Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) stood on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday, warning Democrats that they were making what could be a catastrophic mistake in pushing forward with their impeachment inquiry.
Just after the House voted (along party lines) to formalize the inquiry, Gohmert took to the microphone and said that the Democrats had failed to consider the consequences of removing a duly-elected president who has not done anything remotely worthy of impeachment.
Democrats, he said, were “about to push this country to a civil war if they were to get their wishes.”
“And if there’s one thing I don’t want to see in my lifetime, that I don’t want to ever have participation in, it’s a civil war,” Gohmert said. “Some historian, I don’t remember who, said ‘guns are only involved in the last phase of a civil war.’”
Gohmert is hardly the only one warning that armed conflict could be in the country’s future. In September, President Trump himself retweeted a pastor who said that removing him from office would “cause a Civil War like fracture” in the United States. That remark was picked up on by groups like the Oath Keepers, who quickly tweeted: “This is the truth. This is where we are. We ARE on the verge of a HOT civil war. Like in 1859.”
In a Reuters article from last week, the news outlet spoke to several members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, none of whom are any slouches when it comes to Civil War history and the lessons derived from our country’s bloodiest battles:
Sporting a Confederate flag shirt near a field clouded by cannon smoke, where blue- and gray-clad soldiers reenacted a Civil War battle from 155 years ago, Larry Caldwell Piercy, Jr. said he sees a new war looming in the United States – and a role for himself in any fighting.
“It would be all guerrilla warfare, not this open field-style kind of thing,” he said, gesturing at the reenactment of the 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek in Middletown, Virginia, earlier this month. “I would probably be an officer in that effort. You look into rural areas, and we’re not seen, but there’s a lot of us that’ll come out of these hills if it keeps getting worse. Probably every Sons of Confederate Veterans member out there.”
The idea of our ultra-industrialized, technological machine of a nation going through a second civil war is nearly unimaginable, but one can’t ignore the divisions growing between conservative and liberal America. And while Democrats have little chance of actually throwing Trump out of office, their attempts to do so inflame those divisions and open the door to something tragic. How wide is that opening? We don’t know.
But it’s cracked.