Bleeding America?

“If they want civil war in this country, they will probably end up getting it,” Tweeted actor and conservative James Woods, last week. The “they” are an array of Democrats and leftists. Woods posted his Tweet just hours after James T. Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders’ groupie-turned-gunman, opened fire on Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and others at an Alexandria, Virginia ball field.

Radio talk show host Michael Savage commented last Tuesday, prior to the shootings:

“I don’t know how much more of this the country can take. We are at a boiling point. There’s going to be a civil war.”

Tweeted Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., last Friday in response to banners held aloft by leftist protesters that read: “Become Ungovernable” and “This is War”:

Really? It's not what I prefer but if the left insists... time to saddle up. I didn't help get @realDonaldTrump elected to back down now.

Could Woods and Savage, in particular, be right? The words, “Civil war,” are on more lips nowadays. Will America’s long cold civil war finally turn hot? And if war came, what sort of war would it be?

The very idea of civil war is horrific. Wars between nations are bloody and cruel enough. Wars within nations, among former kindreds, may not be bloodier but are often crueler. In some instances, it’s actually brother against brother.

For most Americans, their frame of reference is the U.S. Civil War. It was sectional rivalry -- a “War Between the States.” It was generally -- and neatly -- defined geographically. History rarely repeats itself, so blue states lining up against red states -- not for secession this go, but for national control – seems improbable.

There was more unanimity among citizens in South Carolina and Massachusetts at the time of the Civil War. While a left worldview dominates in California, and a right one does in Texas, both have populations that are hostile to the prevailing politics and ethos… substantial populations who resent the impositions of the reigning politics and cultures.  

Today, the states, though red or blue by degrees, are mixtures of communities -- populations who’s worldviews clash -- conflicts of politics, cultures, values, beliefs. Politics are merely an aspect, and, critically, more an endpoint for deeper divides.        

Keep in mind that many states have significant regional differences. Redder Central and Western Pennsylvania differ tellingly from Blue Philadelphia-dominated Eastern Pennsylvania. Upstate New York has little in common with New York City and its boroughs and nearby suburbs. Even in regions there are subsets at odds with surrounding communities and jurisdictions. Austin/Travis County, Atlanta/Fulton County, and Pittsburgh/Allegheny County differ from their states or regions. Birmingham, Alabama has more in common with Detroit, Michigan than the surrounding state. 

Absent colossal trigger issues or events -- union or disunion; free or slave; Fort Sumter -- degeneracy into multiple civil wars, played out in the states in varying degrees of intensity and duration, appears more realistic.  

Civil war in modern America could be more along the lines of “Bleeding Kansas” -- times 50.

Bleeding Kansas was a precursor to the greater national civil war. The Kansas-Nebraska Act had overturned the Compromise of 1850. Henceforth, popular sovereignty would determine a territory’s admission as a free or slave state. In Kansas territory, proslavery and antislavery forces vied for dominance. Community fought community. It wasn’t uncommon for neighbor to fight neighbor.    

Civil War buffs are quick to point out that underlying secession and slavery was, in fact, a struggle between worldviews. There were growing economic and cultural rifts. The Agrarian South versus the rapidly industrializing North. These divergences were important and stoked tensions. But the drivers were big issues, universally recognized as such, which propelled states into opposing camps.          

The prospect of civil war as a collection of degeneracies – localized conflicts – is bolstered by E.W. Jackson, in a powerful analysis for American Thinker last Saturday. Jackson wrote that the threat today is “totalitarian culture.” He stated:

In many ways this [rise of totalitarian culture] is a far more insidious development than a government dictatorship. It is more subtle, more difficult to defend against, and it is coursing its way through the cultural bloodstream of our country like a malignant cancer.

This cultural totalitarianism is pervasive, intrusive, demeaning, polarizing, threatening -- and for those who step out of line -- detrimental, as Jackson states. Its fueling fears and resentments -- and growing hostility among tens upon tens of millions of “normals” – Americans who hold traditional values and beliefs. This insidious oppression is the tinder that needs only sparks to start fires in the states.

The militant left -- the Democratic Party’s a subsidiary -- is anxious to regain control of the national government. Accelerating acts of violence by the left may be the sparks that ignite fires across the republic.

The left and Democrats expected Hillary Clinton’s victory, and with it, not just consolidations of power but extensions. As was witnessed under Barack Obama, the cudgel of government power can be used to advance cultural totalitarianism. Why insinuate PC aims when law and the threat of force can hasten results?  

Frustrated and angry before November, the left and the Democrats resorted to violence to disrupt Trump events and assault his supporters. Little of this was impromptu; much was premediated black ops. After the elections, the left embraced public expressions of hate, took to the streets, destroying property and assaulting opponents. Its entertainers and artists spew hate and incite violence under the guise of free expression (Madonna, Kathy Griffin) and artistic license (the Trump assassination play). Then came James Hodgkinson.

Hodgkinson’s attempted massacre of Republicans and their aides is a watershed in a critical respect. Does it embolden other leftists to take up arms to effect change? Will thwarted attempts by the left coalition -- Democrats, hardcore leftist activists, academics, entertainers, and the MSM -- to overturn the 2016 elections and destroy Donald Trump serve as casus belli for militant leftists?

If Bleeding Kansas plays out in the fifty states how does it resolve? What role would the federal government play in events? The military, national, and state? What finally becomes of the U.S.? After long, bloody local struggles, can the nation reunite – somehow? Or would breakdown and disunity be the country’s fate?

It’s all guesswork now, and it’s safer to predict the unpredictable. What’s certain, though, is that the elements are in place for greater unrest, militancy, strife, and violence. It’s the stuff that made Kansas bleed.    

