It seems the majority of Americans have viewed Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s call for a “national divorce” as laughable. But many of us who have been following the extreme right for the last several decades are not laughing. Both the rhetoric and actions of what can only be called the sedition caucus point to the near inevitability of a civil war led by many of the same people responsible for the January 6 insurrection.
Consider that some of the planners and cheerleaders for the coup attempt are not only still occupying seats in the US House of Representatives. They have, thus far, faced no repercussions. Indeed, they now control both the Speaker and many of the House committees. Likewise, the former president who led the coup has not yet been held accountable. He has even announced that he is running for president in 2024 and, in fact, is the leading candidate of the Republican Party despite his obvious attempt to turn our democracy into an autocracy!
Moreover, he has previously shown an intent to use the office to dismantle institutions, to punish opponents, and to sell favors to other nations, including our adversaries.
But the threat to our democracy goes much deeper.
For one thing, the twice-impeached former president packed our courts with rightwing loyalists. So, any court cases against Republican legislation designed to undermine our democracy are likely to fail. Second, autocracy-friendly Republicans have full control of 23 of our 50 states. They also have legislative control of 30 states. And 19 of those states have already called for a convention to rewrite the Constitution. If successful, their rewrites are likely to remove the barrier between church and state, as well as to change the requirements for citizenship and voting. They might even embrace far more radical ideas such as a bill offered by a Florida legislator which would essentially ban the Democratic Party in that state.
An even more likely recipe for civil war was outlined in a chilling Twitter thread by author and former Navy aviator Brynn Tannehill. She begins by stating that “we have two competing visions for America that are mutually exclusive, both sides really don’t like each other, but one of the two is violent, delusional, and willing to destroy democracy to get its way.” She then explains how Republicans are forcing the issue with a new bill that passed out of committee in Tennessee. According to Tannehill, the bill “would bar insurers from doing business with the state if they cover health care for trans people anywhere in the US.”
What are the chances of the six staunchly Catholic justices who comprise the majority of SCOTUS ruling against such a law? After their ruling which overturned decades of precedent to throw out Roe v Wade, those chances are likely zero, nada, nil.
Almost certainly, that will cause states to react as they did following the end of Roe v Wade. Red states quickly banned abortion while blue states began passing laws that would codify a woman’s right to abortion. So, in a reaction to Tennessee, blue states are likely to require insurers to cover trans health care in their own states.
Even if the Tennessee bill doesn’t pass, there will be other discriminatory bills proposed by rightwing zealots with the intent to further divide us. As Tannehill points out, “…this sort of blackmail can be used on any topic: whether it’s Disney for promoting ‘woke’ material, coverage of abortions, drug manufacturers and Mifepristone, or anything else they want to ban.”
Of course, the real flashpoint between the two sides revolves around guns. Democrats rightfully want to limit access to weapons of war and to ban untraceable ghost guns. But Republicans view the 2nd Amendment as the 11th commandment: “Thou shall not take away our guns.” Yet, without new gun safety measures which restrict the sales of ever more lethal weaponry, our nation will be consigned to a future with more school shootings and mass murders. Assuming that our nation, which has been far too passive in addressing climate change, has any future at all.