When I look at what is happening within the United States over the past few years, combined with the conduct and verbiage of political figures and citizens, I believe it won’t be long before this country finds itself in the midst of a civil war.
Civil war includes conflicts over government control and may involve military coups, insurgents from within the government, and challengers from outside the established government. Civil wars also include ethnic conflict and aspirations for social transformation.
Why do I believe we are headed into a full-blown war within our country? Look around you; there is hostility and violence everywhere. People within the government no longer believe in the very foundation this country was built on. Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”
Part of allowing the governed to determine rights was placing control of elections on the states. It also prevented many citizens from being able to exercise that right. Initially, only white men who owned property could vote. Over the years, amendments expanded rights to blacks and other minorities, including women and non-property owners.
Leading up to and following the presidential election of 2020, we saw many things this country’s citizens fought hard to overcome come back to fruition. A desire to overturn the government and eliminate our freedoms began when the President of the United States began putting into his followers’ minds the belief that the election process is unfair. That the election was stolen.
How can an election be fair only if you win but not if you lose? That was his way of thinking, and people believed him. Now other republican candidates are following his example and have said they will only agree with election results if they are the winner.
Has anyone given consideration to what Trump’s claims of a false election cost the taxpayers?
When Trump refused to accept his loss and filed 62 lawsuits in federal and state courts attempting to overturn the election of Biden to the presidency. Trump was defeated in 61 cases. The only “win” was in Pennsylvania, where a Judge ruled that voters cannot go back and “cure” their ballot after failing to provide proper identification within three days of the election. This ruling didn’t change the outcome of the election.
As of February 2021, Trump’s election fraud lawsuits cost taxpayers more than $519 million. That is money out of your pocket to subsidize his refusal to recognize the will of the people.
Trump’s refusal to accept election results caused violence at the Capitol on January 6t. The main goal was to prevent the reading of the electoral votes to officially declare Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election. That was a direct attack on our government. Trump’s goal was to remain in office, thereby destroying the very basis on which this country was founded in 1776. Had they been successful, the freedoms you know today would no longer exist.
Trump’s rhetoric about a false election still rings out today, with other republican candidates saying they will only believe the election results if they win but not if they lose. You can’t have it both ways. Either we have a good election system, or we don’t. It can’t be fair “only when I win.”
That isn’t to say a candidate cannot question election results. It has been done many times in the past by both parties. The difference is whether the losing candidate accepts the findings or whether they refuse to accept defeat and continues fighting.
Social media hostility has become a very real problem in this country.
Studies and interviews with policy experts, activities, and social media industry professionals show that platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook do not cause political polarization, but they do exacerbate it. When people view political content on social media, it makes them more upset and angry, causing them to develop stronger support for their own position.
In 2018 there was a major overhaul of Facebook’s recommendation algorithm. As a result, Facebook became an angrier place. The new algorithm prioritizes controversial content, resulting in otherwise peaceful people becoming trolls because of social media interactions.
In addition to making people angrier than normal, those angry people are more likely to believe false information on social media. Hostile people in political discussions share misinformation. This doesn’t mean they believe what they share, but rather they refuse to admit their original belief was wrong. This behavior contributes to a disproportionate amount of misinformation, toxicity, and violent content because it is easier to inspire anger than positive emotions.
Studies in the United States and Denmark reveal that people who behave like jerks online are also jerks in person. People obsessed with politics are often frustrated, offensive, and angry, ranting about politics in person and online. The majority of these political posters are status seekers who crave a higher social status. Their main goal is to intimidate others into recognizing them, which serves their own personal agenda.
Discrimination Still Exists
The country has come a long way from the days of slavery, but discrimination still exists against people because of race, gender, religion, and for being LBGTQ. Violence against Jews in the U.S. has been the highest since the 1970s, with 2,107 incidents of harassment, vandalism, and violence against Jews in 2019.
The negative attitude about people who are not white dates back to the original days of voting, when only white male property owners could cast their votes. Some of this hatred has been invoked by our former POTUS blasting discriminatory comments about Mexican immigrants being criminals and rapists, proposing a ban on Muslims trying to enter the U.S., suggesting a Judge recuse themselves because of their Mexican heritage, joking about the Trail of Tears, pandering white supremacists at a Virginia rally, and claiming Kamala Harris doesn’t meet V.P. requirements because of her black heritage.
