Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
Kevin Mines is a State Department official who has witnessed the outbreak of civil wars in many countries spread over four continents in many job duties abroad. Based on his observations, he predicted that the United States faces a 65% chance of a civil war breaking out in the next 10-15 years. He cites five main factors based on his experiences: (1) entrenched national polarization with no middle ground seemingly attainable, (2) increasingly divisive press coverage and information flows; (3) weakened institutions, particularly the legislative and judicial branches, (4) political leaders abandoning responsibility, and (5) the legitimatization of violence as a means to conduct discourse or solve disputes.
If this is to come to fruition, then who would be to blame? The answer is quite obvious: the Left. If press coverage, for example, is “divisive,” it makes total sense the blame lies at the feet of the Left that certainly controls the mainstream media. That is not to say that there are not divisive press elements on the Right, but most of them sprung up over the years in reaction to what the press was once supposed to be- an unbiased reporter of the news- transforming into a mouthpiece for the Left and the Democratic Party.
National polarization is a whole other story and worthy of its own entry, but let us look at the current situation. Despite public comments from Democratic leaders in Congress stating their willingness to work with Trump on many issues, almost within a week after Election Day 2016 they succumbed to a movement called #TheResistance. Even when Trump offered the Democrats a very lenient and liberal immigration package, the Democrats demanded more and walked away. Today, without ever reading or listening to anything Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has to offer, Democrats in the Senate will not even talk to the man and are plotting ways to obstruct, delay and eventually thwart his confirmation. That is the middle ground?
As for the weakened institutions, when generations of Congresses- both Democratic and Republican controlled- have abdicated their Constitutional duties and ceded powers to the Executive, they are the only ones at fault for that state of affairs. The Left will cry about every decision they disagree with coming from the Supreme Court and use that narrative as fact that the judiciary as an institution is weakened. The Right is not innocent here either as they decry every decision not to their liking. Hence, whether these institutions are delegitimized is largely one of perception. To the best of my knowledge, the Trump administration has not defied any court order be it kids at the border, the travel ban, or DACA.
It is obvious that legitimizing violence is a tactic of the Left. While they will bring up the subject of right wing militias and such, when is the last time a group of men who dress in fatigues and play army in the woods violently took to the streets? Which political leader on the right has called for anyone to follow and harass anyone on the right, to make them feel uncomfortable in public places like restaurants, bookstores, or in front of their homes?
David Blight, a Yale historian, has weighed in and found that the disintegration of existing political parties is also a clue as to impending civil war. However, in the 1850’s one single issue- slavery- tore both major parties at the time apart. The Democratic Party was torn into northern and southern factions while the Whig Party was replaced by the Republican Party. We do see some of that today with the Democrats being torn between its more socialist elements and its socialism-lite elements. On the GOP side, it is the “either with Trump or you’re not with Trump” meme that dominates the party.
What is missing from the analogy to the 1850’s, however, is a single issue driving the narrative. Look at the Leftist hubris du jour over just the past few weeks: complaints about North Korea turned to kids at the border turned to Kennedy’s resignation turned to the Kavanaugh nomination turned to abortion turned to Helsinki and Putin turned to, apparently now, tariffs and Iran.
Politicians and leaders on the Left are more than happy to use groups like antifa and Black Lives Matter to stir up matters at the street level. They have an analogy in history: Mussolini’s black shirts who were great at beating up people in the street, but pretty much sucked when it came to waging an actual war. Correct or not, the waging of an actual civil war requires people of courage and they are sadly lacking.
It is easy to call on the public to resist and harass conservatives, but it is the weakling’s road to armed conflict since it is doubtful anyone making these calls has the guts to actually wage the war. Can anyone seriously see any Democrat sitting around making war plans? Their disdain of anything military is bred into them. Can anyone see David Hogg, Maxine Waters or Robert Reich leading a command?
The threat is not a civil war that will pit brother against brother. Instead, the threat is an escalation of social anarchy. The proverbial genie has been let out of the bottle and this genie has a mind of its own and does not necessarily obey its master. One analysis says that the rule of law has kept things in check to now. But, has it? Where was the rule of law in Berkeley when antifa was throwing Molotov cocktails at campus buildings? Where was the rule of law in Portland, Oregon when they cancelled their Roses Parade? Where was the rule of law in Charlottesville, Virginia when police were issued a stand-down order to suppress violence? The genie was allowed free reign.
It has taken decades of inculcation into the Leftist mindset at the hands of higher education that has produced a generation of somewhat anarchistic, multicultural dreaming social justice warriors willing to burn, loot and potentially kill in the name of tolerance. And their parents- those formerly of the hippie generation and its aftermath- can’t contain them. When the drugs and the political poetry wore off as the Dylan records became more scratchy, they actually returned to the world of somewhat normalcy and found themselves selling insurance and real estate.
What does today’s protester have to fall back on except marching on as a social justice warrior and a job at The Gap? The phrase “warrior” does them too much justice; they are cowards. A single Confederate or Union soldier in 1861 had more courage in their little finger than the whole of these street thugs have in their collective bodies to wage a real civil war.
Those supposedly at the vanguard of the Left’s violent civil war dream are nothing but a cross between cowardly Mussolini black shirts with some of Mao’s Red Guards thrown in superimposed over a whole lot in common with the Manson family. The bottom line is that the Left lacks the skills, ability and resolve to wage a real civil war. Instead, they’ll stick to their occasional street skirmishes and cowardly protests in cities where they know law enforcement will stand down. Where are all the protests in areas where law enforcement is taken seriously? That should say it all about any potential civil war.
With all due respect to the historians and Kevin Mines and his many years of observing civil wars break out, this writer predicts the odds of a civil war breaking out in the United States in the next 30 years is about 0%. Please- let us not confuse social anarchy perpetrated by a few masked cowards as a foretelling of civil war.