In what can be rightly called the worst chapter in America’s history, four years of bloody combat resulted in 640,000 to 700,000 Americans’ deaths, and it seemed likely that America would never repeat a war between the states, or that any American would live through a Civil War over state’s rights, a growing abolitionist movement, or the re-election of a President. However, after several mass shootings prompted a gun control movement, and newly re-elected President Obama issued benign executive orders to quell the bloodshed from military-grade weapons, it is frighteningly apparent that Republicans, the NRA, and throw-back confederates are setting the stage for civil war.
One may be tempted to cite the current 2nd Amendment fanatics and gun-crazed zealots incited by the NRA as the raison d’être of civil war advocates, and obviously it plays a central role in calls for armed insurrection against the government, but as abolition was not the primary cause for the Civil War, gun rights is cover for tenthers and birthers intent on nullification of federal laws and an African American President. Nullification was the important point of order for the Confederacy, and the GOP and NRA are using it as a catalyst for ideologues calling for violence against the government to cover their real intent for civil war.
The idea of nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional, is playing out in the debate over staunching the proliferation of military assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, but the idea that states, particularly Southern states, can pick and choose which laws are constitutional and enforceable by the federal government began during the healthcare reform debate three years ago with race always an underlying factor. When nullification did not work leading up to the Civil War, and states felt their claims of supremacy over the federal government were ignored, they moved towards secession and America’s bloodiest war ensued. After the Affordable Care Act was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, several states with Republican governors and legislatures immediately began nullification proceedings and claimed President Obama’s signature health law would never be implemented in their states because in spite of passing both houses of Congress and a Supreme Court challenge, they still claim the African American President’s health law is unconstitutional.
There is irony in the rash of Republican claims that implementation of the ACA, gun control measures, or studies why gun violence has reached epic proportions are unconstitutional, because in Article IV, Clause 2 (Supremacy Clause) of the Constitution it says: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States… shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” Still, Republicans in Texas, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Mississippi have made provocative moves to criminalize enforcement of federal gun laws and implementation of the ACA, and with increasing numbers of Americans threatening violence against the government, it will not take much to inflame malcontents, racists, and latter day confederates to begin civil war.
Glenn Beck said recently that “Americans are not going to give up on the Second Amendment without a fight, and make no mistake; a fight is coming; one way or another. The chaos in this country is not strong enough for a hostile takeover; yet.” Beck’s warning is not his typical idiotic rant because there are Americans apt to begin violent action against an African American President, and they can barely wait for a tipping point to put their armories to good use. The blatant calls for armed revolution are not relegated to random nut-jobs any longer, and there are myriad groups anxious for “armed rebellion and reinstitution of the basic tenets of the Constitution,” and to “hurry and get the shooting started or die at the hands of Obama’s storm troopers.” It is important to remember that threats of revolution and civil war began long before President Obama laid out a series of measures to address gun violence. Leading up to the general election, NRA board member Ted Nugent implied if President Obama won re-election, he would either be in prison or die in a hail of bullets, and last year Virginia Republicans called for armed revolution if Obama was re-elected long before gun control became an issue and prior to the Supreme Court ruling the ACA was constitutional. In 2010, teabaggers called for armed resistance if federal laws were enacted, or if Congress did not submit to tea party demands, and it brings up an important point about why nullification is the focus of Republicans in primarily Southern states; an African American man is occupying the White House.
Republicans are wont to demonize Democratic presidents as a matter of course, and their deep hatred for President Bill Clinton drove them to impeach him for a private sexual tryst, but there were never calls for secession or armed rebellion against the government that are escalating after four-years to a dangerous tipping point. It is true gun fanatics will fight to the death to keep their assault rifles, but it is unique that Republican legislators and governors are openly criminalizing implementation of a federal law and an African American President’s gun control efforts that will lead to events reminiscent of Waco Texas or Ruby Ridge that ended in violence and death.
It is unfortunate, but a segment of America still suffers from racist angst at an African American man in the Oval Office, and in lieu of blatant calls for racial war, or revolution to overthrow a Black man as President, Republican-led states are using nullification and state’s rights to incite hostilities against an African American’s gun-safety measures and affordable care act’s implementation. At some point, tempers will boil over and after four years of conservatives and Republicans decrying President Obama as a foreign dictator ravaging the Constitution to rob good white Americans of their religious, political, and economic liberty, the events at Ruby Ridge and Waco Texas will seem like Sunday picnics because across this nation there is a substantial number of Americans aching for a race war that has as its basis not nullification, gun rights, or unconstitutional power grabs, but sheer racial bigotry.