Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa has warned the intensifying effort by the far-left to instigate aggressive confrontations against Trump administration officials and Republican politicians is pushing the country towards “another Harpers Ferry.”
“America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry. After that comes Ft. Sumter,” tweeted King in response to an effort by Occupy protestors to shut down an ICE office in Portland, Oregon.
King is not the only prominent individual to equate the current political environment with the political atmosphere in the lead-up to the Civil War, with famed presidential historian Michael Beschloss adopting a similar view in an interview with Politico.
Specifically, he noted the recent decision by the owners of a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia to kick out White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders represents “a new disheartening sign of a country that is becoming more divided by the hour.”
“It is almost beginning to sound like some of the things that happened before the Civil War. It’s a polarized country.”
Political Scientist Thomas Schaller echoed that suggestion in an interview with Bloomberg, saying “I think we’re at the beginning of a soft civil war. I don’t know if the country gets out of it whole.”
Talk of a second civil war has intensified following the effort by some Democratic lawmakers, most notably California Representative Maxine Waters, and far-left organizers to fan the flames of conflict and division.
During a rally over the weekend, Waters called on her supporters to “push back” against Trump cabinet officials in public and tell them “they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet — in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station — you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she said at a rally on Saturday.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a strong supporter of President Trump, was confronted by protestors affiliated with the far-left organization Organize Florida at least four times at a Tampa movie theater, where she and a friend were attending the Mister Rogers’ documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
“When you’re violent and cursing and screaming and blocking me from walking into a movie, there’s something wrong,” she said. “The next people are going to come with guns. That’s what’s going to happen.”
Former Democratic Representative Tom Perriello, who lost reelection to his seat in Virginia during the 2010 midterm elections, unsurprisingly leveled blame for the current environment on President Trump, who is “actively threatening, both in his rhetoric and his policies, the weak and the vulnerable.”
“I think a different kind of response is needed. Now I happen to not think the politics of confrontation is most effective on that. But that’s a tactical question.”
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, conversely, leveled blame for the political environment on the mainstream media and suggested the heated rhetoric will get someone killed.
“If the media keeps this up — if they keep up generating this hysteria — somebody’s going to get killed,” he said. “I think we’re pretty close to somebody getting killed already, and I’m not being hyperbolic, and I’m not trying to call attention to myself.”
“I’m genuinely worried about the out-of-control aspect of this. The news media’s fanning the flames.”