I don’t expect that Americans can ever be united in their political principles and policy preferences. But the cacophony that emanates from the present state of disunity is figuratively deafening. America would be on the verge of another civil war if the States were now as militarily strong, relative to the central government, as they were in 1861.
Because of the present imbalance of power, a “hot” civil war is unlikely. What then, if not a civil war, might put an end to America’s internal strife? Or is it America’s fate to muddle along in clangorous divisiveness?
History tells me that when the world seems headed in a particular direction, a cataclysmic exogenous event intervenes. Here are some examples:
World War I brought an end to Edwardian elegance, sparked the demise of the British class system, and stamped the United States as a world power.
The Great Depression curtailed the Jazz Age and its associated “excesses,” as they were then considered.
World War II created the economic conditions that helped put an end to the Great Depression in the United States.
Assassinations and anti-war protests rang down the curtain on “Camelot” and deference to authority figures.
The Reagan-Volcker inflation-busting shock of the early 1980’s did much to end the “malaise” that characterized the 1970s — from Watergate to the Iran hostage crisis — and fostered almost 30 years of relative prosperity.
Gorbachev’s sudden “surrender” — due in large part to Reagan’s defense buildup — put an end to the tense and costly 40-year-long Cold War.
A stock-market crash, followed closely by 9/11, ended the relative peace and prosperity of the Reagan-Clinton era.
What, if anything, could bring an end to — or at least muffle — the prevailing political cacophony? It’s impossible to say, of course. But two possibilities strike me as most likely:
– A major war in the Middle East, into which the U.S. is drawn because of oil, Israel, or both.
– A terrorist attack on the U.S. that claims many lives (far more than 9/11), cripples vital infrastructure, or both.
There is a peaceful possibility — though it doesn’t preclude the two unappealing scenarios; the possibility is de facto secession. This has begun in a small way, with State-level legalization of marijuana, which has happened in spite of the central government’s de jure power to criminalize it.
It is therefore imaginable that GOP control of the White House and Congress would embolden some GOP-controlled States to openly flout federal laws, regulations, and judicial decrees about such matters as same-sex marriage, environmental emissions, and Obamacare — to name a few obvious targets. The result, if it came to pass, would be something like the kind of federalism envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution.
But leftists would resist, loudly and demagogically. Given their need to control others, they would use every trick in the book to keep GOP-controlled States in line while giving free rein to Democrat-controlled States. In the end, the cacophony might intensify, not diminish.
* * *
A Grand Strategy for the United States
The Folly of Pacifism
Why We Should (and Should Not) Fight
Rating America’s Wars
Transnationalism and National Defense
The Next 9/11?
The Folly of Pacifism, Again
September 20, 2001: Hillary Clinton Signals the End of “Unity”
NEVER FORGIVE, NEVER FORGET, NEVER RELENT!
Patience as a Tool of Strategy
The War on Terror, As It Should Have Been Fought
Preemptive War and Iran
Some Thoughts and Questions about Preemptive War
Defense as an Investment in Liberty and Prosperity
Reclaiming Liberty throughout the Land
Obamacare and Zones of Liberty
Mission Not Accomplished
Secession for All Seasons
A New Constitution for a New Republic
Restoring Constitutional Government: The Way Ahead
The World Turned Upside Down
Secession Made Easy
More about “Secession Made Easy”
The Culture War
Defense Spending: One More Time
A Home of One’s Own
The Criminality and Psychopathy of Statism
Romanticizing the State
Surrender? Hell No!
Social Accounting: A Tool of Social Engineering
Has America Always Been Leftist?
Let’s Make a Deal
Jerks and Demagogues
Walking the Tightrope Reluctantly
How to Eradicate the Welfare State, and How Not to Do It
The Obamacare Effect: Greater Distrust of Government
“Blue Wall” Hype
Does Obama Love America?