Three reasons another civil war is likely to happen.
December 28, 2019
When the pundits talk about the chance of another civil war they often point to the political divide in the nation. It is deep and it is wide. This is the most obvious of reasons that another civil war may happen, so let’s address that first.
- The policy divide.
What does it mean “deep” and “wide”? Why is this so important? The wide is in the nature of the policy difference, and the deep is in the intensity of the divide. A wide divide cannot be easily overcome or negotiated.
I think those on the Republican side do not understand the breath within their own base. Many GOP politicians believe that most Republicans who vote for them are fine with some immigration. They just don’t like illegal immigration.
This is not true. The base of the party, from the blue collar working man to the computer programmers don’t want any immigration at all. The H1b program that brings in skilled workers is just as hated as illegal immigration.
The Democrats are in favor of illegal immigration (although they still say they aren’t, it is clear by actions that they do favor millions of illegal immigrants and want them on a path to citizenship).
How do we fix this? There is no path to reconciliation.
If the Democrats want largely open borders, and the Republicans want even legal immigration eliminated or greatly reduced, where is the path to compromise?
The same is true with healthcare. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would like a single-payer health care system and would increase taxes to pay for it.
The Republican base, and President Trump and most of GOP politicians do not want single-payer, especially if it means they lose the private option. Again, there doesn’t seem to be any path to compromise.
But it gets worse.
A great compromise may be possible. Would the Republicans (the voters) be willing to have a government option? Perhaps, but the cost would be an end to all immigration. The Democrats have made this an issue of morality, so they can’t possibly go back. We are stuck with a permanent divide.
These are just two of the policy divides. They are very wide. But they are also very deep. Both sides are entrenched and passionate about their positions. A third would of course be abortion. There is no middle-ground when one side wants abortion outlawed, and the other is suggesting that even after a live birth, killing the baby is acceptable.
The deep is the danger.
When we say the divide is deep, we mean entrenched and inflexible. This depth breeds a righteous indignation and moral certitude. This is enough to cause a civil war. People filled with righteous indignation and moral certitude will fight for what they believe in.
- The divide is not just policy, it is now personal.
This is not new. I think the first sign of this was not Trump and Hillary, but Barak Obama. Remember when President Obama was running he labeled many Republicans and bitter and “clinging to their guns and bibles.”
This is not a policy divide, it is a personal divide. In the next election, Hillary Clinton claimed the many of Trump’s supporters were a basket of irredeemable and deplorable people.
This is significant and we are seeing it in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Publicly attacking half of the voters isn’t exactly reaching across the aisle and conducive to uniting the nation. The left has simply written off a large portion of the nation. With this kind of view of your political opposition, a reconciliation is not even possible.
These personal attacks are not only increasing, many of them are entirely untrue. The left at all levels attempts to paint Republicans (especially Trump supporters) as uneducated, rednecks and poor.
This is demonstrably false. One of the most educated, wealthiest counties in Ohio, Warren County, went overwhelmingly for Trump in 2020.
Poor, uneducated people in the inner cities, went overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton.
This type of attack is incredibly frustrating to those on the right. It’s not just that it is condescending as the gun and bible clinging attack was, it’s that it is so demonstrably false.
Those on the right call it “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. What this means is that many on the left are so opposed to President Trump, that even if he cured cancer, the left would find fault with him and his cure. This is how the policy differences have become personal differences.
Personal differences deepen the policy divide and strengthen the resolve of those on the “wrong side” thus greatly increasing the chance of another civil war.
- The attack on masculinity
This is one that I stumbled on after writing my book Civil War II. I read a lot of history. And three different times I recall reading about the men fighting World War I. Because I read so much, I’m not sure which books this came from, but I know one was Modern Times by Paul Johnson. There was a paragraph about life in Paris and some of the other major cities in Europe before WWI.
In the cafes of Paris, a large number young men were for the first time in history able to enjoy a bit of leisure. Their parents were part of a new and rapidly growing middle class. They went to college, painted, read and wrote poetry, and played guitar in these cafes and around the streets of the big cities.
When World War I broke out, they dropped the paint brushes and guitars and gleefully ran to the adventure of war.
In the rural areas of Germany, and to a lesser extent other countries, arranged marriages were still the norm. Men who did not like the domestication, and in many cases didn’t even like the women they were married to, ran gleefully to the adventure of war.
Today, in The United States of America, we have a very similar situation.
“Toxic Masculinity” is perhaps one of the dumbest and most dangerous of the silliness in the basket of nonsense that is “politically correct.”
Hunting, fishing, even grilling steaks, are now considered to be “toxic”.
We are trying to alter 200,000 years of evolution with some silly commercials and movies that Hollywood believes are edgy and important.
These things are silly and dangerous.
Part of this may be obvious. The kids in college that become consumed by radical left wing politics have always existed. The difference is, this group is no longer counter-culture. Instead, the rugged young men who hunt, fish, camp, or have other traditionally masculine hobbies and interests are the counter-culture. They are portrayed as the bad guys in the movies. They are ridiculed and shamed by the left.
And they really don’t care.
But I believe that when we look at World War I we find an even bigger danger. Both sides believe the other side will be easily defeated.
Reddit.com is a great resource to expose this dynamic. On the sub-reddit called r/The_Donald, many on the right call men of the left “Soy Boys”. They look at the young men wearing pajamas and sipping soy lattes, and do not understand how a man can live like this. They believe that they would be easy to defeat in a battle.
To the far left is another sub reddit called r/politics. I saw a comment on this forum where it was suggested that a civil war would be over quickly. The left believed they would just break into the rednecks house and shooting him in the back as he was wheezing and struggling to get his obese body up the stairs to get his gun. Many agreed with this, but a few knew better. The funny thing is, a quick look at a few videos on Youtube of these “rednecks” hunting or fishing would have quickly disabused this silly notion.
But many young men on the right are wrong as well. Those young men hanging out at Starbucks typing furiously and sipping soy lattes would drop the latte and the laptop just as quickly as the young men of Paris and Berlin dropped the paintbrushes and guitars more than 100 years ago.
Men are still men. They still seek adventure. If there is a dragon to slay, I think a large number of young men will still run gleefully to slay the dragon. It is of course a big problem that many of these young men have never fired a gun. Getting a gun is easy. Using it effectively is another matter. Shooting at a target can build a skill. But even that is no comparison to seeing the absolute fountain of blood that comes from a ten point bucks head after being shot with a slug.
The sense of adventure will quickly fade. But, as in World War I, by the time it does, it’s too late.
But what about arranged marriage? We don’t have that any more. At least in The United States.
Well, we actually do, sort of.
This is a problem for both the left and right. A young conservative, raised in a middle-class or upper middle-class home will start to date. His parents want him to date a young lady that is also in college and has ambition. They want their children to live in fine suburbs in four bedroom homes with two and half bathrooms and a finished basement.
So while there is not an arranged marriage, there is great pressure on young men to marry the right kind of girl.
On the left, we see the same dynamic. The young men in college are pressured by their parents to marry a girl with similar or better economic status and social/political ideology.
God forbid any of these young men or women fall in love with someone from the wrong side of the tracks.
What do you think these 30 year old men will do when an opportunity comes to escape the cubicle, the lawn care chores, and the pressure to buy the latest BMW appears? History suggests, they will gleefully run off to the adventure of war.
When we put all of these things together we see that the question is changing.
It is no longer, “What could possibly be so bad that it would cause another civil war?”
The question now must be asked seriously and often, “What’s going to stop it?”