Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Would Impeachment Trigger a Breakdown of Civil Society in the US?
Insurrection has never been far from the surface since Donald Trump chose to seek America's presidency. During the final stage of the election campaign he whipped up his Gullibillies with stories of how the election was rigged and warnings of Trump's crew taking to the streets should Clinton win.
Recent polls (there've been a few) show how grievously divided Americans have become about their president and the path on which he has steered their country. Some contend America has not been this divided since the Civil War.
Chris Hedges has warned that his nation has entered a "pre-revolutionary" state although he adds that there's no way of knowing just when upheaval may break out.
Foreign Policy surveyed a gaggle of national security experts whose "consensus opinion" suggested a 30% chance of full blown civil war within five years. Some individual respondents put the likelihood at between 60 and 95 per cent. That, of course, was in March. Much has transpired since then.
In going through these surveys of public opinion I found myself asking what sort of calamity would be needed to restore social cohesion to the American populace. It usually takes some sort of existential seismic event - a world war - to rally diverse groups around the flag.
After Trump's disastrous fiasco in Helsinki, I'm wondering what sort of event would be enough to fracture the already tenuous bonds between America's deeply divided factions.
Remember this is Donald Trump, a man with the scruples of a pit viper. This is the man who said he would refuse to accept the election outcome unless, of course, he won. Would he hesitate to incite his more rabid followers to stage some sort of putsch should proceedings be initiated to impeach him?
Bear in mind this rightwing phenomenon at play today that, despite a rightwing Supreme Court, and the Republicans firmly in control of both houses of Congress and the White House - all three branches of government - still considers Washington their enemy.
Would impeachment be their Harpers Ferry moment, a trigger for civil unrest?