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Slow Motion Civil War

I have been intermittently active with an Indivisible group in my home town. The group formed after Trump's election and has been involved in local, state, and national actions. There's a wonderful guy in the group, a psychologist, who keeps returning us to the necessity of "talking to the other side." He advocates for dialogue that can reduce the level of animosity between the right and the left. He wants us to find common ground.

This is where he loses me.

I believe in my heart this is a laudable goal, and until six months ago, I would have been completely in his camp. Now, though, I can't seem to imagine what compromise would look like.

Before the 2016 Presidential Election, I would have thought this was a tiny group of wingnuts who could be marginalized and ignored. The truth is: there are between thirty and sixty million of them, hardly a group easily forced to the shadows, even by twice as many opponents. They LIKE what Trump is doing. They really want an all-white, autocratic, Christian theocracy.

The two sides in this divided country can't agree on what a "great America" looks like. Trump supporters regularly tell us that ideas like multiculturalism, a government safety net, reasonable gun regulation, and teaching evidence-based science in schools represent a tyranny from which they must rebel.

The divide in values and ideas is so great, that there can't be any compromise. There will be winners and losers, with the losers becoming more disenfranchised (and likely more violent) with each loss. In short, we are fighting a slow motion civil war, and it is far more dangerous than the war we fought over slavery. The sides in the new civil war are not separated by geography. "Enemy combatants" live side-by-side, city-by-suburb-by-rural. The regular violence between Neo-Nazis and antifa fighters is just the tip of the iceberg, perhaps the tip of the spear.

The US has had a good run, but we need to find a national Sorting Hat and vote with our feet, withdrawing to our respective corners, before its too late.

I say give the right wingers the south and the mid-west. We'll take the rest.


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