This kind of behavior should never be tolerated by anyone in this country. Trump claims he is “the least racist person” in the country, but his behavior says otherwise. The real danger is when he makes racially discriminatory remarks, his words impact those who follow him and negatively impact their behavior. Even though he no longer leads this country, his base follows his every command, which is dangerous.
This country was built on free-thinking people. If people do not think for themselves and follow one person’s commands, freedom will cease to exist, and the United States will become a dictatorship.
The Border Crisis is Real
There is no denying the high number of undocumented people crossing into our country. However, one must consider the failures of the prior administration regarding our border.
Before his 2016 election, Trump claimed he would build a border wall, securing our borders at less cost. That was a false claim and ended up costing taxpayers more money than ever before. Trump stifled competition among would-be builders, resulting in the wall costing five times more during the Trump administration than during the 16 years of the Bush and Obama administrations.
The reason for such as substantial cost increase? No bid contracts were awarded to a small group of pre-selected construction firms owned by donators to either Trump or other republican campaigns. Had contracts been submitted for competitive bids, costs to taxpayers would have been substantially less.
- 2007 to 2015 (Obama Administration)—the government spent $2.4 billion to build 653 miles of the border fence, including gates, roads, lighting, and other infrastructure
- By October 2020, the Trump administration spent $15 billion in contracts to build 738 miles of the border fence—$20 million per mile. This is contracts paid, not fence built
- As of October 2020, the Trump administration completed repairs to 360 miles of fence in California and Arizona—no new fence was built
The biggest immigration problem is in Texas, where drugs and immigrants cross the 1,200-mile border along the Rio Grande.
When Trump was unsuccessful in using proper channels through congress to fund his wall, he declared a state of emergency, shifted billions of dollars from the Department of Defense and Treasury Department, then waived 10 federal contracting laws when attempting to fulfill his campaign promise. Oh, and Mexico hasn’t spent so much as a penny on it.
Destruction of Public Lands and Depletion of Water
The majority of the Arizona-Mexico border is on public lands the government set aside for special protection because of ecological value. This includes the San Bernadino National Wildlife Refuge, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, San Pedro National Riparian Conservation Area, and the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
Construction crews for Trump’s border wall spent months dynamiting, drilling, pumping, clear-cutting, and excavating public lands in numerous spots, including Guadalupe Canyon in Arizona. This was only to build roads for construction equipment. The beautiful Saguaros of the Sonoran Desert, protected by law, were lying in heaps next to construction areas. The damage is permanent. Natural migration of javelina, deer, bobcat, mountain lion, and bighorn sheep, and access to their natural water supply is impacted by steel beams installed along main migration corridors.
Natural water supplies are depleted because of border wall construction. This includes the Quitobaquito, a rare desert spring in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Between February 2020 and February 2021, 45 million gallons of water were withdrawn. Artesian-fed wetlands and springs in the San Bernadino National Wildlife Refuge were losing about 700,000 gallons per day as of February 2021 due to construction pumping.
This is only just a touch of how much damage to our water supply and natural wildlife this wall has caused. If you haven’t seen the beautiful national parks along our southern border, it’s too late. Trump destroyed them.
The Bottom Line
The problems above and other issues, including abortion, changes in voting requirements, intimidation at voting polls, police brutality, and more, are inciting the citizens of this country. The anger that Trump incited, leading to the January 6th attack on the capitol, continues and will likely lead us into a civil war.
Look back 10-20 years and the events taking place in this country compared to now. Did you feel safer in 2010 than you do now? If so, that is an indication that the country is floundering.
I’m not going to tell you whether to vote republican or democratic. That is your choice. The proper choice is to look at each individual candidate. What do they stand for, and what are their beliefs and goals? Do they align with your desires for this country?
If the answer is yes, they are the candidate to vote for. Ignore their political alliance, and vote for the best person, not the party. That is how to maintain a politically sound, safe, and free country. That is how we prevent another civil war.