On October 8th, it was reported that state and federal agents arrested several people and foiled a plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. Initial reporting said the perpetrators- members of a group called Wolverine Watchmen- were “right wing extremists” and, in some cases, white supremacists. It was later revealed that one of those arrested appeared in Facebook postings with a large antifa flag in the background while another had placed their affiliation with the BLM movement.
Whitmer was quick to blame their actions on President Trump, specifically stating:
Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups, like these two Michigan militia groups. Stand back and stand by,’ he told them. ‘Stand back and stand by.’ Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action.
However, by singling out Trump’s debate answer, Whitmer and Biden are missing the entire point. The alleged plan of the Wolverine Watchmen was not some white supremacist or extreme rightwing militia gone awry. It was an expression of frustration in the face of governmental abuse by Whitmer with her draconian lockdown edicts in the wake of the Chinese flu pandemic. There now exists a belief in a wide swath of the population that there is little one can do about these abuses that infringe upon basic constitutional rights.
Amid the protests in Lansing in April and May of this year, Trump had a more accurate picture of the protesters whom the media tried their best to portray as neo-Nazis because they displayed a swastika in relation to Whitmer’s actions. Said Trump: “These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely!”
The Wolverine Watchmen, according to the FBI indictment, were not motivated by white supremacy and many seem not to be Trump supporters. Instead, they are angry people who, correctly, see their constitutional rights being violated, and took it to an extreme. There is truth to their belief since on October 2 the Michigan supreme court struck down many of Whitmer’s edicts as “unconstitutional.”
What happened in Michigan is a microcosm of the anger and frustration felt by many in large parts of the country. Although laying dormant for many years, Trump’s 2016 victory brought to the forefront the divide between the Left and Right in this country. “Make America Great Again” is a revanchist theme which has been reinterpreted as some white supremacist dogwhistle. “Revanchist” simply means recovering lost status, not of white people, but of a country. On the Left is a gaggle of “progressives” who wish to redefine that status along lines that would make welfare nanny state European governments proud.
It took less than 24 hours after the President tested positive for Covid for his “infection” to become politicized. That was to be expected since anything and everything is now politicized, including the use of ketchup on steak or one’s ice cream preference. This politicization of everything has created paralysis. Legislation designed to help working class families in need stalls out of fear that its passage would be seen as helping one side or the other. Democrats attach a Leftist wish list to what should be bipartisan belief that many people are hurting still and need help.
Meanwhile, the Democrats and the Left would like nothing else than to maintain the status quo. They are not motivated by a need to help people, but by a hatred of Trump. It explains why Nancy Pelosi would even suggest a 25th Amendment Commission, a bizarre suggestion even for Pelosi.
The whole exercise, just like the failed impeachment nonsense, is not designed to win hearts and minds but to undermine the authority and credibility of the current President. Trump and Pelosi are the faces of those at opposite ends of the political spectrum. The battle lines are drawn and instead of policy debates, it is now an “us versus them” mentality that has taken over.
Biden famously stated this election is for the soul of the Nation. In some respects, he is correct although his underlying basis for that statement (Charlottesville) is seriously flawed. The battle lines are not drawn over race, but over class: the entrenched, elite, establishment versus the “deplorables.” It is not about states rights or slavery this time. It is about the soul and the future of this country. By staking out these positions and this territory, anything less than victory on either side will not be accepted.
There is a greater than 50/50 chance this election will be decided in the courts with protracted legal battles. That is the tame part. But, neither side will be silent in the streets of America. There will be blood and there is little that either side can do about it. The conservative governors and mayors will call out the police and National Guard to quell the violence while the liberal ones will turn a blind eye and deaf ear since we have seen it this past year. There will be more “peaceful protests” with burning buildings in the background and gunshots heard.
If Trump wins, will he be the great healer of a Nation that Lincoln aspired to be only to be taken out by an assassin’s bullet? More importantly, will the Democrats and the Left even give Trump that opportunity? I think we all know the answer to that last question.