the culture wars are hitting a crescendo with the fall elections right around the corner. i've written before that we have 2 very different Americas right now. there are so few in between that the neithers are scarcely worth mentioning. the two Americas - the Progressives vs. the Conservatives.
in one corner we have the Progressives, who are socially tolerant, believe in separation of Church and State, Scientifically minded, and fact based.
in the other corner are the Convservatives, who are socially intolerant, Theocratic minded, Science denying, fear based, conspiracy theory embracing, and full of anger.
i'm sure there are some who would disagree with this synopsis, but it's getting hard to argue against this point of view. the ideological divide couldn't be greater. while this increased polarization concerns me, what truly worries me is the increasingly loud cries from Conservatives when they don't get their way. many Conservative states are threatening to ignore Federal laws, or secede from the Union entirely. some wingnuts are calling for armed resistance. typically i could chalk this up to tough talk or empty rhetoric. but the intense hatred for the sitting President from the Right makes me wonder if this is the case.
the noise is growing louder and more intense. for now it's just noise, but come November, if Obama is re-elected, will it become something more? from browsing some of the dark corners of the internet i get the sense that they believe Romney winning is a foregone conclusion. how could a communist Muslim who is out to destroy America possibly win again? to them, such a thing is impossible. what if the unthinkable happens though? if they wake up on November 7th and find that Obama will be the President for another 4 years, can they handle it?
i think if Obama is re-elected that millions of Conservative brains will simply blow a gasket. what happens next frightens me.
my questions are twofold:
1. is an armed insurgence here in America a possibility?
2. what would happen if such a thing occurred?
ps - i think it's fair to say that if Romney wins no such call to arms would be a possibility. doesn't that say something about the nature of the two sides?
I think you have a range of actors in the right-wing reaction to Obama. I think (though I am by no means certain) that a lot of them have little more going on than hot air. However, there is a hard core to those idiots who might be willing to act out their grievance violently. Depending on the number of those willing to go that far, their level of organization and so on, things could be as low-key as a number of scattered police actions. How BIG could it get? Honestly, I don't know, nor am I comfortable about speculation.
If Romney does win, I wouldn't count out a strong reaction by the left wing of this country. A lot of that reaction would be in response to Mitt's initial activities in office, including Supreme Court appointees, actions against abortion and in favor of religious organizations, never mind his voodoo economics redux. I don't see violence becoming a part of THAT particular equation unless Mitt displays an advanced degree of stupidity. Unfortunately, I don't see stupidity being outside of his skill set.
oh i agree that the reaction from the Left would be strong if Romney wins, just not violent.
as far as the original premise, you're right that the level of organization would be instrumental in determining the size of any potential acts of violence. i would think that any large scale organization would have a hard time keeping out of the eye of Homeland Security. let's just hope that it doesn't come to that. otherwise the next "Arab Spring" could happen here at home.
1. is an armed insurgence here in America a possibility? Absolutely! There have been armed insurgencies before the ink was dry on the Constitution. George Washington had to put down the Whiskey Insurrection in western Massachusetts in 1791. In the War of 1812, New England threatened to secede from the Union. During Andrew Jackson's presidency, South Carolina threatened secession, until Jackson threatened to march into the State and personally hang the governor. The governor thought discretion the better part of valor. Everyone thought the issue was finally settled at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered to Grant. Not so. The possibility of dissolution has raised its ugly head once again, with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, and those rallying around the flag of Christ and the Stars and Bars. Next time you're driving on an Interstate, look at the number of 18 wheelers that have the Confederate flag on the grill.
2. what would happen if such a thing occurred? Bloodshed, and lots of it. Worse, I suspect than the period of 1861 to 1865, when over one half a million Americans died. That one would look like a minor schoolyard scrap compared to what would happen with F-18 fighter jets, Bradly fighting tanks, mini-guns that can fire 3,000 rounds per minute, TOW missiles, etc. Not even mentioning the stockpile of WMDs in the US arsenal. And, once again, it would brother against brother, father against son, cousin against cousin. Unfortunately, throughout human history, society has lived on a very thin veneer of civilization, and the delusion that it is hard as concrete is based on the comfort of the acquisition of material goods; ample food, shelter, and a trust that our neighbors will not automatically attack us when we walk out the front door. In my opinion, the veneer is as thin as rice paper. Take away those things we take for granted, and you have a repeat of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episode, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street. Mistrust, suspicion, intolerance of someone different, a dogmatic belief in the certainty of a particular world view, are the ingredients required to ignite the firestorm.
