By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
It is eerie to watch, but this country is in a war being waged by some of her own citizens, people who call themselves American and patriots.
It seems that Trump supporters – both civilian and elected lawmakers – do not like democracy. They are working to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 general election – unabashedly and boldly, and they are threatening violence if they do not get their way.
Ironically, those who are fighting to overturn the election show up at Trump rallies waving American flags – but one has to question their right to do that as they are fighting to kill the government – and its Constitution – that people fought and died to protect and save.
They do not want, nor do they respect – the United States of America. They want a government where “liberty and justice for all” is relegated for just some people who live here, and they are not shy about admitting it. Some have bought into the idea that Democrats are “radical left wing socialists” who want to take their rights away. That phrase has become a gaslight for a deeply racist resentment; what some believe is that this country has given too many rights to non-White people, specifically African Americans, according to a Pew Research Center report written by J. Baxter Oliphant.
What is at once interesting and frightening is the call for violence by Trump supporters if the president is not successful in stealing the election from Biden (an irony, as the battle cry of Trump supporters is “stop the steal,” reflecting their belief that the Democrats stole the election even as they openly support the efforts of Republicans, including the president, to steal the legitimately and legally won election of Biden.) There are few Republicans who have challenged or criticized the dangerous rhetoric. Trump supporters are ready to use violence – the president told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” in one of his debates, witnessed during an Associated Press video of the Sept. 29 presidential debate.
More than a few angry White Trump supporters have warned that the country is headed toward civil war. The question is, who would be fighting whom? Would those fighting against the union be fighting for an autocracy? Would such a fight primarily be between traditional White Republicans and Trump supporters who believe that democracy should not be the law of the land?
Again, what is interesting is that as these people – Trump supporters – say they are “American,” is it possible to be American and at the same time fight against the government of the country you claim to love? If one is not defending and protecting this country as it is, what is one fighting for?
On this anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the questions about what is swirling in America only grow. The battle cry of this president – “Make America Great Again” – was always swathed in racist undertones. Should they bear arms, how would the patriots who hate America envision her after their uprising? What would be the place of non-Whites – African American, Asian, Hispanic, Somali …and so many more – in this country? What would America stand for? Would Trump supporters storm government buildings – something they have said is totally unacceptable and which has been named as a reason for militia members going to protests – and destroy them? The president has a vendetta against states that have Democratic governors; would an uprising result in all of the states being assigned Republican governors?
The questions keep coming as the situation grows more and more toxic and dangerous. Before those who believed in slavery seceded from the Union, they developed their own flag and put in place their own president. They found that secession kept them from being able to take advantage of the wealth and resources of the United States but they were serious about staying separate from the Union which had had the audacity to fight against the Southern way of life.
Trump supporters want something different from what we currently have. They are preparing for violent civil war, and too few Republicans are stepping up and doing what they can to tone down the rhetoric in an effort to avert violence. America the beautiful is now America the battered. The president is acting like a jilted lover who has decided that if he cannot have the object of his attention – in this case this country – then nobody will have her, and just as jilted lovers too often kill the person they say they love in an effort to “hold on” to her/him, this country is working to kill the country, the majority of citizens who decided they no longer wanted him as their leader.
Both Trump and his supporters should put down the American flag. Their assault on America is reprehensible and is a betrayal of the country they say they are defending.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. Her latest book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America is available at all booksellers. Contact her at email@example.com.