Tuesday, March 22, 2005

To Arms, To Arms

The other day, Mitch Berg at Shot In the Dark posted a brief comment on the Schiavo case; one of the commenters had something pretty terrifying to say in response:

This case merely shows that the upcoming civil war is becoming a necessity. I don't think it's even a question of if but when anymore. There are so many issues, like the Schaivo case and abortion and the culture war and the battle between merit culture and the entitlement culture, where Red America needs to rise, and if necessary put Blue Amerika to the bayonet.
The comment by Ray M. is terrifying not because he seems to be using incendiary language, but because he has a point about the way that the left currently views the state of affairs in America. Mitch responded to Ray that the comment was "Not exactly what I'm after here..." I don't believe that Ray really wants such a civil war to take place, and I know that I do not. (For one thing, my wife and I would have to try to kill one another, and that would make life at home kind of rough.) Yet, it is hard to look at contemporary debates over such hot-button issues as those cited by Ray and wonder at what point the debate ends and the opposing factions take their differences to another level.

Not long ago, while doing some research on a different topic, I had an opportunity to take a glance at some editorials from the Defiance Democrat, a northwest Ohio newspaper of fairly obvious political leanings, that were written in the early 1860s. The major issue of the time, just as in the early 2000s, was the war that was being waged by the United States. The paper's editorials, perhaps typical of a Democrat paper of the time, were almost identical in style to those of many of today's left-leaning rags. Blame everything on the war-mongering Republican president, demonize him, and tout the Democrat savior most likely to succeed in the upcoming campaign cycle. What I ought to do is post a excerpt from one of these editorials, then post it again with the name "Bush" in place of "Lincoln". You would not be able to tell that it was written in 1864 instead of 2004.

That was an era when there truly were "two Americas", as John Edwards claimed during last year's Presidential campaign. If we are approaching the day when America is divided once more, it will not be because of incendiary rhetoric from the right, but because people like Edwards, and John Kerry, and Ted Kennedy, and their followers will do more than just talk to make it happen.

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