As our (un)civil war escalates towards the real thing, America is in throes of unrest unlike any in our 244-year history. By Michael Rectenwald. A good summary of the witches’ brew in the US.
Nearly two thirds of Americans believe the US is on course for civil war. One third now support political violence. The first Civil War’s death toll won’t be beaten, but the second’s nation-destroying potential will be unequalled.
The American left and right no longer inhabit a common moral universe. In fact, that imagined universe does not exist. The old, cherished political notions no longer apply, if they ever did. Not only are the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ complete misnomers under the current configuration, but the players are not as they seem, or as they are made out to seem.
First, Trump is hardly the stereotypical right-wing despot that the ‘resistance’ makes him out to be, his rough demeanor and coarse rhetoric notwithstanding. At the same time, the Democrats are hardly the vaunted champions of the ‘working class’ as imagined under the old dispensation. Instead, the resistance to Trump is actually led by an entrenched political establishment, although their supporters apparently remain unimpressed by this minor detail. …
The resistance includes the Democratic Party machine, the loyal Democratic Party voters, the ‘never-Trumpers’ among the Republican establishment, the permanent bureaucracy or ‘deep state’, the riotous Antifa and Black Lives Matter foot soldiers, and, but for a few isolated and dwindling islands, the entirety of the mainstream media. Given its uncontested hegemony, this establishment-backed resistance inhabits a parallel universe of its own making and projects a fabricated simulacrum as reality.
The resistance establishment controls the official narrative, which includes a few prominent elements: the tropes that Trump is an inveterate liar, a huckster profiting from his incumbency, and a criminal who is committing unspeakable (and undiscoverable) crimes against the nation and humanity at large. … This establishment resistance routinely declares Trump a dictator. It now asserts as an incontrovertible article of faith that he will refuse to vacate the White House should he lose the upcoming election.
Civility is so pre-Marxist:
As an indication that ‘civility’ is a thing of the past, one may point to the recent spate of tweets by Trump haters openly wishing for his death by Covid. Such posts became so prevalent and glaring that Twitter was forced to introduce a new policy declaring that any tweets wishing for the death of a politician would be removed. Conspicuously missing was any mention of even temporarily banning tweeters who infringe the policy. Such banning is routine for pro-Trump posters — and for far lesser infractions — if they are not contrived by the tech giant in the first place.
Meanwhile, Trump supporters are routinely caricatured as a reactionary and irredeemably racist band of blind loyalists, including a significant contingent of white supremacists willing and already engaging in acts of racist violence. Even as Antifa and Black Lives Matter rampage and riot, leaving rubble in their wake, rightwing extremists, we are told, are the greatest domestic threat to national tranquility. …
Meanwhile, the vastly outflanked pro-Trump camp maintains that the attempted coup [starting in late 2016] extends to the upcoming presidential election. Fears are escalating that the Democratic Party’s election machinery has already been set in motion, harvesting fraudulent or otherwise invalid mail-in ballots in favor of Biden. These deep misgivings are compounded by early reports of dumped and discarded ballots for Trump.
Among the ground forces in both camps, some informed and some merely inflamed by baseless rhetoric, hostility has reached fever pitch. …
Surging gun sales across the country suggest that many Americans fear continued and increasing conflict. First-time gun and ammunition purchases have reached an all-time high. …
The current and looming strife is demoralizing in the extreme, especially given the utterly incommensurable accounts held by the opposing sides. It is especially alarming to me, living as I do in urban Pennsylvania — a ‘swing state’ with the potential to be a center of a disputed election result that looks to tip over into open mortal combat. I plan on voting in the early morning, then driving immediately to another, probably uncontested, state.
There is certainly a preponderance of evidence building that Trump will not be allowed to govern after this election, come what may.
Not that Trump has been allowed to govern much anyway. Where is the wall, the reduction in immigration from hostile cultures, the withdrawal of US troops from the Middle East, etc?
hat-tip Stephen Neil