This is a difficult post to write. Mainly because we are not supposed to talk about such things. But what is more important, we are not to believe such things. And the last thing any of us want is to believe that our nation is at war with itself.
The idea that we could find ourselves in some kind of civil war isn’t a new concern of mine. Going back to some of the first blogging I did in 2010, I have written and talked about the possibility. My prayer was then and still remains that we could avoid it.
So when I saw the title of Dennis Prager’s column at Townhall.com entitled “America’s Second Civil War,” I clicked on it with some trepidation in my heart. Dennis is not one given to hyperbole. In fact he is a very reasoned and thoughtful commentator. When I read it, my heart sank. Then add what is happening in California to his thoughts and I have to conclude…
I think he is correct in more ways than I want to admit.
As evidence, yesterday’s Rasmussen Presidential approval poll shows that 40% of the people strongly approve of President Trump’s performance. 40% strongly disapprove. The key word is “strongly.”
You have two groups that make up 80% of the country that have very different ideological visions for the fundamental makeup of this nation. These differences go far beyond tax rates and foreign policy. They go to the very heart of how society should be ordered and governed.
A Cold Civil War?
The word “civil” means “relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns, as distinct from military or ecclesiastical matters.” One of the definitions of “war” is “a state of competition, conflict, or hostility between different people or groups; a sustained effort to deal with or end a particular unpleasant or undesirable situation or condition.”
As I watch the news and scroll my social feeds, it sure fits those definitions. Two heavyweights with large differences in how they think the world should work, seeking to somehow navigate unseating the other without a full fledged hot war. Sound familiar?
We fought a “Cold War,” with the Soviet Union for decades with a similar setup. That’s why I see our present civil war as one of the cold variety. There is a lot of posturing and rhetoric with chess moves on the diplomatic and policy front. Skirmishes on the streets as the left’s protests become more violent mirror the global skirmishes between the United States and Soviet Union.
The question nobody dares to ask or answer.
Will it remain cold?
We have just elected a new President. Regardless of what you think of him or his leadership style, he has demonstrated that he has a strong vision and is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with his adversaries. Meanwhile, the former President is indicating that he may very well lead the opposition against his successor, either overtly or covertly.
Every past president in the common era has largely stayed away from commenting on their successor’s policies, even when replaced by someone they vehemently disagreed with. That is because they knew the disruption it could cause in the nation. What will happen if one actually goes a step further and actively engages in leading the opposition?
Here then is the setup:
- 40% of the nation strongly behind President Trump.
- 40% of the nation strongly behind former President Obama.
- Each advocates a value system and agenda that is incompatible with the other.
History is replete with conflict within nations between their own people. We lived it 160 years ago. Last time it was primarily two issues. Slavery and states rights. This time it cuts across nearly every social, governmental, economic, and worldview philosophy that forms the fundamental guiding laws and documents of a nation.
How will this resolve itself?
We had better begin opening diplomatic channels with those we disagree with within our own communities and even families. We had better start giving gentle (and then not so gentle) rebukes to those who are engaged in discussions that do nothing but taunt and inflame the other side, including our President.
In short, keeping this a cold civil war will be up to the grass roots people in this nation who are on both sides of the disagreements. It is evident that politicians are not aware of the consequences of their actions or do not care. Both are sobering prospects. Meanwhile, is California becoming today’s South Carolina? This isn’t something to just brush off. It’s serious.
I am redoubling my resolve to be more conscience of measuring my words. Measuring my posts. Measuring the articles I share.
- Do not engage in snarky posts.
- Do not engage in ad hominid attacks.
- Do not engage in ridicule.
Engage in the debate? Yes.
- Do so with a tone that seeks to elevate the discussion rather than put down an “opponent.”
- Make a point based on principle.
- Seek any common ground that may exist.
- Attempt to build some relationship on that.
Do what you can, because we may not get a second chance to get this time in history right. The Great American Reset still has many dangerous paths it can take.
A movie has begun to play out in real life that I’ve seen over and over again. It’s a movie that is easy to love because it always starts out with scenes that fill you with positive emotions and good feelings. It’s called “Euphoria,” and unfortunately it is a movie that rarely ends well.
