We have all been here before. I wrote about this recently and will write a bit more about it. This country has seen right wing anti government violence before. Today we hear news that an extreme Christian terrorist group formed an armed militia, and planned to kill police, plant bombs to kill mourners, and begin a general uprising against the US government.
First of all we are a country because of events like the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. It is within rebellion that the country is born. Bucking trends and authority is our heritage as Americans. Rebellions have been numerous in the history of the United States, and only those who refuse to delve into history will see this as unprecedented.
There was what I term the Second Revolutionary War, an effusion of bloodshed fought between citizens who had cast their lot with the Crown and lost, and those who sided the Continental Army and won. It happened from Florida to New York, especially in Charleston and Philadelphia. What they don’t tell you in history class was that from the end of the Revolutionary War in 1782, many Torries were given free passage to England or to somewhere in the British Empire. Only about half of the residents of this country wanted to go from being governed by a monarch to being governed by their neighbors. Lots of freed slaves fought for the King as well, and many were given passage to England and the Bahamas and Jamaica. In the meantime, angry colonists attacked loyalists in towns everywhere for a while, the Old West looked a lot like the Older East.
The Whisky Rebellion in 1791 when a cashed strapped US Government tried to tax whiskey in western provinces, revenuers were attacked, murdered and sometimes worse. Armed groups would attack military outposts thinking that this would make the soldiers go away. During the Whiskey Rebellion, it only made them go away until 1794 when George Washington sent 12,000 troops to quell the rebellion.
The civil violence that engulfed Kansas and Missouri after the Missouri Compromise in 1854 had been repealed manifested itself in self-organized gang raids on horseback, kidnapping, murder, sniping, and scorched Earth.
During Reconstruction after the Civil War, Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Ku Klux Klan became the first white Christian terrorist group that terrorized Americans as a matter of policy, controlled areas of the country and still operates today and with a number of shadow White supremacist organizations as well.
We saw how abolishing alcohol created a massive black market economy that funded organized crime gangs in the 1930s and 1940s.
We watched violent anti Vietnam War protests, violent police backlash in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention in 1968.
We watched Waco and Ruby Ridge and some would say even 9/11 was domestic violence.
From James Howard Kunster
Am I the only one who senses it might be America’s turn to go nuts? I don’t mean a family squabble, like the Boomer-Hippie-Vietnam uproar that was essentially an adolescent rebellion against bad parenting in the national household. I mean a genuine descent into madness, with the very high probability of persecution, violence, murder, and mayhem — all more or less sponsored by various authorities and institutions.The Republican Party is doing a great job in provoking such a dangerous episode by making consensual governance impossible in a time of awful practical problems and challenges. They’re in the process, right now, of transforming themselves from the party of “no” to the party of no decency, no common sense, no ideas, no conception of the public interest, and no respect for the traditions that they pretend to stand for, like due process of law. In the days since the passage of health care reform, they’ve gone as far as inciting mobs to violence against their fellow congressmen and senators — bricks thrown through windows, death threats made, coffins placed in the yards of their adversaries. One day soon, somebody with a gun or an explosive device, someone with a very sketchy sense-of-self, and perhaps a recent record of personal failure and humiliation, is going to sacrifice himself to become the Tea Party’s first martyr by shooting up a shopping mall in some blue district.
That said, I am not the least bit surprised that there is a militia group armed with the truth and assault rifles and they intend to cause trouble. Especially after the unapologetic incite to riot rhetoric coming out the right wing radio stations, I am not surprised that there are people waiting for the end of days and very happy to get it going with weapons if necessary.
It won’t change anything for them. Constant change, and the Black President and increasingly brown population is what is driving them to try and reclaim a past that is simply no longer possible. I would not rule out civil war in America before its all said and done, but these are just men who are playing insurgent. They are angry and it won’t be the last time we see angry Americans. Not for a long time. But we made it through previous rebellious times and we’ll make it through this one.