The New American Civil War
A lot of people have begun talking about the New American Civil War lately. I first realized it was coming about a year ago, and I’ve been looking for the catalyst that will launch it ever since. In an effort to understand what would cause our nation to turn against itself, I decided to take a closer look at what caused the FIRST Civil war – and I was surprised by what I found.
Now, the only thing that stuck with me from my public school education was that the Civil War was fought over slavery. Maybe it’s just me, and you remembered all the other reasons for the war, but if not here’s a refresher. The Civil War was also caused by:
1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.
2. States versus federal rights.
3. Growth of the Abolition Movement.
4. The election of Abraham Lincoln.
As I read, I was struck by the similarities to our current political and social climate. I’m going to go a bit deeper and look at the parallels that exist today to show why I think we are closer than ever to a Civil War, and why it may be unavoidable at this point.
1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South
= Economic and social differences between Conservatives and Liberals
Instead of the divide between North and South, today we have Red States vs Blue States. The social differences between the two are growing every day, and the polarization is becoming more apparent all the time. Soon we may consider the differences between “us” and “them” to be irreconcilable. In addition, the Great Recession has led to more and more people becoming financially unstable. As both unemployment and food prices rise, more and more people are becoming desperate for ways to meet their basic needs. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and when the time comes that people are willing to do anything to meet those needs, it’s convenient for them to have someone on the other side of the divide to point to as a target.
2. States vs Federal Rights = States vs Federal Rights
Let’s start with Marijuana. Many states have legalized at least some use of it within their borders, even though federal law prohibits its use. They cite the 10th Amendment for justification, and the feds have said that they are going to look the other way.
Now states are nullifying gun control acts enacted by the federal government as well. So far Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, Utah, Tennessee, Wyoming Alabama, Kansas, Wyoming, and Missouri have all passed bills that nullify or limit the Federal Government’s violations of the 2nd Amendment, many of them specifying the Gun Control Act of 1934 or NFA and the Gun Control Act of 1968.
The Attorney General has sent warnings to at least some of these states, trying to get them to back down. Surprise, surprise! The federal government doesn’t like that the states are standing up for their constitutional rights and protecting themselves from tyrannical government legislation! The attempt of the federal government to exert more control as the states attempt to hold onto their rights creates tension on a national level.
3. Growth of the Abolition Movement = Increasing Polarization on Hot-Button Issues
Remember that whole “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” thing? Well, we are divided and we are falling! Having different opinions, views, and thoughts are healthy for a society. Polarization (it’s black or white, right or wrong, all or nothing) is dangerous. The current issues that I see that are polarizing the nation are Obamacare, gun control, homosexual marriage, abortion, welfare states, and the federal deficit. It’s already easy to find people who speak in violent terms about their opponents on these issues, especially online, and in some cases the violence has erupted into the real world. Is it really so hard to imagine that larger-scale violence might follow?
4. The Election of Abraham Lincoln = The Election of Barack Obama
Does this even need an explanation? I do find it ironic that the President setting a spark to the powder keg is at the opposite end of the spectrum politically from Lincoln, not to mention that as a black man, Obama owes his ability to be president to Lincoln. Remember when he was re-elected and hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions on whitehouse.gov to have their states secede from the Union? This is something that would have been unthinkable ten years ago and is a major sign that the unity of the country is crumbling beneath our feet.
So, there you have it. We are on the precipice of war, what really brought that home was the state rights controversy happening right now. Remember that the whole slavery issue came to a head because the federal government tried to force its views onto the states, and the states didn’t like it. (Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that slavery is good, and that those states were in the right.) What I’m saying is that the same situations exist now as they did then, the federal government is trying to push its views on others, they are trying to negate the states’ rights. They are using every dirty tactic they can think of to mock and bully anyone who disagrees, comparing them to tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists who are scared that black helicopters are going to take them away.
So my question is this – what are you going to do about it?