A Divided America Does Not Mean Civil War

Civil war is in the air this steamy summer—at least according to the opinion polls. Many Americans are unhappy to the point of despondency about our political divisions, which have been mounting for years and have reached a crisis point during the presidency of Donald Trump. I’m not talking about mere partisanship, which is perennial in democracies, rather something more extreme—and potentially sinister.

Last week, a Rasmussen poll revealed that a shocking 31 percent of voters responded that “it’s likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years.” This fear is not just relegated to left-wingers who are gravely unhappy with the current White House. While 37 percent of Democrats feared a new civil war was inbound, so did 32 percent of Republicans, per Rasmussen.

In America, talk of another civil war inevitably brings comparison to the last one, the fratricidal maelstrom that raged from 1861 to 1865. That eminently avoidable conflict, which thanks to political paralysis and stupidity wasn’t avoided, took the lives of roughly a million Americans. Since our country’s population then was about 31 million, that would be equivalent to the deaths of more than 10 million Americans today.

Read the rest at The Observer …