CBS News correspondent Major Garrett fueled fears about democracy being under attack, warning the United States is “85 percent” close to civil war.
In an interview with The Daily Beast to promote his book, “The Big Truth: Upholding Democracy in the Age of ‘The Big Lie,'” coauthored with CBS News election law contributor David Becker, Garrett spoke about the possibility of another American civil war.
“We wanted to show people that what we’re talking about is just incremental steps from where we already are,” Garrett told the outlet. “I don’t think anyone reading that first chapter can honestly say, ‘Oh, that could never happen.’ They have to say, ‘Holy crap, we’re 85 percent there.’”
During an interview with “Face the Nation” on Sunday, the CBS chief Washington correspondent reiterated his view, saying today’s political climate is the “most dangerous” he’s encountered in nearly 35 years covering Washington, D.C.
“It feels more dangerous than any I’ve encountered in covering politics at the national level since 1990,” Garrett told host Margaret Brennan. “Stating what clearly happened in 2020, it wasn’t a fraudulent election, no crime was committed. That doesn’t mean you have to be happy with the result but one of the burdens of democracy is when you’re unhappy with the result your obligation is to win the next election. Not slander baselessly the election you fairly lost.
“We have a component of American politics that now wants to slander an election that was fairly lost,” The Takeout podcast host said. “Because they’re unhappy. That unhappiness does not entitle you to drag down American democracy, Margaret, because if we enter a phase in American life where either political party refuses to accept a fair and verified election simply because it lost then we will dismantle democracy bit by bit, before our very eyes.”
The former Justice Department official and voting rights expert doubled down, claiming hate and partisanship are at all-time highs.
“That’s what I am, what we are driving at when we talk about the coming contours of not a bloody civil war, but a procedural Civil War where we separate ourselves from another and the Union, the United States itself, bit by bit becomes to break- begins to break apart,” Garrett said.
“[Public officials] are facing an onslaught of threats and harassment and abuse in the aftermath of the 2020 election that is completely divorced from the reality of their success,” said the Center for Election Innovation and Research executive director. “The election professionals all over the country, red states, blue states, Republicans, Democrats somehow managed the highest turnout we’ve ever seen in American history in the middle of a global pandemic. And the ultimate results of this election were- withstood scrutiny from 60 courts around the country. It was remarkable. And yet they have found themselves subjected to so many death threats, threats to their families, harassment and abuse over the course of the last nearly two years and it’s taken its toll.”
According to Garrett, the snowball effect could completely dismantle American democracy.
“The great fear I have, Margaret, is politics is a lot like the NFL, it’s a copycat League, whatever succeeds, you replicate,” he said. “On the right, in the Trump world now, the fastest way to social media, fame and fundraising is to deny the 2020 election. You don’t think Democrats aren’t watching that and may be tempted by the same social media and fundraising lure- that that has? They will be. That’s why we have to stop it, back away from it, and say, not here, not this place. This part of our civic life is sacred. We’re going to inspect it and respect it and accept the results.”
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