You know, if you watch cable news all day as I do, you should have already seen an extremely disturbing trend appearing. And if you’re paying attention, it should scare the hell out of you.
While no cable news networks actually cover Trump rallies, they still send reporters out to talk to the delusional rubes that populate those things. And when they talk to these misguided cretins, one thing becomes clear. Way too many of them are obsessed with the idea of another civil war.
When reporters ask a question, they’re greeted with replies like Let ’em try it, we’re headed for a civil war anyway! Or It’s about time for another civil war, so bring it on! Things have gotten out of control! But what I fear is that these denuded souls actually still envision a civil war as their loyal soldiers, in uniform, carrying the stars–and–bars off to glorious battle! Their vision of a civil war is more in line with Gone With The Wind, and much less in line with Lincoln.
And nothing could be further from the truth. Over the last week or so, both CNN, as well as MSNBC have had on a professor and research specialist named Barbara F. Walter. She spent more than 10 years exploring the fundamentals and designs of democracy worldwide, excluding the United States, and what denotes the health of the Democracy.
And what she found was frightening. There are three levels, a democracy, a middle zone, and autocracy. And the United States is now in that middle zone.
But it’s the matrix that the group came up with that should scarify everybody in the United States silly. In the study, healthy democracies have competing political parties with alternate ideological and issue platforms. This gives people a choice. But where democracy starts to decay is when one of the two parties moves away from an ideological, idea driven platform, and regresses into national and cultural issues.
Which is exactly what is happening in the Republican party today. The GOP base is almost universally an almost exclusively white, older, lower educated base with strong white nationalist tendencies. They see the United States as a majority white Christian nation, and it is changing, and nothing they can do will change that. And so the party has shifted away from ideology, and into the realm of maintaining power as a white minority.
Which to me sums up the current day GOP and their base to a T. But what’s even scarier is the way that Professor Walter sees any eventual civil war as coming off. Trombies see it as a replay of 1865, with massed armies fighting it out to the death. But in the current world, that isn’t the way it will work. It will be much worse.
Professor Walter envisions a future American civil war as being more like the insurrection in Northern Ireland than the first US civil war. The insurgents will be in the minority, and they know it, so a series of pitched battles between massed forces would be disastrous for the insurgents. Instead, they would engage in lightning strikes, bombings, and political assassinations. And federal forces would be reduced to rooting them out and either rounding them up, or killing them off in brief skirmishes. That is the next civil war that the Trombies are so looking forward to and glorifying.
This is what scares me. The GOP base, being made up of mostly white, older, moistly southern voters, as well as white supremacists stuck in the glory days of the civil war south, keep deluding themselves into thinking that this will be a glorious war of liberation. But it won’t. It will be a filthy guerilla war with untold cost to innocent lives. This is what is at stake in 2022 and 2024.