I was literally shocked when I read this threat yesterday:
… a question which has already diffused throughout America anxiety and alarm; a question on the decision of which depends not only the peace of the nation, but the existence of the Union….
But if, disregarding the popular will and also violating the Constitution, Congress …peace and union are driven from the land…. The usurpation … will be instantly and firmly repelled. The government will be at an end.”…
Threats were openly made that [the] President ,…would be assassinated.
Those were comments from a Republican newspaper, circa 1800, regarding the presidential election. Republicans were whipped into a rage, declaring that if Aaron Burr were elected president by the House, they would march to Washington, suspend the Constitution and replace it with one of their own liking. Republicans were very much states rights extremists in those days. I do not know which was more viscerally hated by the opposite party, George Washington or George W. Bush.
Jefferson was elected after scores of ballots instead of Burr and civil war was averted. But the anger, the willingness to destroy the constitution to satisfy the taste of blood in the mouths of the denialists, the slander, the lies, the propaganda–they are not much different today than from when our country was founded.