death.

Graham had said on a cable news show that “if Trump is indicted, there will be riots on the streets.” That’s not a threat, just a statement of fact. But O’Donnell invents a different version of Graham’s words, “if you prosecute a friend of mine, there will be riots in the streets, Those were his words.”

An aside. There are plenty of times people have predicted riots in the streets if something happened that was perceived as a travesty of justice. Lots of people on MSNBC and CNN made the exact same prediction if Derek Chauvin was acquitted in the George Floyd case.  

After putting words in Graham’s mouth, O’Donnell moves to the indictment. “Lindsay Graham is what Churchill would call a Quisling.” Quisling, an unambiguous synonym for “traitor,” got its name from Vikund Quisling, an infamous Norwegian fascist politician who supported the Nazi invasion of his country. O’Donnell proceeds to quote Churchill, “the fires of scorn and hatred for the filthy Quislings [burn fiercely].”


By this little verbal sleight of hand, O’Donnell can claim, oh I wasn’t calling for scorn and hatred for Senator Graham. I was just quoting Churchill’s views about Quislings. But MSNBC viewers surely understand the message. Lindsay Graham is a filthy Quisling, a traitor, and we should all feel fiercely burning scorn and hatred for him. And the sentence for treason is death.

For the left, anyone who voted for Trump is “a white nationalist terrorist,” ”a fascist,” “a threat to national security,’ “an insurrectionist.” Never mind that millions of people of color voted for Trump. And never mind that if you compared criminal records, more Biden voters have criminal records than Trump voters. And never mind that it has been Democrats who support riots and street violence in American cities like Portland and Minneapolis.

Invoking the language of treason and traitors is linguistic preparation for war. Before invading Poland, Hitler and his henchmen spent months castigating the Poles as dangerous enemies intent on attacking Germany, as well as an inferior people undeserving of mercy (not unlike Hillary’s “basket of deplorables”). In Rwanda, Hutu radio stations called the Tutsi “the cockroaches” for months before the slaughter began. By such similar lies, the Left is laying the ground for its own war on conservatives.


If they can convince the public that conservatives really are “Quislings” and “white nationalist terrorists," then any kind of repressive measures can be justified. Few would object to “preventive detention” of “traitors” in the case of “a clear and present danger to American Democracy.”  

This is no time for complacency. The Left’s increasingly strident language of violence lays the ground for “preemptive” physical violence. I pray I am wrong, but I see the seeds of civil war being sown. The Left will reap the whirlwind, but at great cost to all Americans. We are approaching the precipice.

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