Is America Experiencing Another Kind of “Civil War”? | Opinion
Wars are not always fought by military forces armed with guns, bombs, stealth fighters and sophisticated weapons. And the enemy is not always clearly defined. Even the reasons for war are often unclear. But division and fighting still rages on, nonetheless.
At first glance, you might think it’s a bit of a stretch to characterize the divide America is experiencing today as another type of “civil war.”
Take a break and think for a moment.
First of all, we need to fully understand the meaning of these two words.
The meaning of the word civilian is distinct from a military matter. Civil means the things relating to ordinary citizens who live in the same country and their associated concerns. It also includes disorder or conflict occurring between citizens of the same country.
A closer examination of the meaning of the word war shows that it is not only defined as a sustained armed conflict between military forces, but also as a conflict between political groups involving hostilities of considerable duration and magnitude.
Many wars are fought and won with words, ideas, philosophies – often misguided words, misguided ideas, misguided philosophies and the amorphous “us” versus “them” dynamic.
Given the full meaning of civil and war, it can be said that America is indeed experiencing a different kind of “civil war” with battles on multiple fronts. Unfortunately, not all battles are just a war of words. Some include or have the potential for violence.
A current pernicious battle concerns the persistent accusation that the last presidential election was not legitimate and that it was riddled with electoral fraud. The vitriol and division, even violence, among citizens are more than palpable.
More worrying is the authorities’ growing concern over the increase to chatter extremists threatening even more violence to overthrow the elections. We all remember the violent insurgency on the United States Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election.
Another battle in full force involves the efforts of many states to change, eliminate, and obscure the foundation of what it means to be American – every citizen exercising their right to vote. There are even calls to forensic checks of the last election, suggesting fraud when there is no proof.
This battle is indeed, in many ways, reminiscent of the battle for America Civil war.
This war was fueled by one overarching question: is it in the best interest of the country to continue to enslave and suppress an entire race of people. Many vestiges of this war still remain.
The vigorous and noisy efforts of these States who adopt policies and laws to change the way citizens exercise the freedom to vote. The efforts are divided along ideological, political and racial lines. How can we not recall the fight for the abolition of slavery in terms of the grounds for suppressing a fundamental freedom?
The legitimacy of the presidential election and the continued efforts to deny the vote are not the only battles brewing in this country.
There is the growing battle of nationalism disguised as patriotism. These skirmishes are now manifested in the proliferation of anti-immigration sentiments, blatant acts of white supremacy and random acts of domestic terrorism against targeted racial groups or those of different political beliefs.
When there is a tension between nationalism, which focuses on selfish interests, and patriotism which puts the well-being of the country first, the situation is ripe for civil unrest.
Even the response to get America out of the pandemic can be characterized as a kind of civil war battle. Much of the country is fighting against all measures, refusing to do things that would help stop the virus. Another segment is trying to do what it can to prevent the spread.
The division response to COVID has been equally harmful and deadly like many other crises this nation has faced, including military wars.
America is divided on several fronts. The chasms in some areas are very wide and very deep. Those who care about the future well-being of this country should ask themselves whether we as a nation will be able to find a way to shut them down and not only coexist but also prosper as a unified nation.
Or will this different “civil war” of conflicting values, philosophical views, and political positions – bogus and factual – keep us at odds, leading the nation to the precipice of self-deprivation and self-destruction?
America has always been a nation with a tapestry made up of different people with unique cultures that enrich our humanity.
But the rights, privileges and values we hold dear are at risk due to growing discord and civil unrest fueled by misplaced, misunderstood and erroneous information from those who put their selfish interests ahead of what is. in the best interest of preserving or improving the well-being of the country.
There appears to be no end in sight to the battles over the demand for a bogus presidential election, unfounded electoral fraud, racial hatred and a deadly pandemic.
Two truths have stood the test of time. First, a house divided against itself will not stand. Second, a great country is not destroyed by an enemy from outside, but from within.
America is indeed in the midst of a different kind of “civil war” with battles on many fronts and is approaching a critical crossroads. The road taken will have consequences with decisive and long-term effects, which will determine who America wants to be or to become.
The looming question: will the outcome make life in America better or worse?