The national political scene Is probably the last thing that any of us want to be thinking about in the middle of July, but some recent events are making it clear that the attack on the Capitol on January 6 was just the opening round of what promises to be an unprecedented assault on our democracy and Constitution not seen since the Confederates fired on Ft. Sumter in 1861. For example, former vice-president Mike Pence has been greeted with a chorus of boos at recent gatherings of conservative groups, particularly when he told the crowd that he lacked the authority to overturn the Electoral College results of the 2020 Presidential election. Similarly, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, who has been a vocal critic of former President Trump for the past few years, was booed repeatedly at a recent convention of young conservatives. What these and other incidents demonstrate is that there is a solid percentage of our fellow Americans who do not believe in the basic principles of our democracy and who will use any means necessary to achieve their goals. These folks claim to be “patriotic Americans,” but being a patriotic American does not merely mean waving the flag — it means respecting our Constitution and our laws — and it is obvious to anyone paying attention that many of these folks are gearing up for what may be a violent uprising in 2024 that will strain our nation’s democracy to a degree not seen since 1861.