Those who do not know history, are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana.
i knew there was a reason i was hesitant to write this post. now you've done it - i'm officially scared shitless.
when i read quotes like this one from potential Senator Ted Cruz i can't help but think something bad is looming:
"We are witnessing a great awakening. Millions of Texans, millions of Americans are rising up to reclaim our country, to defend liberty and to restore the Constitution."
I noticed a number of atheists defended the American sacred right to bear arms as a means to overthrow an unjust government in a gun control debate. The irony is that they are standing arm in arm with a bunch of people being discussed here who we fear would use guns to overthrow a government that we see as desirable or harmless.
That certainly makes for some strange bedfellows.
it sure does Russell. i am a gun owner, but all my guns were bought when i was a teenager. i used to hunt and target shoot with my Father. i respect the right to own weapons, but i think there should be both limits to how many and what kinds are able to be owned. people have taken the 2nd amendment too far, IMO.
we can hope that these so called "Patriots" wake up from this stupor. i just don't see it happening naturally.
oh i agree wholeheartedly. these tea party "Patriots" love this country so much they either:
a) want to change it in a meaningful way or
b) want to secede from it
and they claim to be Patriots. puuuuleeze.
Glad I could cheer everyone up with my musings. Most every time I think of the Teabaggers (I'll call them the Tea Party when they quit referring the Affordable Care Act as Obamacare), I'm reminded of Boswell's quote in his work, The Life of Samuel Johnson. "Patriotism is the last refuse of a scoundrel." And, I'm also reminded of Burt Lancaster's soliloquy in the movie Judgment at Nuremberg. And, what people will do for "love of country."
The US Constitution is currently held up as some great talisman which, according to the extreme right, is to be read as secondary authority under the primary source of all authority and wisdom - iron aged superstition, derived from the bronze age, written by cattle and human sacrificing barbarians. A careful reading of the Constitution, however, reveals that at the time it was drafted, it was the most anti-majoritarian form of government conceivable. Take the 1st Amendment's freedom of religion clause; coupled with freedom of speech, a more blasphemous law I cannot imagine. All religions are premised on the belief that a given sect or creed is the one and only true path. Yet here is the government saying that it's no one's business what, if any religion, you adhere to. And, as an added bonus, we're not forcing anyone to adhere to anything, notwithstanding one's particular belief that he/she has a monopoly on truth.
But, the Teabagger Patriots ignore this while touting their "Love of country." It is the irrationality of their disparate belief that, on the one hand, people must love of God and Country, and on the other, the country they're supposed to love completely leaves their god out of the mix. Kind of like an acid and base mixture. Something's going to boil over.
that is a powerful clip, thanks for sharing. simply replace the word "jews" and insert "muslims" and it could work in today's tea party mindset.
"on the one hand, people must love of God and Country, and on the other, the country they're supposed to love completely leaves their god out of the mix."
this must present quite the conundrum for the religious right.
Ya know, I wouldn't say so much "patriotism" but "jingoism" being the last refuge of a scoundrel, myself. I think a citizen can have pride in his country, particularly if that pride is tempered with a recognition of the problems and flaws which his homeland exhibits. Jingoism, on the other hand, might as well be defined as "my country, right or wrong," though in the case of the Teabaggers, it should be "far right or wrong."
I dig the US. There really isn't anywhere else I'd want to live, and if I'm doing anything with my votes and my choices, it's to raise as many boats as possible at the expense of as very few as possible, preferably none. I'd like to believe that there are more than a few people with that same attitude, and I wonder why it isn't universal (pardon my naivete).
I guess some people just feel like they have to come out ON TOP all the time. Scary....
I guess some people just feel like they have to come out ON TOP all the time. Scary.... Don't know why I'm all over movie clips today, must be something in the coffee at work. Here's one explanation from the movie Mississippi Burning. "An old man so full of hate, he didn't know that being poor was what was killing him." Another way to put it, people so full of irrational fear, they don't know the hate, engendered by the fear, is what is killing them.