American politics will be even more poisoned and polarized than it has been for the last four years. Tens of millions of Americans will see themselves as disfranchised and believe that the greatest champion they have had in decades was illegally driven from power by the same deep state-media conspiracy he fought for four years.
What lies ahead?
Some see secession. But though secession is unlikely, a secession of the heart has already taken place in America. We are two nations, two peoples seemingly separated indefinitely. Can a nation so divided as ours, racially, ideologically, religiously, still do great things together, as did the America of days gone by, to the amazement of the world?
Patrick J. Buchanan
December 10, 2020
Is Our Second Civil War — also a ‘Forever War’?
[Via email from Chet.
Good questions. I have no answers. I only have half-baked guesses.—Joe]
We are seeing this divide every day. Just yesterday, the Seattle Times ran a ‘sad’ story about Franklin High students’ mural being vandalized. Only, when you look at the mural what you see is a mural glorifying black militants and communists along with a large black panther.
“What lies ahead”?. BOHICA of course!. It’s always going to be some form or another of it.
And I would not bet against your half baked guesses, Joe.
History coupled with human nature, and a honest look at current society. Tells us the future will be, interesting? As you have surmised in the passed.
While the need to defend one’s self never changes, in my estimation. Neither will our enemies demand that we disarm. So what little we have left can be stolen without fear of harm.
To me all this is the natural state of the human condition. And the measure of intelligence is adaptability to one’s own plan going south. As no one can see it all.
As humans all we can do IS guess where the next problem is coming from. And pray we got it right. I take to heart the words of Gen. Patton in this day and age; Fixed fortifications are a monument to man’s vanity!
The short answer to Buchanan’s question is no. See Lincoln’s famous quote about houses divided against themselves. But, in all honesty, I think that is exactly what the political elite want.
Want? Hell, they are actively promoting division! Divide and control. Keep playing one marginalized and dependent group against others, and especially the strong and independent and self-confident and self-reliant. If there are not enough marginalized and dependent groups, make them up or expand them via government programs. Play the ends against the middle, keep people divided and fearful, keep the hate stoked, even if most of the stories about it are exaggerations or even made up from whole cloth.
The problem is that when you try to point out these manipulations and gas-lighting to people, they either call you a conspiracy nut or just shut down. They don’t want to believe it – they’d rather be victims than take responsibility for actually making decisions.
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My guess is that things will just continue to rock along. Congress will still have difficulty acting, but when it does we’ll mostly comply. Executive orders along with regulatory action will be the rule. Again, though we will grumble, we’ll still mostly comply.
As to whether we can still do great things the answer is perhaps yes, but not at the government level. Tech, including biomedical, will continue to strive for the remaining 10%, but will hit the wall with another 1-5%. AI will continue to exist only for those that don’t know the tech. And our greatest invention the internet will continue to be refined, used, and abused by innovative scams, but will still the heart and soul of our civilization.
One of the biggest changes is already occurring due to COVID-19 – we’re going to move towards a more de-centralized world for living, work, play, and education. Big everything will loose its allure – small will be beautiful.
Lastly, the culture wars will continue and though there will be converts, we’ll still be just as divided, if not more so, four years from now. But it may not matter if we can take advantage of that more decentralized world. What we think that matters just doesn’t.
Why do we need our society’s structure as it currently exists? Even two hundred years ago public services – such as emergency, police, and fire – were all but non existent unless you provided them yourselves. Gentlemen settled their own disputes and were responsible for protecting their property and those that depended upon them.
We can’t turn back the clock, but I hope that we can invent new norms that will allow us the freedoms we want.
As for new norms I think that a solution is staring us in the face. The internet governing mechanism is made up of committees with voting rights conferred upon a degree of competency. Both membership and compliance are voluntary. And most importantly it has worked beyond our wildest dreams.
So why could we not extend this model to replace how we organize ourselves? I’m sure there will be many objections from everybody, but think about it but remember problems are to be solved not used as excuses to not do something.
