The opening shots of America’s second civil war will not take place in the streets. It has already happened. And many of us may have unwittingly pulled the trigger.
Social, cultural and political divisions have always existed in this country. At times they have served to strengthen our nation. At the very least, divisions have helped strengthen our democratic process; the way we navigate through that process.
Differences in values and beliefs often serve as positive disruptors from which we may improve, enhance or innovate ideas, processes, technologies, industries, etc. At other times, differences have led to conflict, at times escalating to violence.
Regardless of the various outcomes experienced throughout our nation’s history, the force of difference and the perpetual change that accompanies it are the only guaranteed forms of permanence. Polarities will always be present, and so will conflict. However, the degree of conflict--whether a mere disagreement or an act of sheer violence--is a matter of collective will; a conscientious individual effort to maintain or destroy any sense of societal balance.
The opening shots have already been fired. And the insidious culprit is neither an individual, agency, nor party. The culprit is a psychological trait within us all: the capacity to “normalize” what we consider to be highly “abnormal.”
How to live comfortably in a hellish environment: take it slowly, step by step, one day at a time, until it begins to feel natural.
A week ago, an Illinois man by the name of James Hodgkinson decided to lash out against President Trump and Republicans. So he packed an assault rifle and headed to a congressional baseball practice where the GOP team was present. Then he began shooting. Republican Whip Steve Scalise, the least fortunate of Hodgkinson’s victims, was critically wounded.
A rare and isolated incident? A “nut-job” with anger management issues who took it a step too far? What does it take for rare instances of politically-motivated violence to evolve into something more frequent, expected or even tolerated, such as those seen in societies where violence is a day-to-day reality? One part of the answer is frighteningly simple: people have to get used to it.
Are Americans becoming used to it? You bet, and in more ways than you think.
Anti-Trump rhetoric and media escalating beyond common measures of decency.
Let’s try to get a sense of the Anti-Trump demeanor that clouded our nation prior to this horrific shooting. Last year, Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore joked about suffocating Trump with a pillow. More recently, Madonna mentioned that she “had thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” Kathy Griffin released a gruesome image of a decapitated Donald Trump. A production in New York of Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar--the main figure closely resembling Trump--was crashed by protesters; the narrative symbolizing the (desired?) assassination of our current president.
Once people on one side of an ideological divide (in this case, the far left) become accustomed to the “notion” of violence--the normalization of violence as a potential reality--how close are they to transforming a potential reality into an actual one? By the way, this applies to all sides regardless of political ideology.
On another front, many Americans have already normalized their state of monetary victimhood.
The war on cash? The banking system? Both established to serve the common good? Or has government gained increasing control over your money and freedom by slowly normalizing you to your own captivity?
For decades, Americans have been paying an increasing amount of taxes on the Federal and State levels to fund public institutions and programs aimed at various improvements for the common good. Never mind the inefficiency, malinvestments, and corruption--government says it knows how to spend your money better than you do, and so it coerces you into relinquishing your hard-earned cash!
To the average person, liberals and conservatives alike, “taxes” are a normal part of life. Of course, the other alternative--evading taxes--will only make you a criminal; a deviant. The freedom to keep what you have earned, something that used to be considered “normal,” is now a deviant act. In short, government has already normalized your subjugation.
Some of our readers have enthusiastically stated that “the US dollar has never been stronger,” despite the US debt approaching $20 TRILLION and the US debt to GDP ratio standing at 104.5%! This is the epitome of government’s normalization--that people hold tight to a government-manufactured narrative despite the blatant facts pointing to the contrary!
Now government wants you to normalize the idea that stashing large amounts of cash is a potentially illegal. Digital currencies not reportable to government will be normalized as a criminal act. Where does it end?
When it comes to any government- or media-manufactured “normalization,” what permission might you give them for your own monetary or thought-related oppression?
The seeds of the Second Civil War have already been sown and are growing under the watch of President Trump’s administration.
When the US debt bubble finally collapses, and many Americans will come to the sober realization that their economic prosperity was a normalized illusion, many will look to blame a party, a person, or anything else under the sun except for themselves.
If “theatricalized” violence happens to be a normalized notion, then under desperate circumstances, there’s very little to stop harmless “theatre” from becoming a “real” theater of cruelty in the streets.
There’s no reason why we can’t prevent any of this from coming to pass!
Stay sober and see with clear eyes what’s happening on the monetary front, the political front, and the media front! It’s about holding on tight to sound assets and sound reason!
“Values” may be subject to fluctuations, but your capacity to think in sound terms should always remain steady.