The following is an excerpt from Robert Spencer’s new book The Sumter Gambit: How the Left Is Trying to Foment a Civil War, which you can order here.
On September 1, 2022, in a nationally televised address, the nominal president of the United States, Joe Biden, declared war on half the country.
In a dark, threatening speech before an ominous red-and-black background and flanked by two Marines in full dress uniform, Biden declared that “Donald Trump and the MAGA [Make America Great Again] Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.” For the first time in American history, a president declared that his primary political opposition was outside the bounds of acceptable political discourse. The message couldn’t have been clearer: The establishment Left, entrenched in power in the United States but deeply afraid of losing that power, was intent on criminalizing political opposition. Dissent from Biden’s agenda and you could end up with the thought police breaking down your door at four a.m.
Probably more out of historical illiteracy than historical awareness, Biden’s handlers chose the 83rd anniversary of Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the beginning of World War II for Biden’s profoundly disturbing and un-American speech.
“As I stand here tonight,” Biden declared in front of his ersatz Nazi background, “equality and democracy are under assault. We do ourselves no favor to pretend otherwise.” Biden said equality and democracy were under assault, and then he proceeded to assault them. He said he intended to “speak as plainly as I can to the nation about the threats we face,” but he wasn’t referring to China, or Russia, or North Korea, or the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and certainly not to the woke America haters who infest our public schools, colleges, and universities. No, Biden’s big threat to the nation was Americans who dared to vote against him and reject his policies. Biden came closer to calling for war upon American citizens than any president since Jefferson Davis.
“Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” Biden complained. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.” He immediately drew a distinction between them and the “good” Republicans: “Now, I want to be very clear…up front: Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology. I know because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans. But there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.”
The point Biden was making was clear: The Republicans who played ball with the globalist, socialist Democrats and allowed them to implement their agenda with just a few quibbles here and there — Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Adam Kinzinger, and all the rest — were the “good” Republicans. A “good” Republican was one who acted and spoke and voted just like a Democrat, but who had an “R” behind his name. A “bad” Republican was one who offered an actual alternative to the “America Last,” bug-eating, open-borders, Third World socialism that Joe and his henchmen were forcing upon us.
After making this frankly authoritarian statement, the corrupt senescent liar in the White House had the unspeakable audacity to add: “But I’m an American president—not the president of red America or blue America, but of all America.”
No, that was exactly what he wasn’t, not any longer, if he ever was. He effectively resigned from that position with that September 1, 2022, speech. He was not the president of Americans who wanted to see a strong, independent, self-sufficient America and a president who put America and its citizens first. He was at war with those Americans, and only God knew what was coming next.
“MAGA Republicans have made their choice,” Biden declared. “They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies.” This was the “accuse your enemy of what you’re doing” strategy to a T. He went on to claim that the MAGA Republicans refuse to accept the results of free elections (not a word, of course, about the increasing evidence not only of election fraud but of FBI interference in the 2020 election, and all manner of oddities in the 2022 elections), and, with more of his trademark breathtaking dishonesty and audacity, proclaimed that political violence was unacceptable under any circumstances. Not a word about Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, and all the others who cheered on the Left’s political violence in the summer of 2020. This wasn’t really about democracy and the rule of law at all. It was about criminalizing the legitimate political opposition, something that no previous president had ever dared to do.
Just days before this speech, Biden had called MAGA Republicanism “semifascism.” Fascism was once again on the rise, as it was in the darkest days of the 1930s. Biden’s speech embodied it.
Back on March 23, 1933, before he became the world’s universal symbol for the embodiment of evil, German chancellor Adolf Hitler spoke before the Reichstag, urging it to pass the Enabling Act, which would give him dictatorial powers. He said that this was urgently needed in light of an imminent threat to the nation. Hitler claimed that in 1918, Marxist organizations had seized power in Germany, leading to “a time of boundless misfortune for Germany, that is to say the working German Volk [people].” But he assured the Reichstag deputies that “the German Volk itself has increasingly turned away from concepts, parties, and associations which, in its eyes, are responsible for these conditions.”
These were the same rhetorical notes Joe Biden sounded during his ominous speech branding Donald Trump and his supporters as enemies of the state.
In his Enabling Act speech, Hitler accused the Communists of “pillaging, arson, raids on the railway, assassination attempts, and so on — all these things are morally sanctioned by Communist theory.” He also declared that the German people were already in the process of defeating these great enemies. He spoke of “the necessity of thoroughly rejecting the ideas, organizations, and men in which one gradually and rightly began to recognize the underlying causes of our decay.” He added: “Filled with the conviction that the causes of this collapse lie in internal damage to the body of our Volk, the Government of the National Revolution aims to eliminate the afflictions from our völkisch life which would, in future, continue to foil any real recovery.”
Biden sounded the same notes here again, declaring that the nation was bouncing back despite the best efforts of these internal enemies to destroy it: “American manufacturing has come alive across the heartland, and the future will be made in America — no matter what the white supremacists and the extremists say,” as if America First patriots, whom Biden was busy smearing as white supremacists and extremists, were against American manufacturing. “I made a bet on you, the American people,” Biden continued, “and that bet is paying off. Proving that from darkness — the darkness of Charlottesville, of COVID, of gun violence, of insurrection — we can see the light. Light is now visible.”12 Ibid.
These resonances were real and ominous. For the first time in over two hundred years of American history, a president had declared that his primary political opposition stood outside the bounds of acceptable political discourse. The logical next step was the one Hitler took: He blamed one of his strongest adversaries, the Communist Party, for the Reich- stag fire, and outlawed it accordingly. With the Communist deputies barred from being present, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, and Germany’s unfortunate fourteen-year experiment with a representative republic was over.
But that couldn’t possibly happen here, could it? It would be as outlandish and frankly inconceivable as the prospect of a president of the United States standing in front of a couple of Marines and a strongly Nazi-esque backdrop and denouncing his legitimate political opposition as an enemy of the state. Simply could not happen! Not in what leftists piously refer to as “our democracy”!
The day after this speech, Biden took it all back. Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Biden: “Do you consider all Trump supporters to be a threat to the country?” Biden replied: “I don’t consider any Trump supporter a threat to the country.” Yet on September 4, Biden tweeted: “The MAGA agenda represents an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic. It doesn’t respect our Constitution. It doesn’t believe in the rule of law. And it doesn’t recognize the will of the people.” The implication was clear: If Americans abandoned the “MAGA agenda,” they would have nothing to fear.
But what of those who refused to do so?