It is now clear to me that America is on a war footing, much like during the Cold War, only it is a war with its self. This analogy of the Cold War, of two ideological enemies that stridently oppose one another but who have yet to directly clash in a major way, is the best and most accurate way to describe the current situation in the United States between Left and Right, White and non-White, and between America and nothing land.
What I have seen convinces me that we are in this state of war. I have seen the Left compare a violent terrorist group called Antifa, to the allied troops during WWII. I have seen the Left call Antifa “heroes” and say that “even if they did commit violence”, that it would be justified violence. This is what a war footing looks like. When you are willing to justify, celebrate, and even deify violence against those that you disagree with.
I recently read a detailed history of the events leading up to the American Civil War called “The Battle Cry of Freedom” by renowned civil war historian, James McPherson, and in that book he details a series of small incidents that actually foreshadow the violence and strife of the Civil War. He writes about angry mobs in the North, bursting into court houses where slaves were about to be sent back down South and the mob freeing those slaves. The “Fugitive Slave Act” compelled Northern judges to take part in, and give legal sanction to, the return of slaves back to their Southern owners. This enraged Northerners and they decided to break the law and disrupt that legal process. McPherson shows how these small actions were a sign that the American political system was falling apart. Southerners also disregarded the law by trying to invade Cuba and make it a slave state and carried out a guerrilla war against free staters in Kansas. That both sides were willing to disregard the law, showed that the American people were willing to commit and support violence, outside of the structure of American institutions to attain their desired ideological and political goals. That officials in both the North and the South were willing to allow it to happen, because they supported the law breakers, showed that respect for a single, national system of law had fallen apart.
I think that we have seen the recent developments: when the entirety of the Left/Liberal media and entertainment class came out in support of Antifa, when the Charlottesville, Boston, and Berkeley police allowed Antifa to brutally beat up legally permitted protestors because they didn’t like the message of the protesters, when Richard Spencer was punched in the head while giving an interview on the side of a street and the entire Liberal establishment cheered, and when the Left cheered at the destruction of property and lawlessness of tearing and destroying a Confederate statue by a frothing mob. We will remember these moments as the opening salvo of a much larger civil war.
Remember that few people in 1855 thought that twenty or thirty Quakers and freed slaves busting up a legal proceeding really meant much in the way of bringing about a war. But what was really instructive was not the violence and law breaking, it was the mass public support for it.
We are in such a moment. A moment of limbo, after the old system has begun to fall apart, but before the violence that will create a new system or merely break this country into a million pieces. I will leave you with one word of foreboding, most cold wars don’t stay cold.