Heading for civil war
Donald Trump's opponents are completely unhinged. The hate and slander directed toward the president and his supporters is off the charts. The vitriol comes not just from the Democratic Party, the media, and the world of entertainment, but also from a sizable proportion of the federal bureaucracy and many seemingly ordinary people.
The media coordinate this campaign and amplify the hate at every opportunity. Media twist every event, be it big or small, into a criticism of the president. The goal is always not just to present Trump in an unfavorable light, but to make him appear too loathsome for polite society. And Trump is not the sole target of this demonization. It is directed at his supporters, too.
Where will all this lead? No less than Angelo M. Codevilla fears that it could ultimately result in a bloody civil war. If it comes to that, there's no doubt where he places the blame.
The story of the modern American Left's sponsorship of hate and violence began around 1964, when the Democrats chose to abandon the Southern constituencies that had been their mainstay since the time of Jefferson and Jackson. In less than a decade, the party found itself increasingly dependent on gaining super-majorities among blacks, upscale liberals, and constituencies of resentment in general — and hence on stoking their hate.
For the past half-century, America's political history has been driven by the Democrats' effort to fire up these constituencies by denigrating the rest of America.
Codevilla notes that prominent Democrats like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton have led millions of their followers "to think and act as if conservatives were simply a lower level of humanity, and should have their faces rubbed in their own inferiority."
It's not surprising that many ordinary followers have concluded that harassing conservatives in restaurants, airports, and public functions is "not just permissible but praiseworthy, and if thousands of persons who exercise power over cities, towns, and schools have not concluded that facilitating such harassment and harm is their duty."
This is the toxic environment that the Democrats, in conjunction with the media, have created. Has Pandora's box been opened? Are we beyond the point of no return? Are leftists and their liberal soul mates too obtuse not to expect that hate and violence will someday be answered in kind? These questions are up in the air. Right now, one thing is clear. As Yeats wrote: "The best lack all conviction while the worse are full of passionate intensity."
Codevilla's worry about a civil war dovetails with The Fourth Turning,: What the Cycles of History Tell Us about American's Next Rendezvous with Destiny (1997) by William Strauss and Neil Howe. To my reading, these authors predict a Fourth Turning Crisis period around the years 2020–2022. Then, many things that Americans have always taken for granted will unravel.
Just to touch on a few of the changes that Strauss and Howe see: Today's soft criminal justice system will become swift and rough. Vagrants will be rounded up and the mentally ill recommitted. Criminal appeals shortened and executions hastened. Pension funds will go bust, and Social Security checks will become iffy. The full spectrum of society will be under distress. All the problems will be combined into one: the survival of society.
Aren't the seeds already planted for a crisis? Trust in Washington and in government institutions is at an all-time low. Political violence is tacitly condoned and often openly encouraged by Democratic officeholders. The political establishment encourages massive illegal immigration. The mainstream media is highly partisan and corrupt beyond reform. The American flag, the country's history, and even its nationhood are openly despised in universities. Society is being forced to swallow the harebrained ideas that sex is fluid and that homosexuals can marry. American public schools are a disgrace despite the money poured into them. The country is burdened by a $22-trillion national debt to which many trillions more of unfunded government liabilities must be added. Students owe a trillion dollars in school loans that can never be repaid.
Someday, there has to be a reckoning for all this dysfunction. Irrespective of the election results in 2020, the time frame of 2020–2022 sounds about the right for things to come to a head. It would be prudent to be ready.