By Nathan Barton
Each day, my inbox is filled with stories and emails talking about the extreme views of various people. On the one hand, the Tranzi (liberal, regressive) press and political leaders scream about the horrific attitudes and actions of much of the nation, decrying the bigotry, homophobia, macho/chauvinistic, sexist, racist, and worse of those people. In particular, these days, they save special hate and vindictive speech for Trump, who isn’t even a conservative except in the eyes of the regressives.
On the other hand, the conservatives and their ilk proclaim loudly the evil action of those same Tranzis, especially the current inhabitants of the US House, much of the US Senate, and hundreds of statehouses and city halls. The loudest continue to be the more extreme (even fringe) portions of the right, but more and more people seem to be moving in that direction. And the time-honored tradition of making fun of the liberals is taking on a more bitter edge.
Consider this recent Washington Standard story about the “Christophobia” growing in the US Senate. The hatred of various Democratic senators for those who profess Christ as Lord – and try to live it in even small ways, and their disrespect for them and for the liberties of the people, is obvious. As is their contempt for anyone who believes in and tries to live in liberty, accepting personal responsibility, and having any love for community and state.
In the past, that would be brushed aside by the more conservative, traditional people and even politicians. They would ignore it and seek to work around it. Except for a few hardcore types, that is: generally frowned upon by their less extreme brethren. And libertarians (even religious ones) would explain it away and urge us to concentrate on reducing government, not fussing and fighting over relatively minor problems.
But that contempt is finally having its way, with more and more conservatives. And even lovers of liberty (true anarchists, libertarians, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists). I more and more hear and read of people who are sick and tired of being treated like dirt for their traditional cultural, economic, religious, and political beliefs and lives.
More and more have reached their limit, and are unwilling to take any more. They are to the point that they have decided several critical points. First, they are no longer willing to compromise any further. Second, they are no longer willing to be quiet or stay in the background. Third, they are more and more willing to repay like with like.
After years of being branded, increasingly strongly, as the enemy of modern life and human progress, of not caring for children, of being sexist and racist and primitive by the regressive liberals and tranzis, they are unwilling to take the abuse any longer. And are responding in kind.
It is only to be expected, especially given that the court system is so badly messed up. And there is every indication it is getting worse.
The Fifty States is far from the first place this pattern has taken place. And this is far from first time in American history that we have seen this happen. Such complete breakdown of civility and communications was seen in the 20th Century in Austria-Hungary, in Russia, in Italy, in Germany, in Spain, and constantly in Latin America. Each time, this collapse heralded massive conflict, violence, and all too often, the rise of truly nasty regimes. Regimes which bathed their nations, their societies, in blood. And sometimes, the entire world.
Here in North America, the same thing happened in the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries. Prior to the American War of Independence, we saw it in the Thirteen Colonies. Loyalists and Rebels (Patriots) were the two major factions. We saw it again almost forty years later, when the United States tried to conquer Canada. And about 20 years later in Texas, where Texians (both Anglo AND Mexican, contrary to modern claims) and other groups in the United Mexican States confronted the Centrists that dominated the nation.
And then another three decades on, when the anti-slavery federal and states’ rights factions were at loggerheads. First in places like Missouri and Kansas, and then across much of the nation. While it was truly a war between the states, the unpleasantness of 1861-1865 was preceded and accompanied by civil wars in more than just those two states. Most people know something of the history of West Virginia’s secession from Virginia. But few know that states like Tennessee and Texas had areas that were strongly Unionist and anti-secession and anti-slavery. And in border states like Kentucky, Delaware and Maryland, lines were harshly drawn and even battles fought to control those states, which remained in the Union. To say nothing of territories like New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana.
There have been other times in American history. There were the depression and labor violence in the 1870s. We had the Bonus Army and other confrontations in the 1930s. Even during wartime there were major fractures in society: the abuse of Americans of German origin in the First World War, of Americans of Japanese origin in the Second, and the anti-war movements in the Vietnam era.
Not all such situations, especially here in the Fifty States, have continued on to violent confrontation, much less open warfare. But some have.
And the current one very much has the potential to do so. We should not be surprised if it does. In our history, the usual outcome is that the side which first resorts to open violence, even in self-defense, has ultimately lost. (Yes, even the Vietnam era shows this, I think.)
It is something to ponder, seriously.