Election Day is two weeks away from today, when a divided nation goes to the polls.
The last time the United States appeared so divided over politics was in 1856, says historian David Barton.
"You had physical attacks being called for by one party on the other. They were physically confronting each other," Barton, speaking to the "Today's Issues" program, said of that election year 162 years ago.
The young nation was polarized over the issue of slavery, and the three-way race pitted Democrat nominee James Buchanan against Republican nominee John C. Fremont and American Party nominee Millard Fillmore.
Buchanan, who had defeated President Franklin Pierce at the party convention, won 19 states and 174 Electoral College votes to defeat the two opponents.
South Carolina was the first state to secede four years later and, four months later, war broke out to settle the issue for good.
Although a shooting war isn't in America's immediate future, Barton sees another similarity: a loud, intolerant minority trying to bully a complacent majority.
"We're a polarized nation," he observed, "with a bunch of loudmouths on one side and a whole lot of people who don't want to get into a fight on the other side."
Anyone paying attention over the past two years has witnessed scenes of violence perpetrated by far-left activists and masked Antifa soldiers in their stated pursuit to defeat "Nazis" and "white supremacists" --- conservatives --- who appear in public at restaurants and on college campuses.
An ongoing "rap sheet" of left-wing violence, or calls for such attacks, has climbed to more than 600 this week at Breitbart News, which is itself considered a "fascist" website by the Left even while it documents their fascist-like attacks.
With the media predicting a "blue wave" on Election Day, Barton suspects that Republican apathy finally started to change during the televised Brett Kavanaugh hearings, when the public witnessed Senate Democrats and screaming protesters attempt to stop the nomination with claims of sexual assault and even participation in gang-rape parties.
"After one week of Kavanaugh hearings, the nation was pretty undecided," Barton said. "After two weeks, every major poll broke four to eight points in the direction of the conservative candidate."
Some political analysts have observed that law-and-order Republican senators witnessed firsthand the tactics of the Left and their Democratic colleagues, unifying the conservative base and moderate Republicans weeks before Election Day.
Barton told the American Family Radio program all it would take to turn a potential blue wave into a red tsunami is the church to get engaged and vote.
"It's just which side is going to turn out the most," he said.
Editor's Note: American Family Radio is a division of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.