In the months between Abraham Lincoln’s election and his inauguration, seven states seceded from the United States, and five weeks after the inauguration the shots were fired on Fort Sumter. The leaders of the Southern states spewed fury and hatred that drove their people to make war on their fellow Americans in the deadliest four years of our history.
As Joe Biden is about to be inaugurated, we again stand at a crossroads in America. A significant percentage of Americans have followed a leader who spews fury and hatred and has whipped many of his followers into a murderous frenzy via a big lie. Thousands of the Trump mob invaded the US Capitol on January 6 with the goals of staging a coup and kidnapping and/or killing numerous members of Congress and the Vice President of the United States. A number of the participants will undoubtedly be imprisoned for their crimes, but thousands of domestic terrorists remain. These include white supremacists, Boogaloo Bois, NeoNazis, Proud Boys, QAnon believers, Oathkeepers and hundreds of other militia groups who were present at the Capitol but will not be arrested. Behind them is a much larger group of like-minded domestic terrorist wannabes (the American equivalent of the Taliban) that are all well armed and intend to desecrate our State and Federal buildings and anyone who doesn’t follow their chosen Leader.
They have made no secret of their goal to start another Civil War in America. Donald Trump has not and will not back down in his support for the overthrow of the elected leaders of the country and placement of himself as the supreme, unchallenged Leader. His followers will accept no other alternative. At this point there is no middle way. Either Trump’s terrorist followers succeed in installing him as a Dictator, or we root them out and destroy their movement. The coming quasi-Civil War is inescapable – the only question is which side will win. We are past the point of where words are enough to heal America. We need decisive action.
Republicans hold the key – they MUST help in convicting Donald Trump of impeachment and ensuring that he can never become a force in politics again. Following Impeachment, Donald Trump needs to be charged, arrested, and imprisoned for his many crimes. There is plenty of evidence to put him behind bars for many years.
Cutting off the head of the terrorist movement will be a necessary start, but it won’t be enough. The leadership of the Republican Party must acknowledge Donald Trump’s lies, condemn them, and disown him. With enough consistency and repetition, this will bring many of his followers back from the brink and persuade them to join mainstream society (and it is the only chance to salvage the Republican Party).
But there will still be many domestic militia members who are beyond the reach of rational thought. Those who have joined the ranks of the domestic terrorists must be exposed, prosecuted, and jailed. This includes those currently serving in police forces, the US armed forces, and in all other positions of authority. It is not enough for them to lose their jobs, they must lose their freedom and their guns. This process will take many years – but, like Reconstruction after the Civil War, it must be undertaken. And unlike reconstruction, it must succeed. If it fails, America will degenerate into a failed state.
This is the test of our generation. Will America continue to be the land of the free and the brave, or will the Domestic Taliban tear us apart and turn us into another Afghanistan?