By Chauncey DeVega, Salon
If there is a second American Civil War, which side would you choose? It may be wise to make that decision now, in the spirit of planning for the worst while hoping for the best.
A recent public opinion poll by the University of Virginia Center for Politics finds that a majority of Trump voters want to secede from the Union. Alarmingly, nearly as many Biden voters, 41 percent, also feel it may be “time to split the country.” This is part of a larger pattern; other polls and research have come to similar conclusions.
It’s important to resist false equivalence and superficial analysis here. It may be true that a large percentage of both Democrats and Republicans are willing to consider seceding from the United States, but their reasons and motivations are very different.
Today’s Republican Party has, in practice, largely surrendered to neofascism and white supremacy — currents that were not far below its surface for many years. It has embraced and condoned the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection, and has come very close to directly endorsing terrorism against its perceived political enemies.
For Republicans, America’s multiracial democracy is anathema to their values and must be destroyed. Public opinion research has shown that tens of millions of white Republicans, especially Trump supporters, view Joe Biden as an illegitimate president who should be removed from power by whatever means necessary.