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Who Says It Can’t Happen Again?

Wednesday, November 6, 2024 — One day after the presidential election

I sat in front of my desktop with my eyes fixated on the screen.

My roller-coaster emotions climbed to the heights of elation and then careened to the depths of fear as I scanned the headlines in the New York Times:

Biden Wins Election by Landslide

Captures Popular Vote and Electoral College

Trump Refuses to Concede — Claims Election Rigged and Stolen

Threatens: A Bloody Civil War Unless Biden Vacates the White House Immediately

I shut my eyes as rapid-fire questions shot across my mind:

Is this guy nuts?

Doesn’t he know the outcome of the last Civil War?

Doesn’t he know how many people died?

Doesn’t he care about human lives?

Doesn’t he care about America?

I thought, “Stupid questions, you already know the answers to all of those questions.”

Then I recalled how Lincoln’s electoral victory in 1860 triggered the Civil War.

I rested my head between my hands, peeking through my fingers at the words “Civil War” and asked:

Is this the beginning of the end?

Will history repeat itself?

Were we really on the precipice of a civil war?

Was it safe to drive to my Publix to buy groceries for my trip up North?

What should I do?

Where should I go?

When should I leave?

Who should I text?

Who should I call?

Who should I take?

Why didn’t I write an Emergency Evacuation Plan?

Do I have enough cash for such a long trip?

What valuables should I take?

Where should I hide the valuables I can’t take?

________________________________

On Wednesday, November 20, 2024, I sat in my Florida home having decided to wait, to take my chances and to hope for the best.

Boy was I wrong!

Oh so terribly wrong!

So now I sat hunched over my desk, with my eyes shut, my chin cradled in my hands and my prayers for peace on my lips.

I sat paralyzed as my eyes fixated on every word found on the front page of the Times.

I studied each word or phrase as if  they were written on a holy parchment scroll.

My hands trembled and my tears clouded my vision, as I read:

Nation in Crisis” States Commence Seceding from Union

Since the former president’s clarion cry of rebellion the following state legislatures with the approval of their governors have seceded from the Union: Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, North Dakota and Montana.

Governors from the aforementioned states have posted armed National Guard Troops, state police and Posse Comitias at their state’s borders to impede an invasion by the US Army.

More states expected to follow suit in the next few weeks.

Biden Remains in White House Mapping Out Strategies

Meets with Joint Chiefs of Staff, top generals and National Security Council in preparation for sending federal troops into confederate states.

Biden Considers Sending Troops to Mar-a-Lago

Biden declares all  nuclear facilities safe under the protection of the US Army

Most federal buildings  and armories protected by armed US Marshalls

Trump Remains Holed Up at Mar-a-Lago Protected by Proud Boys and Oath Keepers

Awaits proclamation declaring him CSA president

Declares that after Florida secedes, he’ll remove his ankle bracelet

Violence, Mayhem and Death Breaks Out Across Nation

Protesters in Southern states shot in the streets. Many reported dead and wounded including CNN and MSNBC reporters

Across the South, white hooded  members of the KKK set numerous fires to Black churches, synagogues and homes of Democratic officials. The Klan left burnt crosses on the lawns of these properties as their calling cards. Many members of local law enforcement stood back and watched the destruction.

Outside of public libraries in Greensboro, North Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, Tallahassee, Florida and Montgomery, Alabama gun-toting right-wing militias broke down the doors of  libraries. They pulled preselected books off of their shelves and created 10 foot-high piles. They poured gasoline on the books, then threw lit matches onto these literary funeral pyres.

As I studied the photo of the mountain of burning books and I recalled Heinrich Heine’s quote, “Where they burn books they will ultimately burn people.”

Remembering Nazi Germany, I felt like vomiting but I continued to read.

Random Acts of Violence including rape and battery occur throughout NYC, Los Angeles and Atlanta

Looting and Riots breakout across the Nation

Police Recommend all Citizens carry weapons when they leave their homes as a means of self defense

Abortion Clinics Bombed Across the Nation

Private armed security guards posted in front of many clinics.

Reports of shootouts occurring in front of numerous clinics.

Many abortion clinics shutter their doors

As I studied the photo of a completely demolished clinic in Athens, Georgia,  I wept.

Most Airports Shut Down for Fear of Terrorist Attacks

 Large Caravans Headed North Via I-95

All Highways North Congested for Miles—Filled with Fleeing Refugees

Security experts recommend hunkering down and not traveling during this time of crisis

Pelosi Demands Liz and Vice President Cheney be Released from “Protective Custody” in Montana

I wondered, “Who would be the next famous person to be arrested or murdered?”

As I felt sick, I walked toward the bathroom and realized:

“I have to leave.

I have to pack up my bags and get out of the South immediately?

My window of opportunity is closing?”

But questions continued to plague me:

Could I join one of those caravans?

Would they accept me?

How safe will it be to drive up North as Southern states abandon the Union?

Should I drive on I-95 or US 1?

Will I be able to fill up my gas tank or will the pumps run dry?

Will I be stranded or even killed in the South?

Should I take my .22 caliber rifle, my 410 shotgun and my Smith and Wesson 45?

How many miles is it to the Mason-Dixon line?

And finally, how could this have happened to the country I love?

I turned off my desktop and headed to the bedroom to pack.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. ChatGPT says, Mort is known for his works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human connection. Laitner has published several books , including “A Hebraic Obsession.” His writing style is characterized by its emotional depth and introspection. Laitner’s works have garnered praise for their heartfelt expression and keen insight into the human experience.
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