“Fear is a good motivating factor, this president knows it,” Lemon told fellow anchor Chris Cuomo.
“But this is the dangerous thing: In exploiting people’s fear and anxiety, what he’s doing is possibly going to cause a civil war in this country, and I don’t necessarily mean a violent one. That certainly can happen,” he continued. “Actually, I think we’re in the middle of one right now, where we can’t agree on anything.”
Lemon then downplayed the violent riots taking place in several Democratic-run cities, arguing that the U.S. has “dealt with riots in this country” from “the beginning of time.”
The difference now, however, is that Trump is a “demagogue using [unrest] to hold on to power, trying to extract power form the people and from the system so he can hold onto it,” Lemon continued.
Trump has actively worked to put down the violence and destruction being wrought by leftist activists in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and other cities.
Democrats, however, have only just started to acknowledge the damage these protests have inflicted—and only because their poll numbers are beginning to take a hit.
Lemon admitted as much last week.
“It’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing right now that is sticking,” Lemon said.
“The riots and the protests have become indistinguishable,” he added. “… I think Democrats are ignoring this problem or hoping that it will go away, and it’s not going to go away.”
But the Democratic officials in these cities have done next to nothing to put down the unrest.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan allowed protesters to hijack a six-block zone in the city for weeks, and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler demanded that federal officers leave his city after Trump sent them to secure the federal courthouse.