With two weeks left until Election Day, tensions between Donald Trump supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters are high. With a campaigning season as unpredictable as this one, there is really no telling who will win and what will happen when either of them do (or don't). Some people are already threatening to protest the results with violence — for example, former congressman Joe Walsh, who threatened armed revolution if Trump loses.
Joe Walsh is a Republican and former one-term congressman from Illinois and a current conservative radio show host, known for his controversial, conservative opinions. In the past, Walsh has also reportedly "threatened war" against President Barack Obama. Apparently Walsh is now threatening war on innocent people, made evident in one Tweet sent out on Wednesday that made everyone upset — for a good reason.
"On Nov. 8th, I'm voting for Trump," Walsh tweeted. "On Nov. 9th, if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket. You in?" This Tweet is so ridiculous on so many levels. Walsh's Tweet first suggests violence against innocent people who voted for the candidate that they see fit to lead their country. What's even crazier is that Walsh's Tweet suggests that people still use muskets and that he owns one. What is this? The Revolutionary War?
Just who would Walsh be fighting with his musket? Questions like this one remained unanswered from his original tweet. So, Walsh further explained what he would do with his musket in a tweet to CNN host, Jake Tapper.
Walsh's definition of his "protest" — participating in civil disobedience and protesting — is exactly what the Black Lives Matter movement is doing... except without Walsh's inferred musket violence. The most ironic thing about Walsh's definition is that he has slammed Black Lives Matter in the past, despite their peaceful protesting and partaking in acts of civil disobedience (because they are upset with the current state our our nation), blaming their demonstrations for dividing the country.
Twitter, of course, had a field day with Walsh's words, taking to the platform to criticize Walsh's threats to protest using a Revolutionary War-era firearm (although he told Newsweek that "he does not advocate for violence"):
While Trump might not concede to Clinton if he fails to win on Nov. 8, it doesn't necessarily mean that Trump will be starting the next American Revolution on the same night, although some of his supporters have hinted as such. (Recall that conservative Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, a Trump supporter, advised his followers that it was "pitchforks and torches time" in America, not just once, not just twice, but multiple times on Twitter and during at least one rally.) As Election Day draws closer, Walsh's "revolution" is unsettling, even though general, non-violent protests are a typical response to election results and happened as recent as the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
Clinton supporters shouldn't need to get their gunpowder and bayonets ready to fight any armed revolutions — but they'd do well not to ignore the unsettling rhetoric either.