I am not going way back today - save that for later. I have just finished "Empire" by O.S. Card. Here is a passage from the Afterword.
"Because we haven't had a civil war in the past fourteen decades, people think we can't have one now. Where is the georaphic clarity of the Mason Dixon line? When you the red-blue state divisiion in the past few elections, you get a false impression. The real division is urban, academic and high-tech counties versus suburban, rural and conservative Christian counties. How could such widely scattered 'blue' centers and such centerless 'red' populations ever act in concert?
Geography aside, however, we have never been so evenly divided with such hateful rhetoric since the years lieading up to the Civil War of the 1860s. Because the national media elite are so uniformly progressive, we heep hearing (in the elite media) about the rhetorical excesses of the 'extreme right". To hear the same media, there is no 'exreme left", just the occasional progressive who says things he or she shouldn't.
But any rational observer has to see that the Left and Right in America are screaming the most vile accusations at each all the time. We are fully polarized - if you accept the idea that sounds like it belongs to either the blue or the red, you are assusmed- nay, required-- to espouse the entire rest of the package, even though there is no reason why support in the war agains terorism should imply you're in favor of banning all abortions and against restricting the availability of firearms, no reason why being in favor of keeping government-imposed limits on the free market shoud imply you also are in favor of giving legal status to homosexual couples and against building nuclear reactors. These issues are not remotely connected, and yet, if you hold any of one group's views, you are hated by the other group as if you believe them all. ..... it goes deeper than this,however. A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of your views and policies that you are sure anyone who opposes them must either be stupid and deceived or have some ulterior motive....treated as if you were a traitor for deviating even slightly from the party line.
It goes deeper than this however. A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of yuour views and policies that you are sure anyone who opposes them must either be stupd and deceived or have some ulterior motive. ......
Does tis lead inevitably to civil war? Of course not - although it's hardly conducive to stable government or the long term continuation of democracy