Fighting a Cold Civil War

Fighting a Cold Civil War

key graf:

As far as I'm concerned, the differences are irreconcilable. One part of the country wants a socialist, European-style country. The other part wants a country based on free-enterprise and the Constitution. One side has disdain for orthodox Judeo-Christian faiths, whereas the other side embraces or at least tolerates those beliefs. One part believes that if we just let down our defenses, everything would be peace and lovebeads. The other part knows we live in a dangerous world and that defense is essential.

However this election turns out, there will be turmoil. If Obama wins, a large part of the country will feel angry and powerless against the will of the left leaning blue states, the news media, Hollywood and academia. (In fact, they already feel that way, I assure you.) They will believe that ACORN created enough false voter registrations to put Obama over the top. If McCain wins, the left will riot and claim, "The Diebold machines were hacked!" The blue states, the news media, Hollywood and academia will resent that the will of the "dumb hicks" in flyover country overruled that of their "betters". And we will hear the cries of, "Racism! Racism!" ad nauseam.

I hate to sound all doom-and-gloom, but I see absolutely no solution to this. Or at least no solution in which America stays in the same form it is now. I hope I'm wrong about that. I guess we'll see.

Exactly, yes. I've been thinking this for some time but have not blogged about it specifically. The bright line divisions of the two parties are hardening and that is not good. It used to be that in politics and in sports, you could fight on the field and then go for a beer afterward. Fight hard, fight (mostly) fair and leave the grudges on the field for another day. There was a clear delineation between "the game" and life. Now, sports and much more so, politics IS life. Being Democrat or Republican defines you as a person not just how you vote. The "Other" is not just wrong but evil, bad and dangerous. Americans are not given to rebellions (armed or otherwise) but this is the stuff that civil unrest is made from.


Hube said…
Eh. Won't -- and can't -- happen. The Civil War sure settled that. The very concept that the people have a right to dissolve their government if it doesn't meet their needs and form a new one is an anachronism. Not that I AGREE that it should be an anachronism, but I just can't see a rebellion happening.
Paul Smith Jr. said…
I've felt for years that's what happening is even more fundamental than socialism vs. capitalism. It's that we no longer have an unspoken agreement about the nature of the world.

That is, even the most "atheistic" of the Founding Fathers still believed in the existence of a God to whom we owed some sort of obedience and honor. There was always the concept of an absolute and universal Truth of some sort.

Even though they disagreed on what we might refer to as "tactics," the overall strategy was largely the same: a recognition of the duties Man had before God and to each other, just a disagreement about the appropriate means to do so.

That consensus has collapsed over the last century or so. (I'd trace the roots of it to the Progressive era, off the top of my head. That when the debate began to be framed in the sense of "power" more than "rights" as before.)

While the GOP largely maintains the worldview of our forefathers, which is one of the reasons I am registered Republican, the Democrat party and other members of the left have largely abandoned that consensus. (I'm not going to cite examples since I think the main point is fairly obviously true.)

All the rest of the debates we have are largely distractions from the main debate that isn't going on: the collapse of that consensus. The country that was founded on an Idea, no longer has agreement on that Idea. And that's what poses the greatest long-term danger to our country.

France, for example, can stay France since it's founded on ethnicity: France is made up of Frenchmen. (And a growing number of Muslims which is their long-term crisis as their threat to their national identity.) Americans don't have that shared heritage, so we need something else to unite us. For years, it was our shared religiosity and our belief in freedom; we've lost that.

I agree with Hube that Civil War ain't likely anytime soon, but I can see a greater likelihood of dictatorship coming, even if the trappings of a Constitutional democracy are maintained.

There are three alternatives before us that I can see:
1) dictatorship/absolutism
2) secession
3) a return to limited national government

Choice 3 is obviously the preferred option, but I listed them in the order I perceive them as likely.
Duffy said…
To be clear I didn't mean to imply and don't think that secession or rebellion is imminent or even likely. Rather, we are treading on dangerous ground that may foment unrest. If we continue on this path of government bailouts of our industry and increasingly tumultuous political upheaval we risk becoming the banana republic that Hitchens already thinks we are.

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