Our politics are a mess. Our political behavior and its trajectory are well past troubling. My fears are atavistic, and apocalyptic. Three-quarters of a million Americans died in the Civil War, at a time the population of our great country was just one-tenth as large as it is today. You do the math.
We appear to have lost the ability to “agree to disagree,” or even to let the ballot box decide the outcomes of elections. Three things are clear for anyone willing to see them.
First, Democrats and some establishment Republicans were deeply unhappy with the outcome of the 2016 election and proceeded to take extreme and unprecedented measures to undermine, unseat, and hobble a duly elected president.
Second, using the deadly coronavirus pandemic as a rationale, the rules governing the 2020 elections were changed—in a manner that violated several state constitutions, and over the vocal opposition of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump.
Third, the “unprecedented” search and seizure of material from the home of a former president under the platitude that “no one is above the law”—while Joe Biden boarded Air Force One to disappear on vacation with his son, Hunter, who appears very much above the law—sends a message that we have two justice systems, not one.
In light of these realities, can we turn the gaslighting down by half? Indeed, the mood lighting is not even set to “normalcy,” which is what Candidate Biden promised to restore, and which promise helped him to victory.
I fear, instead, we are headed toward another civil war. This one won’t make us better. And the toll could be gruesome: No country has proven better at killing Americans than America.
We all have friends and family on both sides. We need to keep the American family together.
I’m a fan of neither Blue nor Red Caesars. I’m committed to saving what we have and making it better, consistent with our principles and institutions. If the Red side has the Deplorables, the Blue has the Unbearables —and they’re in power now.
Unbearables: I’m sorry if this isn’t parsed to your liking. The Deplorables are not in charge—you are. And the party in charge is acting in a manner that goes against the principles, norms, and forms that it purports to care so much about, with its constant warnings that we are in “unprecedented” danger from the other side.
January 6, 2021 seems to have justified a lot—and far too much. It was certainly not the Deplorables’ best moment. Trump played with fire, lost control, got burnt, and returned to private life in disgrace, wounded politically but still alive.
One of the oldest methods of gaining clear thinking in clouded times is to ask, “Who benefits?” Did Trump and his cause benefit from the breach of Congress?
To ask that question is to answer it. No.
Did Trump bring trouble upon himself by having a rally outside of Congress? Yes.
Is his lack of judgment appalling? Yes.
Was it a failed insurrection, or coup? No.
The response of the Democratic Party and the deep-state industrial complex is to mercilessly try the former president—his family, his businesses, and anyone connected with him—in the media, in Congress, and in the criminal courts. They have “othered” half the electorate as domestic terrorists, white supremacists, authoritarians, and fascists.
Democrats appear breathlessly unaware of the daily, compounding effects of such actions. They continue to deepen our divisions, moving us closer and closer to dissolution.
Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Mar-a-Lago search warrant jumps the shark tank of credulity. The raid is all about criminalizing and conflicting the political opposition—and, in this case, about praying that Trump takes the bait and declares his candidacy before the November midterms.
Attorney General Garland, you’ve undermined your allies’ carefully orchestrated public relations campaign portraying you as a statesman and a moderate, whose impeccable judicial temperament would make the legal profession proud. Instead, you’re coming off as a partisan hatchet man, who somehow thinks it’s un-American to question the Justice Department or the FBI. Come again?
Former Attorney General William Barr: Thank you, sir. You are, first and foremost, a public servant. The contrast between your restraint and Garland’s rogue behavior couldn’t be sharper.
Unbearables: you grow scarier when deflecting attention from your policy failures by criminalizing politics.
You need to take a step back from your “unprecedented” abyss and accept the political consequences of your command-and-control comeuppance and start playing again by the rules once recognized by both sides—Deplorable and Unbearable alike.
Civil war may seem likely—but it is not inexorable. It can be avoided. Let’s avoid it. We the People—and those who represent us—need to settle our disputes in the voting booth in fair and trustworthy elections; not in the weaponization of the law unequally applied to political opponents.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared at Planned Man.