Late last Sunday evening, President Trump tweeted the ominous warning that removing him from office “will cause a Civil War like fracture.”
It turns out Colorado state Rep. Rod Pelton (R-Cheyenne Wells) was way ahead of him. Earlier that day, Pelton shared a Facebook meme stating, “We are in a cold civil war with the Bill of Rights on the Line! So wake up!”
Pelton added his own commentary praising the meme as “on the spot” and asserting that the “true Americans need to get involved and take this country back.”
Trump’s civil war tweet reinforced the beliefs of many in the militia movement that violent conflict is indeed imminent.
The national Oath Keepers, a national militia of right-wing law enforcement personnel, retweeted the president, stating “This is the truth. This is where we are. We ARE on the verge of a HOT civil war. Like in 1859.”
Reached for comment, Pelton says he wasn’t thinking about the fact that his post might incite people towards actual violence but acknowledged that it was a possibility.
“Looking back, it could set off some who are on the tipping point, who have had enough. It probably could incite some, I don’t think it will incite the majority. It’s something I’ll be more mindful of next time.”Rep. Rod Pelton (R-Cheyenne Wells)
Asked whom he considers “fake Americans,” Pelton answered “anyone who wants to turn America into a socialist country.
Over the phone, Pelton said he was primarily thinking of the Democratic presidential candidates. As for his statehouse colleagues across the aisle, Pelton says that while he believes some have [socialist] leanings, a lot of the Democrats he serves with do not want to transform America into a socialist country.
He also explained that his call for taking the country back was a reference to elections, not armed conflict.
By way of context, Pelton referenced the 51st State initiative, Colorado’s 2013 secessionist movement, which he says he supported by being the first county commissioner in Colorado to formally propose putting the question to a vote. Cheyenne County voters, including Pelton, overwhelmingly voted to secede, along with voters in Yuma, Phillips, Washington, and Kit Carson counties.
“In my mind civil war can take several different forms. The 51st state initiative was more of a quiet, peaceful type of civil war”
The more I talk to people in my district they’re frustrated. They go to the capitol and they testify and they feel like they’re not being heard and the majority is voting things through that will increase government. They’re just very frustrated. Where that will lead, I don’t know.”