Our book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection. Some Republican leaders -- and a measurable number of rank-and-file voters -- are open to violent rebellion, coups, and secession.
Donald Trump on a potential DoJ indictment: "If it happened, I think you'd have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we've never seen before..."— The Recount (@therecount) September 15, 2022
Hugh Hewitt: "What kind of problems?"
Trump: "I think they'd have big problems. Big problems." pic.twitter.com/pqxUJexnmC
And now, Donald Trump has been suggesting, not even subtly, that any legal action against him could result in violence. Our former president is apparently now suggesting that if he is prosecuted, his supporters should stand up to our constitutional order and the rule of law, stand up and, through whatever means are needed, prevent his prosecution – prevent the application of the law. It is hard to see this as anything but a direct threat to our Constitution, to our Republic – and a credible one at that. One can only wonder, is this where the Republican Party will go next? That prosecution is inappropriate, because MAGA will violently oppose it.
All of us have an obligation to acknowledge what is happening. Those activities that I have just listed for you – those are the erosion of the rule of law, and they are the undermining of our constitutional system. Our constitutional system has been defended and handed down to us by every generation since 1789. It comes to us with a duty of inheritance. It doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to our children and our grandchildren, and we must not be the generation that allows it to unravel.
My friends, I say this to you as a conservative. I believe deeply in conservative policies. I believe in limited government. I believe in low taxes. I believe in a strong national defense. I believe that the family has got to be the central building block of our society. And I share the concerns that many of us, many of you have – justifiable concerns about radical liberalism and about ‘wokeness.’
But those concerns cannot justify what the Republican Party is doing now. The means do not justify the ends. This is how democracies fail. That cannot happen and it must not happen. Stopping this erosion requires men and women of goodwill showing courage and remembering that no office is worth holding if you enable, through your action or your inaction, the dismantling of our Republic.