A new paradigm has become evident in both the demographics and the political landscape of 21st Century America. Our nation’s major political camps are becoming increasingly polarized. The differences between the more populous and liberal coastal regions versus the lightly-populated and conservative inland regions are growing more sharp with every passing year. In the long term, a clash of wills between the Red and the Blue is almost inevitable. Whether this will result in conflict or in eventual partition and accommodation remains to be seen. Trouble might occur as early as the year 2020. Or it might be a full generation away. But sooner or later, I can definitely see it coming. This rift might result in a Second Civil War. If and when it comes, this war will not be on racial lines nor on economic lines per se. Rather, It will be a war of world views.
Even a liberal and profoundly statist magazine like The Atlantic has recognized that there are huge disparities between rural America and urban America. In a recent article titled Red State, Blue City, author David A. Graham pointed out there might be armed conflict between the two camps.
Another troubling change is the overt politicization of our government agencies. Recently the US FBI –once considered an unassailable paragon of the even-handed Rule of Law–has recently come under fire for harboring political schemers. These conspirators formed a secret society within the FBI that maneuvered the agency to selectively soft-pedal investigations on their friends, while ramrodding investigations on their political opponents.
The supposedly “Independent” Mueller investigations have been tainted by heavy political overtones. There are now competing camps within the FBI, the CIA, the DIA, and even the Department of the Interior. No state or Federal agency or subdivision of government can now be trusted to conform to the Constitution and its strictures. All of that went out the window, back around the turn of the Century. (The 21st Century, that is.)
Novelist Ayn Rand aptly used the term looters to describe the socialistic elements of our society. There will always be those who attempt to expropriate the productivity of others. This is most frightening when it is “government” that does so, under color of law. By cleverly taking from some and dispensing most of it to others, government leaders can build a voter base and thereby make themselves permanent fixtures.
The only things that distinguish a mob of urban looters from a cabal of thieving politicians are: A.) The color of law, and B.) The rapidity of the looting process. But the end result is the same. It is just that “official” looters, can claim that they have the law on their side. They do their looting through intermediaries, often taxing authorities and traffic ticket writers. And they can resort to the police for muscle and to the courts for feigned legitimacy. The mass media outlets have become their willing accomplices.
Taxation is looting in slow motion, through a bureaucratic process, laws, paperwork, accounting entries, and paycheck deductions all in broad daylight and televised on C-SPAN, rather than undercover of darkness with a cutlass in hand. Again, looting is still looting, whether it is carried out by privateers or by “officials.” And looting is still looting, whether it is punctuated by screams or by grumbling.
The same forces can be seen in play at the geopolitical level. The Looters at this level are the globalists who have the goal of redistributing wealth globally, with a slice off the top for the UN. Carbon taxes, greenhouse gas offsets, and other “Green” initiatives are just the latest in a long string of globalist Robin Hood schemes.
Here in the U.S., the divided camps are now labelled red and blue. But let’s start with some history:
Red And Blue, Says Who?
The use of red to designate Republicans and Blue to designate Democrats was not standardized until 1988. It wasn’t until the advent of color television that this even became an issue. If you watched coverage of the 1972 presidential election by CBS on a color television, blue was used to designate Republicans and Red to designate Democrats. But ever since 1988 the mass media–by then dominated by leftward-leaning journalists–has universally adopted an inverted color scheme. To back up a bit further: Traditionally, red has been the color associated with both socialism and communism. Both are to the left of free market capitalism. Back in the 1930s the Nazis and Soviet communists began referring to each other as “leftists” and “rightists”, and that terminology stuck. They are both FAR to the left of the free market worldview. Yet conservatives are now called right wing, and democratic socialists are called left wing. To further muddy the waters, they’ve reversed the color of the Red sympathizing Democrats. Magically, they are now “blue.”
