MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross suggested that America isn’t merely on the “brink” of a civil war, but that one has “already begun.”
On the latest The Cross Connection, host Tiffany Cross introduced a segment on “Democracy in Danger” by arguing the United States may have already entered a new Civil War era, and spoke to author Barbara F. Walter and Columbia Journalism Dean Jelani Cobb about that threat.
Cross began with the blunt observation: “These days, it feels like we are not just at the brink of a civil war, but that one has already begun.”
She played two clips to demonstrate, the first featuring Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham predicting violence if Donald Trump is arrested over classified documents. Graham’s remarks have been a big subject on MSNBC and were mentioned by President Joe Biden this week.
The second clip was former Trump adviser Steve Bannon talking about MAGA being an enemy of the state. He said the FBI has become “the Gestapo” and then quoted and agreed with a Vox article calling MAGA a threat.
“Vox had an interesting article that ‘MAGA is a direct threat to the,’ wait for it, ‘the American state’. They didn’t say the country, they didn’t say America as a nation, they didn’t say the American people. The American state,” said Bannon. He then explicitly agreed with that, saying, “they are absolutely correct. You said the quiet part out loud. We are a threat to the American state.”
After the clips played, Cross said Trump’s supporters are speaking “the language of violence and threatening American institutions, all to “defend their dear leader.”
So Trump supporters are already speaking the language of violence. They’re threatening the FBI, the DOJ, the state itself. And this is all as they defend their dear leader. Now, it’s more than just threats, though. Their rhetoric has already led to actual violence, and there is likely more to come. And I don’t need to remind you how the MAGA mob sacked the Capitol on January 6 in an effort to overturn the 2020 election. Now, some of these people are now candidates for office looking to run our elections and, quite frankly, our government. And for those insurrectionists being prosecuted, discount Don, is, quote, financially supporting some of them and offering to pardon the lot if he’s reelected in 2024. More than 40% of Americans think a civil war is likely in the next decade. That’s a big number. Is this where history will say it began?
Cross spoke at length with both of her guests as the segment continued. She asked Walter, a scholar on the American Civil War and author of books about what leads to civil wars historically, about the current state of affairs.
Walter said that GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are using violent rhetoric in pursuit of short-terms goals and without regard to future consequences, and compared the GOP’s rhetoric to that of former Yugoslav president and war criminal Slobodan Milošević.
Later still in the segment, Cross asked Walter somewhat rhetorically whether, “if both sides are saying ‘civil war, civil war,’ doesn’t that mean that history is upon us right now?”
The overall theme of the segment was clear that, yes, it has already begun.