The American Civil War was brutal. It remains the bloodiest conflict we have ever fought. It defined the nation and left an imprint that remains to this day, but it was for the better. For starters, the rigid regionalism that was heavily entrenched was washed away. Americans viewed themselves as…Americans, not Virginians, Alabamans, Georgians, or New Yorkers first. The U.S. as national identity was forged out of the ashes of this conflict. The United States was 34 states at the outbreak of the war. Its conclusion saw it become one nation. The notion of military officers resigning their commissions to join their state’s secession efforts is alien today. It was not back then. We share common principles; we’re also a country where folks move more frequently. There is mobility. But that doesn’t mean that a sizeable slice of the population that wants to annihilate the other won’t be any less destructive.
The ties that bind us together, the notion that we’re one country united, has been a buffer for the vicious divisions that led to our civil war. Yes, there were many other issues as well, but you can discuss that among yourselves. With recent surveys showing how liberals and conservatives value different cultural norms and view the other as alien, are we on the path toward another destructive conflict between the states? The lines would be different. It would probably be the coasts versus the rural interior instead of north versus south, but I digress.
Oftentimes, people roll their eyes when others spout new civil war talk or armed rebellion against the government, but nearly 70 percent of Americans think we could be reaching that point according to a new poll.
The Washington Examiner has more:
Partisan political division and the resulting incivility has reached a low in America, with 67% believing that the nation is nearing civil war, according to a new national survey.
“The majority of Americans believe that we are two-thirds of the way to being on the edge of civil war. That to me is a very pessimistic place,” said Mo Elleithee, the executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service.
And worse, he said in announcing the results of the institute’s Battleground Poll, the political division is likely to make the upcoming 2020 presidential race the nastiest in modern history.
In June of 2018, Rasmussen found that 31 percent of voters felt a civil war was possible within the next five years. Maybe this thing is being overblown. It’s a highly divisive time. Tensions and emotions are running high. Will cooler heads prevail? I don’t know. All I know is that this nation became after our first civil war. Slavery was abolished, and the national identity we know today emerged from one of the most brutal moments in our history.