The Third Gulf War
For the sake of shorthand for this essay, I’ll just use the modern blanket terms Red and Blue. And to avoid any additional confusion, I’ll grit my teeth and refer to the democratic socialists as the “blues.” I dislike being called a red. I don’t think that writing a memo to CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN is going to rectify this. Their color scheme has now been mixed into well-hardened cement.
I’m predicting a Third Gulf War, but it won’t be fought in the Middle East. It will be the Second Civil War, here in America and caused by the gulf between the right and left—or between the godly and the godless—or between the libertarians and the statists—or between the individualists and the collectivists. Despite the non sequitur, I’ll just label the “inlanders” as Red and the “coastalers” as Blues.
Individualism and collectivism are in diametric opposition. Nationalism and globalism are both inherently collectivist constructs. Therefore, I believe that nationalism must be tempered and restrained, lest it destroy individual liberty. The logical brake on any excesses of nationalism is a strong Constitution, with carefully crafted checks and balances.
Although I am a libertarian (with a lower-case l), I have doubts about full anarchism. Any truly anarchist state is simply too vulnerable, when surrounded by other countries with natural expansionist tendencies. The lack of any national identity opens the door for foreign invaders (arriving piecemeal or in wholesale numbers) to overwhelm an undefended territory. So some semblance of national identity must be maintained. (That is: defined borders, a common cultural framework, and a common language.) Striking a balance between these competing societal forces over the long term is a great difficulty. Some, like Bill Buppert contend that it is an impossibility. Once too much government creeps in, it tends to consolidate power and eventually become tyrannical. I suppose the goal should be a Constitutional Republic with an underlying strong anarchist streak. Perhaps H.L. Mencken said it best: “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” (That was written by a socialist, but you can see his point.)
The outbreak of actual fighting between red and blue regions will probably begin with street riots during a heated political campaign, or perhaps immediately following a contested election. The most recent election (November, 2018) was marred by, ahem, vote tallying “irregularities”, particularly in Florida and few other eastern states. If this is repeated in 2020, with enough vote counting manipulation to flip the Presidential election, there could be huge riots. This might be the trigger for skirmishing and for some states demanding partition or even secession. I can see that Texas might be where it all begins. After all, there is a legitimate claim that Texas was never lawfully annexed into the Union. And there are already calls for Texas to leave the Union–so-called “Texit.”
Regardless of where it begins, I predict that the second civil war will break out piecemeal, and almost unexpectedly. It might be something as simple as one state declaring a boycott of goods from another state. Or It might be a revolt be one group of counties in one part of a state being denied pleas for partition, by its state legislators in a state capitol in another more populous part of the same state. (I’ve mentioned this situation in both Oregon and Washington, repeatedly.)
Preserving Life and Limb
With a second civil war now on the horizon, you, my dear readers, may have questions: Will my family be involved? Will we want to be involved? What regions of the country will be safe? The answers to these questions may not be immediately clear. But some places definitely won’t be safe. Consider this: The counties in the state of Wyoming are almost uniformly red, from end to end. But many states are a patchwork of red and blue counties. For example, the state of California is divided into 58 counties. Of those, roughly 10 quite urbanized counties are blue, while 30 rural counties are red, and perhaps 8 counties are various shades of purple. Living in California may become like living in Bleeding Kansas, before and during the first Civil War. If you continue to live in California despite the obvious risks, then that would be a classic blunder. Take a long, hard look at the political demographics of your current State of residence. Analyze it. Is it more like Wyoming, or more like California?
My advice is simple: Vote with your feet. The threat of a future civil war is just one more reason to permanently relocate to a more conservative inland state. If you are living away from the conflict, then you will have the option to become involved–either directly or indirectly. But if you are living “right in the thick of it”, then you are more likely to be tossed about by events. Many situations will be determined by simple geography, rather than by volition. So pick your locale wisely.
I may be biased, but I believe that nearly all of the counties inside The American Redoubt are a good starting point, in your search for a safe haven. – JWR
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