“If they want civil war in this country, they will probably end up getting it,” Tweeted actor and conservative James Woods, last week. The “they” are an array of Democrats and leftists. Woods posted his Tweet just hours after James T. Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders’ groupie-turned-gunman, opened fire on Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and others at an Alexandria, Virginia ball field.

Radio talk show host Michael Savage commented last Tuesday, prior to the shootings:

“I don’t know how much more of this the country can take. We are at a boiling point. There’s going to be a civil war.”

Tweeted Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., last Friday in response to banners held aloft by leftist protesters that read: “Become Ungovernable” and “This is War”:

Really? It's not what I prefer but if the left insists... time to saddle up. I didn't help get @realDonaldTrump elected to back down now.

Could Woods and Savage, in particular, be right? The words, “Civil war,” are on more lips nowadays. Will America’s long cold civil war finally turn hot? And if war came, what sort of war would it be?

The very idea of civil war is horrific. Wars between nations are bloody and cruel enough. Wars within nations, among former kindreds, may not be bloodier but are often crueler. In some instances, it’s actually brother against brother.

For most Americans, their frame of reference is the U.S. Civil War. It was sectional rivalry -- a “War Between the States.” It was generally -- and neatly -- defined geographically. History rarely repeats itself, so blue states lining up against red states -- not for secession this go, but for national control – seems improbable.

There was more unanimity among citizens in South Carolina and Massachusetts at the time of the Civil War. While a left worldview dominates in California, and a right one does in Texas, both have populations that are hostile to the prevailing politics and ethos… substantial populations who resent the impositions of the reigning politics and cultures.  

Today, the states, though red or blue by degrees, are mixtures of communities -- populations who’s worldviews clash -- conflicts of politics, cultures, values, beliefs. Politics are merely an aspect, and, critically, more an endpoint for deeper divides.        

Keep in mind that many states have significant regional differences. Redder Central and Western Pennsylvania differ tellingly from Blue Philadelphia-dominated Eastern Pennsylvania. Upstate New York has little in common with New York City and its boroughs and nearby suburbs. Even in regions there are subsets at odds with surrounding communities and jurisdictions. Austin/Travis County, Atlanta/Fulton County, and Pittsburgh/Allegheny County differ from their states or regions. Birmingham, Alabama has more in common with Detroit, Michigan than the surrounding state. 

Absent colossal trigger issues or events -- union or disunion; free or slave; Fort Sumter -- degeneracy into multiple civil wars, played out in the states in varying degrees of intensity and duration, appears more realistic.  

Civil war in modern America could be more along the lines of “Bleeding Kansas” -- times 50.

Bleeding Kansas was a precursor to the greater national civil war. The Kansas-Nebraska Act had overturned the Compromise of 1850. Henceforth, popular sovereignty would determine a territory’s admission as a free or slave state. In Kansas territory, proslavery and antislavery forces vied for dominance. Community fought community. It wasn’t uncommon for neighbor to fight neighbor.    

Civil War buffs are quick to point out that underlying secession and slavery was, in fact, a struggle between worldviews. There were growing economic and cultural rifts. The Agrarian South versus the rapidly industrializing North. These divergences were important and stoked tensions. But the drivers were big issues, universally recognized as such, which propelled states into opposing camps.          

The prospect of civil war as a collection of degeneracies – localized conflicts – is bolstered by E.W. Jackson, in a powerful analysis for American Thinker last Saturday. Jackson wrote that the threat today is “totalitarian culture.” He stated:

In many ways this [rise of totalitarian culture] is a far more insidious development than a government dictatorship. It is more subtle, more difficult to defend against, and it is coursing its way through the cultural bloodstream of our country like a malignant cancer.

This cultural totalitarianism is pervasive, intrusive, demeaning, polarizing, threatening -- and for those who step out of line -- detrimental, as Jackson states. Its fueling fears and resentments -- and growing hostility among tens upon tens of millions of “normals” – Americans who hold traditional values and beliefs. This insidious oppression is the tinder that needs only sparks to start fires in the states.

The militant left -- the Democratic Party’s a subsidiary -- is anxious to regain control of the national government. Accelerating acts of violence by the left may be the sparks that ignite fires across the republic.

The left and Democrats expected Hillary Clinton’s victory, and with it, not just consolidations of power but extensions. As was witnessed under Barack Obama, the cudgel of government power can be used to advance cultural totalitarianism. Why insinuate PC aims when law and the threat of force can hasten results?  

Frustrated and angry before November, the left and the Democrats resorted to violence to disrupt Trump events and assault his supporters. Little of this was impromptu; much was premediated black ops. After the elections, the left embraced public expressions of hate, took to the streets, destroying property and assaulting opponents. Its entertainers and artists spew hate and incite violence under the guise of free expression (Madonna, Kathy Griffin) and artistic license (the Trump assassination play). Then came James Hodgkinson.

Hodgkinson’s attempted massacre of Republicans and their aides is a watershed in a critical respect. Does it embolden other leftists to take up arms to effect change? Will thwarted attempts by the left coalition -- Democrats, hardcore leftist activists, academics, entertainers, and the MSM -- to overturn the 2016 elections and destroy Donald Trump serve as casus belli for militant leftists?

If Bleeding Kansas plays out in the fifty states how does it resolve? What role would the federal government play in events? The military, national, and state? What finally becomes of the U.S.? After long, bloody local struggles, can the nation reunite – somehow? Or would breakdown and disunity be the country’s fate?

It’s all guesswork now, and it’s safer to predict the unpredictable. What’s certain, though, is that the elements are in place for greater unrest, militancy, strife, and violence. It’s the stuff that made Kansas bleed.    

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