I don’t want to alarm anyone, but we have coast-to-coast kerosene fumes in the United States right now, and certain people are lighting matches.
What do Trump and Sen. Rand Paul think they are doing, calling for a trucker protest blockade like the one that was just broken up in Canada to besiege Washington, D.C. and other cities? This is not a rhetorical question. Is there actually a plan in motion to destabilize the United States in order to remove President Biden from the presidency by force? The Very Stable Genius, of course, is incapable himself of organizing a stickup, much less the overthrow of the most powerful government in world history. But not everyone around him is a blithering idiot. And they have lots of support: There is a substantial constituency out there, around three in ten Republicans, who believe not only the lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump, but that he can be “reinstated” in some manner to his rightful position before the 2024 presidential election. In this light, is the call to besiege the nation’s capital just idle troublemaking? One may doubt it.
The conditions already exist for the simmering civil war to boil over into widespread violence. Remember, the Republican National Committee recently voted overwhelmingly for a resolution decrying the prosecution of the January 6 putschists, whose violence it termed “legitimate political discourse.” Now that the door is open to this, it is difficult to see what could counteract it. No Republican has the standing to denounce the call to arms and be taken seriously, as witness the immediate mockery heaped upon Mitch McConnell’s head for half-heartedly trying. Moreover, there is already deadly fighting in the streets. Portland, Oregon, which has been a hot spot of far-right versus left-wing violence since at least 2020, just saw an exchange of gunfire in which a resident enraged by a racial justice protest allegedly shot dead one of the protestors, only to be shot and seriously wounded himself. Although Oregon is a “blue” state, “red” states have seen numerous laws enacted with the express purpose of shielding attackers who run over left-wing protestors, and as I and many others predicted, the acquittal of the young thug in Wisconsin who gunned down two left-wing protestors is being promoted on the right as legitimating right-wing “vigilante” violence. Not a day goes by without reports of a menacing standoff with “Proud Boys” or some other fascist paramilitaries at some school board meeting, or an “air rage” assault on flight attendants over federal masking policies (attacks that have just received a seal of approval from eight Republican senators, including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio). Additionally, the legal jeopardy to Trump’s businesses and even himself is becoming acute, giving him a strong incentive to make his move now, while his patron Vladimir Putin also has every incentive to foment trouble within the United States so that he has a free hand in his war with Ukraine.
Even if the authorities in Washington, D.C. are ready to deflect fascist truckers seeking to disrupt Biden’s State of the Union address, who can anticipate every dropped match? Time to break out the water buckets, folks.