WTF is up with "enemies foreign and domestic"?

I’ve been following this thread where the OP wants a snarky comeback to a Facebook post urging people to pray for Trump because “we face enemies foreign and domestic.”

I’ve probably seen that phrase a thousand times, but for some reason it’s gnawing at me now. I’m realizing that millions of Americans have come to unquestioningly see “other Americans we disagree with” as “enemies.”

Enemies? Really? As if people who vote differently from you are actively trying to destroy you?

I know the GOP has been at this since Clinton was elected in '92, so a whole generation has been basically brainwashed into thinking any compromise across party lines was equivalent to treason. But do people I work with, who live down the street, whose kids live across the hall from my son at college, really view me as an “enemy,” as if there’s no difference between me and, say, an Al Qaeda operative planning to massacre thousands?

I’m not even sure what I’m asking here. All I can come up with is … WTF?

“Enemies” is much more easily said in the abstract than the specific. Trumpists will swear up and down the USA is rife with liberal “enemies,” but facing you personally, will insist you’re okay.

The phrase comes from the Civil War.

Obviously there were domestic enemies during the Civil War. One such people came into existence, with hundreds of thousands of deaths as the consequence, the possibilities and danger of such people would always be in play.

Hell, I forgot the phrase came directly from the oath of office. And for people who think “Happy Holidays” signifies a war on Christmas, I suppose it’s no great leap to view political disagreements as an actual civil war, complete with domestic enemies.

I very much doubt if this attitude is exclusively found on one side.


Well, yes - not necessarily in the physical sense, but this sentiment is prevalent among a great many voters indeed.

Ask any LGBT person how they would feel about a President Pence, or a “Pence Party” achieving majority rule in America. They’d tell you it means the impending destruction of what they stand for.

Right? As we learned in the other thread, if you are 16 years old and wear a MAGA hat you are not fit for civilized society.

Perhaps this video from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence might clear some things up.


Very likely true. And what right-leaning constituencies would be in direct peril from any recent or current Democratic leaders, policies and proposals?

(Spare me the paranoid “War on Christianity” blather. If a Democrat ever talks about banning Christians from the military or from teaching public school, then we can talk.)

[quote=“msmith537, post:8, topic:828411”]

Perhaps this video from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence might clear some things up.


That’s a hilarious video — about foreign enemies. What does it have to do with the idea of domestic enemies?

They conveniently miss the rest of the line from the pledge of allegiance: “defend **the Constitution **and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic”

So no one is swore to protect Trump or the US government, from enemies. It is the constitution that must be protected. And last time I checked only one individual has posed a serious threat to that (by, for example, saying there were going abolish a amendment of the constitution by executive order)

This. It’s an all-too-common sentiment on both sides.

Yeah, but it was only the wackyloos on our side that said that if you supported Obama you were an enemy of America. We got the whole fucking board now saying that if you support Trump you hate America, are a Nazi, a KKK member, and the lot. It is very disheartening.

“Destruction” would be an excessive term, but many right-wing constituencies increasingly feel hemmed in or restricted. Take the gay-wedding-cake issue, for instance. I think many people fail to understand just how vehement the religious conviction behind it is - regardless of whether it is right or wrong (let’s set that aside for a moment.) The Christian bakers oppose serving gay weddings with the same vehement insistence that a Muslim or Orthodox Jew might refuse eating pork, for instance. Requiring them to serve gays brings the same intense anxiety as requiring a Muslim to eat pork. Many on the political left simply fail to understand that intensity. The closest analogy might be how someone without OCD can utterly fail to understand what OCD feels like.

There are also many on the political left who oppose allowing Christians to homeschool, or actively try to refute creationist beliefs whenever they can (again, whether creationism is right or wrong isn’t the issue - the issue is, that for creationists, they increasingly do feel hemmed in and constricted in society). Etc. etc. for numerous other issues.

It’s also wildly exaggerated nonsense, but carry on as you see fit.

If you’re including elected Republican politicians as “wackyloos,” then this is accurate.

Just for my own edification, which elected republican politicians said that if you supported Obama you were an enemy of America?

Yes, let’s not do the whole cake thing again. But most of what Christians view as “restricting their rights” has to do with how they treat others, whereas forcing a Muslim to eat pork is violation of his or her actual body. When we start forcing Christians to, I don’t know, eat meat during Lent, let’s talk.

And, by “actively try[ing] to refute creationist beliefs whenever they can,” do you mean in public schools? That’s because public schools aren’t supposed to teach religious beliefs. When we start prohibiting Christians from promoting their personal, creationist views on social media, let’s talk.

Fair question. I’ll leave it to **Miller **to answer.

But what do you think people on the right mean when they talk about “domestic enemies?” And do they think they’re being alarmist, over-dramatic or paranoid, or do you think they have a legit point?

Are you asking where the phrase originated, whether there are, indeed domestic enemies both today and in the past, or whether the phrase should (is?) being used by Trump et al in ridiculous over the top ways? I honestly can’t tell what the debate is. Obviously, if someone is saying ‘anyone who disagrees with me, politically, is a domestic enemy that should be hunted down by the state’ that person is an idiot and/or crazy. But there have been and are actual people who are or were US citizens who were obviously enemies of the state. This is historical fact, not some made up non-sense. You have already been given the Civil War one, but there are others. Do you agree or disagree or want to debate that point? :confused: