Political pundits are making dire predictions about the state of America. A term that seems to keep coming up is “Civil War.” Last summer I read Killer Angels, a novel about America’s Civil War. I was hooked on the topic and read more about it, but no one should take up talk of another civil war in America lightly.
The Washington Post’s Greg Jaffe and Jenna Johnson report on the recent invocations of America’s deadliest war by talking heads:
At a moment when the country has never seemed angrier, two political commentators from opposite sides of the divide concurred recently on one point that was once nearly unthinkable: The country is on the verge of “civil war.”
First came former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova, a Fox News regular and ally of President Trump’s. “We are in a civil war,” he said. “The suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over. . . . It’s going to be total war.”
The next day, Nicolle Wallace, a former Republican operative turned MSNBC commentator and Trump critic, played a clip of diGenova’s commentary on her show and agreed with him — although she placed the blame squarely on the president.
Trump, she said, “greenlit a war in this country around race. And if you think about the most dangerous thing he’s done, that might be it.”
With the investigative report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III said to be nearly complete, and with impeachment talk in the air and the 2020 presidential election campaign ramping up, fears that once existed only in fiction or in the fevered dreams of conspiracy theorists have become a regular part of the political debate. These days, there is talk of violence, mayhem and, increasingly, civil war.
A tumultuous couple of weeks in American politics seem to have raised the rhetorical flourishes to a new level and also brought a troubling question to the surface: At what point does all the alarmist talk of civil war actually increase the prospect of violence, riots or domestic terrorism?
Speaking to conservative pundit Laura Ingraham, diGenova summed up his best advice to friends: “I vote, and I buy guns. And that’s what you should do.”
A civil war in today’s America would be absolutely devastating. The communities and infrastructure of today’s United States are vastly more interdependent than in the days of Grant and Lee. The chaos and loss of life caused by internecine warfare among Americans would be a nightmare. Surely the country can settle its differences peacefully.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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