'Civil War' Trends on Twitter After Iowa Trump Rally Attendee's Remarks Go Viral

By Jason Lemon


"Civil War" was a top trending topic on Twitter on Sunday after remarks from an attendee of former President Donald Trump's rally in Iowa were widely circulated online and by the media.

Trump held a rally at the Iowa State Fairground in Des Moines on Saturday. At the event, Trump supporter Lori Levi told MSNBC that she believes the U.S. is headed for a "civil war." Levi criticized Democrats and Republicans, saying most members of the GOP are "as weak as they possibly could be in Congress."

"They're establishment. They don't care about the American people because they're in their elite little tower," she said. "So we're just sick of it, you know, and we're not going to take it anymore. I see a civil war coming. I do. I see civil war coming."

As of Sunday afternoon, the term "Civil War" had been tweeted nearly 67,000 times as it trended on the major social media platform. Many were criticizing Trump supporters and the right-wing "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) movement. Some also tried to offer solutions to the current divide within American society.

"Polarization is worse than ever and getting worse not better. There is a Civil War coming if we don't stop dehumanizing those we disagree with politically," unsuccessful Democratic presidential and New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang tweeted. The political activist promoted his new Forward Party PAC, which aims to promote democratic reforms.

"Political stress is at record highs, we're already seeing political violence, 42% of people now see political opponents as "mortal enemies" or "evil." We can all feel it. Where will it end? I wish it were hyperbole but we should take this very seriously," Yang added in a follow-up Twitter post.

Dean Obeidallah, host of The Dean Obeidallah Show, suggested that largely Democratic states would be happy for largely Republican states to secede from the country—unlike what happened back in the 1860s during the Civil War.

"'Civil War Coming' is trending. It's not for various reasons but a big one is the Civil War in 1861 happened when Red States said we are leaving and Blue States waged a war to preserve the Union. Today if Red States wanted to leave Blue states would say 'Check out time is 1PM,'" he tweeted.

Nick Knudsen, the executive director of DemCastUSA, warned that America's shouldn't dismiss the threat of violence.

"To everybody making light of the MAGA folks talking about Civil War: just remember that they're heavily armed, brainwashed and consistently encouraged by the GOP to engage in vigilantism/insurrection," Knudsen wrote.

"Not a good combo. We should fear for the folks they'll target with violence."

Edward Snowden, the infamous former computer intelligence consultant and whistleblower, expressed confusion over the trending topic.

"Why is 'Civil War' trending? Are they bombarding Fort Sumter? Is there a massacre on Pratt Street? Is the infantry advancing on Gettysburg?" he wrote, making references to historic moments from the Civil War.

American Unitarian Pastor John Pavlovitz said he doesn't see a violent conflict coming.

"There is NOT a Civil War Coming," he wrote. "The vast masses of decent, compassionate people here are being challenged by a hateful, conspiratorial, extremist minority who want white evangelical theocracy. Americans cannot simply allow them to have it."

Actress and activist Patricia Arquette also dismissed the possibility of a war within the country. "There will not be a civil war. Even in states Biden lost across the country he got millions of votes," she tweeted.

Columnist and commentator Wajahat Ali said that he doesn't expect a civil war but believes there will be more political violence.

"There might not be a civil war but there will sadly be incidents of violence across America and people still aren't taking the threat of a radicalized, weaponized GOP cult seriously. Wait until there are vaccines for kids and mandates in schools. These people are unhinged," Ali tweeted.

Some historians have raised concerns for the past couple years that the current political reality within the U.S. is similar to the polarization and tension ahead of the Civil War of the 1860s. That conflict occurred when the Southern states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy in a bid to preserve the institution of slavery. The Union army ultimately won in 1865 and the nation has managed to stay together ever since.

Trump supporters violently attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in an apparent effort to prevent the formal certification of President Joe Biden's election victory. The mob of rioters was animated by Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" in Biden's favor.

The former president continues to promote this false allegation, despite no evidence emerging to substantiate it. Many GOP voters believe the so-called "Big Lie." Recent polls have shown that as many two-thirds of Republicans believe Biden won through a rigged or stolen election.