The 'Civil War,' as Viewed From My Inbox
Last week I publicly dared to express consternation with President Trump and my party in a piece headlined "A Difficult Time to Be a Republican."
In response, I was blasted by over 200 RCP commenters, several associates, and numerous friends. Two days later, on Monday, a conservative radio host invited me on his show to discuss the op-ed. I told him now was an even tougher time to be a Republican, given that over the weekend Trump tweeted a quote he heard on Fox News:
....If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2019
Deservedly, the president was reprimanded by Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a decorated Air Force veteran (sparking a Washington Post headline quoting his tweet):
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) September 30, 2019
I agree that the president’s tweet was “repugnant,” but how can impeachment “cause a Civil War like fracture” when our nation is already there? Instead, the question is whether this “fracture” will escalate into Gettysburg, led by a president hell-bent on exacerbating red vs. blue division as his reelection strategy.
Our nation has been severely fractured for decades, but this accelerating impeachment crisis feels different — faster-moving and more intense. I find myself wondering if this is how Americans felt in 1860, with no room for compromise or any interest in compromising.
Republicans generally think Donald Trump is a great president. They give him much of the credit for the strong economy and approve that he is putting “America First.” He is keeping socialism at bay, conservatives believe, appointing conservative judges and supporting religious freedom – all while standing up to our enemies (both foreign and domestic, including the media). In this narrative, he will win reelection in a landslide against a leftist, socialist Democrat bent on crippling the U.S. economy.
Then Thursday, as if on cue, a close friend sent me this:
Sung to the chorus of Lee Greenwood’s song, "I'm Proud to Be an American."
Conservatives need an anthem if they are going to keep a socialist out of the White House--a rallying song or cheer. This is it!
I'm proud to be a conservative
Cause I plan on staying free
And I won't forget the Dems
Who tried to take that right from me
And I'll proudly stand up for Donald Trump
When it comes to Election Day
Cause there ain't no doubt he loves this land
God Bless the USA!
Meanwhile, the other side believes that Trump is a racist, narcissistic, compulsive liar who is denigrating the office of the presidency and has already done irreparable harm to the country. They believe he is mentally deranged and becoming more unhinged by the day. The president is a national security risk (see his Thursday remarks about China from the White House lawn), thinks he is above the law and is trampling on the Constitution’s separation of powers. Throw the bum out!
What follows are examples from the “Civil War” that raged on my personal email address in response to my Sept. 28 RealClearPolitics piece. After a moderately liberal family member praised the op-ed, I told him that I needed new friends.
He responded: “At this point, the people that are asking for blind loyalty are the ones that should be worried about needing friends. There’s a big place in the center for the majority of Americans that just want a return to sanity and common sense.”
I agreed, but told him that unfortunately the “center” is a very lonely place right now and this email from a fellow Republican explains why:
“A difficult time to be a Republican? It might be for you but it sure as hell isn't for me. I've never been prouder to be a Republican nor more disgusted and repulsed by the democrats as I am - and millions more like me - now. Honestly, grow some vertebrae or switch parties. I'm shocked and disappointed in the extreme by your cowardice and flabbergasting naiveté.”
Thankfully, I have a thick skin and was pleased to read messages from friends who are not Republicans:
- “Well done, keep up the good work! This country needs more voices like that. Particularly Republican voices.”
- “Good for you on this one. Proud of you.”
- “Good article Myra. Country should come before politics.”
- “Great piece, Myra. McCain, Baker, glad you remember the greats.”
But those supporting emails were overshadowed by the vast majority from Republican friends:
- “Wrong! It's the greatest time [to be a Republican]! We are smoking out all the frauds like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney.”
- “And I agree with you, I hope the Republicans will have some backbone and do what is right: Stand with the President against the shrill cries of the established interconnected lynch mob”
- “Maybe for you because you're a RINO!”
- “He will win in a landslide!”
- “Sorry, but not for me. These are times that give me hope. When it comes to Trump, some of our own people just do not get it. So we part on this one.”
This scolding email was from a GOP friend who is a political household name:
“No it’s just difficult time to be a liberal Republican who should just be a Democrat. The policies of the Bush-Kasich Republicans you favor are identical to the policies of Obama and Clinton; endless foreign war where we have no national interest, erosion of our civil liberties, trade policies that benefit our trading partners but destroy the US job market, immigration policies that leave our streets and neighborhoods unsafe and a flat stagnant economy where jobs are nonexistent. Even with his many flaws, God bless President Trump!”
Yes, God bless the president and our nation. However, we must remember our history. Specifically, a famous quote from a truly “great” president, Abraham Lincoln who presided over the real Civil War. In 1858, as a U.S. Senate candidate from Illinois, Lincoln (paraphrasing Jesus) said, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.”
Adding to that, I will end with another famous quote.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”