[WATCH] Yale Prof Says Framing Right-Wing Violence As ‘Civil War’ Undermines Reality Of ‘What’s Going On Right Now’
After news broke that the FBI searched Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on Monday, his supporters openly called for an armed violent response, and ultimately, civil war. Some members of Trump’s base are already reacting independently with their own form of vengeance. On Thursday, a fervent Trump supporter was shot and killed by police after he fired a nail gun into an FBI office in Cincinnati. All week, right-wing Republican leaders have been ironically threatening to “Defund the FBI” as punishment for the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search. And an armed protest in Arizona outside another FBI office over the weekend threatened to get violent as well.
However, experts are suggesting that anyone echoing the Trump base’s use of the term “Civil War” isn’t truly looking at the situation facing America at this moment in history. As Trump and his legal team continue to shift their narrative surrounding the classified documents he took from the White House, the fear-mongering continues to have a far-reaching impact. Meanwhile, Trump fan pages on social media have ratcheted up calls for a bloody “civil war” as an easy way to trigger an already riled-up and angry base.
While it’s not yet clear what Attorney General Merrick Garland plans to do with the recovered documents or how much more information will be shared with the public, it’s clear Trump’s base won’t be swayed by the findings of the federal investigation into whether or not Trump violated the Espionage Act.
A quick explainer on the latest in the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago! https://t.co/ePV7C3XjIJ
— Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote) August 14, 2022
I’ve noticed that they’re all talking about it, but no one is actually leading them in it. They aren’t organized as of yet, which is a gift to us right now. We’re in big trouble if the violent stupid people get smart enough to organize well
— (((Tara Dublin))) (@taradublinrocks) August 12, 2022
Yale Professor and historian Joanne Freeman takes issue with that language. In addition to being “threatening,” Freeman says the “civil war” crowd isn’t organized enough to spark a war. And ultimately, it undermines “the real ugliness and violence on the surface of what’s going on right now.” “Words and rhetoric really matter,” Freeman tells MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, “particularly if they are coming from someone high up. Not only do they frame things, but they are a way of sort of setting things in motion.”