I understand why so many want to see this movie play out on the American landscape. For a decade or more, the forgotten men and women who have been trodden on and abused have someone in high places is paying attention to them. Someone who promises to protect them and make their life great again.
I’ve never quite seen anything like the period of time we are in now. It is the first time in history an independent populist businessman has been sworn in as President of the United States. This has created the most unpredictable economic and geopolitical environment in my lifetime, and in many respects it rivals those of any period in the history of this country.
That means the Great American Reset that we are all now moving through has multiple paths it could take with multiple potential outcomes. How it unfolds depends on a number of unanswered questions.
It’s been an interesting few weeks. A friend of mine, Uli Kortsch (you will hear more about him as time goes on), spent the first part of December in Europe. There, he met a gentlemen from Israel named Arie who just so happens to be very good friends with the author that has greatly influenced my thinking about what money can and should be – Bernard Lietaer. The next thing I know, I’m having a Skype call with Arie, and the direction it takes is interesting to say the least.
Arie and a group of developers in Israel have created a blockchain (Ethereum actually) based platform whereby you can create both a marketplace and currency to use within that marketplace. Now, those of you who have followed this blog through it’s on-and-off evolution over the last several years know that money and monetary system reform is at the very core of my passion. So to get involved with Arie and his group to help people understand that we can change the very nature of what our money is and the system it is used within… Well, let’s just say it helped make my Christmas more hopeful.
Tonight I sat down to write with a specific topic in mind. It is just by coincidence(?) that my family decided to watch “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” About 20 minutes into the movie it hit me. That is a perfect title for this article. We are all about to go on an unexpected journey.
At some point in the next few years, every one of us is going to have a Bilbo Baggins experience. Drafted by circumstances into an adventure that we didn’t choose but cannot avoid. We will have a similar choice… to not sign the contract and let circumstances decide our future, or to engage with people we have not met and go on a seemingly impossible quest.
The dialogue in our heads is similar to what Bilbo asked Gandalf…
In lieu of a post this week, I’ll pass on some thoughts from my time at OneThing this week. You will have to go to the site to view the video, or go to my Facebook page. Have a safe New Years’ Eve celebration.
This week has been a difficult week to write. I’m fully aware it is the Christmas season and your attention has rightfully turned to your family. I don’t want to detract from that. However… the secular Progressives don’t care one bit about Christmas, and there are events occurring that are of concern. So I’ll just have my say today in a lengthy but important post (this is by far the longest one I have ever written). Barring a significant event, the posts through the rest of the year will be pretty short.
With that said, I’m feeling a little froggy as I write this (you will learn that on occasion that happens). That simply means I feel led to speak my mind without regard for feelings (but always with respect).
It’s been an exceedingly busy week. With Christmas coming on, my wife and I have purposed to spend more time with our family. It’s a priority that I neglected for far too many years. With all the changes that are looming, I want to make sure my relationships are solid first and foremost. Everything else rests on that.
I’ve spent considerable time in thought – and prayer – about where to take this blog in 2017. I’ve created a newly designed web site. It’s close, but doesn’t yet say everything that needs to be said as we enter the teeth of the Great American Reset.
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
One area that I am certain about is that come 2017, my content will be decidedly more overt in connecting the principles of my Christian worldview to the economic, political, and cultural events that will unfold before us. Let me also be clear. This won’t turn into a bible study with lots of Scripture and expository teaching (at least not most of the time).
The Great American Reset is all about change. Too Different for Comfort, by Louis-Vincent Gave brings us face to face with the reality of how technology is set to dramatically reshape the global economy. While he presents some challenging facts, it is far from a “doom and gloom” diatribe. Gave points out that we live in the age of “creative destruction.” Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that many of the new jobs being created are completely restructuring the economic foundation of the country – and the world. That means many of the jobs being destroyed are not coming back in their same form. He calls this a “robolution” – a revolution of economics that is driven by robotics.
Gave quotes Ronald Reagan’s favorite economist, Frederic Bastiat, to make a very important point. “There is what we see and what we don’t see.”
- We see jobs being destroyed.
- We also see jobs being created.
- What don’t see the shift in the types of jobs being destroyed vs. those being created.
In his book, Gave breaks down jobs into 4 categories: