Civil War — MAGA & the Abolitionists

Republican MAGA movement folks have been predicting another civil war. The federal government’s deep state is trampling upon their freedoms and those of former President Donald Trump.

Two days after Election Day in 2020, Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers armed extremist group, told his high-ranking members: “We aren’t getting through this without a civil war.” Twitter posts mentioning “civil war” soared nearly 3,000 percent, denouncing the F.B.I. for searching Donald J. Trump’s Florida home for missing classified documents.

The last time a civil war was threatened occurred was when the Abolitionists, the core group creating the emerging new liberal Republican Party, pushed the Southern states to abandon slavery.

Liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats were fiercely divided on whether enslaved Black people should be freed, but it took place within the context of individual states defining citizenship. Did the federal government have the right to declare new states free from slavery? Or should the new states have the freedom to have Black slaves?

The threat of civil war then and now is about defining citizenship. In the past, the struggle was to allow Black slaves to achieve citizenship. Today it is to secure functional citizenship for ethnic and cultural minorities.