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‘I don’t believe in violence, but…’: Trump’s most rabid supporters warn of ‘civil war’ if he loses in 2020

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Trump supporters and protesters gather outside a campaign rally (and accompanying anti-Trump protest) for President Trump and US Senate candidate Martha McSally. (Eric Rosenwald / Shutterstock.com)

On Saturday, The New York Times profiled an October gathering of Trump supporters in Golden Valley, Arizona, at least some of whom are prepared for violence if the president is not re-elected in 2020.

“Great American Pizza & Subs, on a highway about 100 miles southeast of Las Vegas, was busier and Trumpier than usual. On any given day it serves ‘M.A.G.A. Subs’ and ‘Liberty Bell Lasagna.’ The ‘Second Amendment’ pizza comes ‘loaded’ with pepperoni and sausage. The dining room is covered in regalia praising President Trump,” wrote Times reporter Astead W. Herndon. “But this October morning was ‘Trumpstock,’ a small festival celebrating the president. The speakers included the local Republican congressman, Paul Gosar, and lesser-known conservative personalities. There was a fringe 2020 Senate candidate in Arizona who ran a website that published sexually explicit photos of women without their consent; a pro-Trump rapper whose lyrics include a racist slur aimed at Barack Obama; and a North Carolina activist who once said of Muslims, ‘I will kill every one of them before they get to me.'”

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“They label us white nationalists, or white supremacists,” said California right-wing activist Guy Taiho Decker. “There’s no such thing as a white supremacist, just like there’s no such thing as a unicorn. We’re patriots.” Decker, according to Herndon, was previously arrested “on charges of making terrorist threats.”

Speakers at the event whipped the crowd into a frenzy of hate by portraying Democrats as an existential threat to their future. “There is no difference between the democratic socialists and the National Socialists,” said right-wing writer Evan Sayet, who added that Democrats, “are the heirs to Adolf Hitler.” Another speaker was Brian Talbert, a pro-Trump LGBTQ activist who was banned from the Charlotte, North Carolina pride parade, who proclaimed Hillary Clinton “should be hanging at the end of a rope for treason.”

These sentiments clearly were taken seriously by at least some in attendance. Per Herndon, one “Trumpstock” visitor, Mark Villalta, said that “Nothing less than a civil war would happen,” if Trump is not re-elected, reaching for his handgun and adding, “I don’t believe in violence, but I’ll do what I got to do.”

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