As a starting point here is a set of core principles taken from Wikipedia on Internet Governance:
1) No one person, company, organization or government is in charge.
2) It is a globally distributed network comprising many voluntarily interconnected autonomous networks.
3) It operates without a central governing body with each constituent network setting and enforcing its own policies.
4) Its governance is conducted by a decentralized and international multistakeholder network of interconnected autonomous groups drawing from civil society, the private sector, governments, the academic and research communities and national and international organizations.
5) They work cooperatively from their respective roles to create shared policies and standards that maintain the Internet’s global interoperability for the public good.
“…do great things together, as did the America of days gone by, to the amazement of the world?”
What, exactly, is he talking about there: 1. Public (coercively funded and centrally planned) works, or 2. The individual accomplishments of inspired innovators like the Wright Brothers, Currie, Ford and Tesla, and millions of others, each acting on their own initiative?
“Do great things together, as did the America of days gone by” is but another one of those, make-a-general-statement-and-let-the-hearer-insert-his-own-meaning-into-it, like “Hope and Change” or “MAGA”. It’s meaningless because, be design, it has no definition. It’s a trick. Can we please stop falling for this?
But you cannot confuse the one (centrally planned, coercively funded public works) with the other (liberty and the innovation it encourages). Nor can you conflate the two, or you’ll always have it wrong. The singular property that made America great, such that it ever was great, was that an individual could accomplish something great, something new and beneficial, of his God-given inspiration and the guidance of his God-given discernment, to both the amazement and the benefit of the world, and the government wouldn’t get in his way, tripping him up, blaming him for being “greedy”, etc., while looting his coffers, getting between him and his employees, and then taking credit for such diminished accomplishments as were made in spite of the interference!
And that, which we might call “the principle of liberty” is Biblical in its origins and practice. It is no less than the law of God.
That kind of “greatness of a nation” (simply staying out of the way, thus letting greatness happen, without government trying to presume itself into the situation and take credit for it) is a far, far cry from any public (i.e. coercively funded) works project such as the Apollo missions, et al. In fact they are diametric, mutually exclusive opposites. One of those paradigms cannot tolerate the existence of the other, for to embrace and commit to one is to starve out and eventually extinguish the other.
And yet Buchanan, like all Republicans, speaks without distinguishing one from the other, pretending to be unaware of any difference between them. To ignore such a crucial difference, the difference between spectacular achievement and prosperity on one hand, and certain decline and eventual ruin on the other, is a hallmark of the Party, just as it is a hallmark of Romam-influenced “Christianity”, the latter of which is also, as a feature of its very founding, duplicitous and contradictory.
But they know the differences perfectly well. It’s a matter of the fact that they’re in so deep; they can no longer afford to acknowledge the differences, for so doing would at the same time put an end to their slop trough, and demand an accounting for their role in the implementation of long-discredited Marxist and Keynesian theories (which the non-secular world has long known of as “Catholic Social Doctrine”). In that sense they are like the Pharisees of old. Their top leaders knowing full well the evil they perpetrate, and the good which they impugn and trample to death, they could not change even if they wanted to, and they don’t want to.
This is why Republicans always sound “stupid” or “half asleep” or “uncommitted” every time decisive and swift action in the service of liberty and justice is called for. It’s why they never quite seem to “get it”, always shooting in the right direction, so to speak, while always missing the mark, or just barely missing the opportunity by a few days or weeks. It’s because they’re constantly having to avoid the truth, and at all costs, while pretending to cherish it. Give them a break though– Such deception is a tough job, and they’re doing the best they can!
And so I find it offensive that such a practitioner in duplicity, a career professional at it, one of the master Guardians Of the Problem, as it were, one who would not dare separate the baby from the proverbial bathwater lest his career be ended (in short; a Republican), would presume to lecture us on the matter of national identity!
You have to give them this much though; they really do know their business.