This is a tough one. We need a national discussion that is frank but is based on fact and also includes nuance " a quality that is easily cast aside in our zeal to make our point. I don't have all the answers but I don't particularly care for the word "war" in regard to fellow Americans.
There's clearly a rise in right-wing politics in this country, and in many other countries as well. Everything from the Tea Party to Trump's election to the white supremacists have been part of this rise.
Make no mistake, Nazis and other right-wing extremists pose considerable risk to our democratic ideals, not to mention the toll that extremist violence has taken on us already. The Republican Party has made grievous errors in judgment embracing Donald Trump and some of the hateful constituencies he has stoked.
There is simply no reasoning with people like Sean Hannity who say white supremacy is a hoax. Fox News in general has been beating the drums of xenophobia, scapegoating and otherism since they went on the air. Both Trump and Mitch McConnell are not only unwilling to compromise, they also seem unworthy of compromise. This presents us with a dilemma.
On days when I try to step back from whatever crisis happens to be in the news at the moment, I feel a need to sound a note of caution to my fellow liberals. ZeroPointNRG might not have said it the way I'd say it, but I still hear what he's saying.
We are justified in criticizing Republican leadership for their craven support of Trump, a vulgar, narcissistic thug who panders only to the rudest, most selfish impulses of his base, eagerly propping up the conspiracy narrative (Everything is fixed! Only I can save you!) while flipping the bird at the rest of us. There's never been a president so open about presiding over only part of America. But Trump is the symptom, rather than the cause, of the movement that's been underway for a long time.
Much of this movement is based on fear. Fear that the nation's predominant culture is disappearing--and that the culture that replaces it will be less safe, less merit-based, less respectful of authority and less oriented toward traditional values of home, family and hard work. Manufacturing jobs, coal jobs, and other manual labor have dried up, and it's hard to make it on a single income these days. And you can see for yourself how many of the blue-collar work -- in construction, landscaping, motels, convenience stores, etc. -- is going to immigrants. So they must be stealing our jobs, right? The same people who can't speak English and want to institute Sharia law, right?
Well, no, it's a lot more complicated than that--things like automation, a switch to cleaner renewable energy, the new generations' unwillingness to accept the status quo on longstanding (and sometimes unjust) ways of doing things, many Americans' own poor work habits/laziness/sense of entitlement, and decades' worth of low wage growth also come into play. But that mindset is out there, and as much as I'd like to punch a Nazi myself, liberals declaring "war" on white nationalists could well backfire and might instead make it harder to break the pattern. It might even lead to something that looks more like actual war.
There are people on both sides itching to fight. Let's not give them the ammunition.