questionsis the us headed for a civil war - or at least a…


Even that idea wouldn't work - people would still be upset over something someone else did, said, etc.


I am curious... how exactly would you physically split the country? I agree with your premise that as a whole we seem incapable of agreeing on anything, but I do not foresee a civil war. I instead believe a revolution of sorts will occur... but not in my lifetime. We aren't at the end of our rope.



There have been a couple of states that have threatened succession such as Tennessee and Texas, but no real support behind it. United we stand strong, alone we fail, and I think people know that. The states are not stupid, they rely on government aid and the ability to defend themselves with the worlds greatest military, kind dumb to give that all up to be the tough kid on the block. Just my opinion.


I'll live in whatever country doesn't include California or New York.


We're definitely headed for a rece...oh, you said secession. My bad.


Secession, no. Dissolution, i can almost see happening except we Americans have lost heart. Look at the uprisings in the Middle East over big problems, and compare to our reactions here on comparable items:
Over there, major protests, even lives lost.
Over here, online petitions and not much more, & you can't include long ramblings of the talking heads whose paid job it is to incite anger amongst their respective followers.
As much as I detest violence, I abhor inaction.
I'll rant no further with this, it's pretty clear.
Plus, my keyboard's dying...


While reading this, I was listening to this. It seems so apropo:


No. Any attempt to divide the country based on political lines would fail, because state lines are not actually where the division occurs, regardless of the map that you look at in presidential elections. California in its entirety is not altogether that much more liberal than Utah. The real divide is between rural and urban communities, and almost no states lack a significant expanse of rural territory, save the smallest in New England. You can check out the Urban Archipelago ( ), which was written after the 2004 elections.

No, there's just no money in splitting up the country along any lines that you can easily draw. And there's plenty of money in keeping two halves of the population at each others throats all the time. Gobs of it. None for us, though.


@stark: That link, by the way, is not... objective, to say the least.


I'd like to believe that even though politicians and a large number of "true believers" are hopelessly divided, the majority of Americans are still rational and reasonable and can get along just fine together.


Agree w/@jeffyn. I'm assuming this is an attempt at sardonic humor. Therefore, I'll give a crooked smile. :-/ Split the country? Towns, cities, counties & states are all 'split' in their beliefs. O-O <----wide-eyed look of amazement.


We are too lazy to go to war.


It is all a game, the 2 major parties play like they could loose this election, and you only have 2 choices or you wasted your vote. The politician has 1 job and that is to get reelected, how do you get reelected? With money, were does the focused majority of the money come from? Not from me or you. The politician owes me nothing.


It's funny ... I get chewed out for being centrist by both sides ... I think people really are just enjoying having someone to blame these days.

This may be a complete fabrication, but I've been told by multiple history buffs that the founding fathers initially wanted to ban political parties, the idea being that people would vote for the individual representative that best matched their set of positions across a wide range of issues, and not just toe-the-line of a party stance. It would have been nice, but I doubt most people would have put enough effort into that approach to make it work in the first place.

No one side is right even half the time, in my book.
People need to learn to address the issues themselves again, and accept that there maybe be multiple viable solutions ... or, more importantly, no good solution. (i.e. having to make a hard choice and give up something held dear in exchange for something more important.)


If we keep "redefining" the Cnstitution, molding it to fit "today's culture" (which is comete bulls(profanity)), we just might.

Abraham Lincoln:
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson:
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

Most bad government has grown out of too much government.


According to Gallup, more Americans identify as Independent than with either party. Political rhetoric panders to the extremes, but it is the centrist/independents/others, largely quiet, who decide the outcome of most elections.


my answer is no, as the whole perception is distorted by the 24 hour news cycle.

the best explanation /answer to this question that i can think of would be Jon Stewart's Final Speech @ the rally to restore sanity.
Speech on Youtube:

Text version if you don't wanna watch the video:

but it all boils down to this: (IMO, and yes i am paraphrasing from the speech)
what we hear every day, is what a sad state the country is in, and how everything would be fixed if we could just work together to bridge our differences, when the truth is, WE DO. In our daily lives, we work together to get things done, both sides making concessions to get things done. The only places that that doesn't really happen are in politics & the news media (esp the 24 hr news networks) .

and then just for fun,
this songified summary by the Gregory brothers(Schmoyoho):


@earlyre: You are right in that the media is feeding us terrible news about how terrible the US is doing, when globally, it's not true at all. I lived in China for a year, and am now living in Brazil, and people are still investing the the dollar, because they know our economy won't completely tank, even with the current problems. From an international investment standpoint, the dollar is still a better choice than most. We are still strong, and still have a lot going for us, we just have to make sure we don't keep digging ourselves a hole...


I don't think secession is possible, abolishment is more likely. I fear massive civil uprising and the potential for civil war does exist. You have a increasingly large group of people dependent on the government to provide their basic needs and a decreasing group of people paying the taxes to meet those needs. The friction between the two groups is rising as the government plays Robin Hood and steals at gunpoint money to give to the less fortunate. ( If you don't think the money is taken at gunpoint try not paying your taxes and see how long until an officer of the law is at your door with a gun handing you papers demanding you pay.) As the rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness are infringed on those paying taxes, the call of the people to alter or to abolish government, and to institute new a government to effect their safety and happiness will increase. I don't believe when the tipping point is reached it will be a bloodless confrontation.


@ruger9mm: I've always wondered if people had to physically write a check or transfer funds from their bank accounts to pay their tax burden each week/month, would they finally realize how much they pay in taxes and make a serious effort to push tax reform? The government was clever enough to realize if you never actually have the money in hand, and it's deducted before you ever see it, you're not going to put up such a fuss.

If my household budget goes in the red, I have sense enough to make adjustments in my spending and cut back on unnecessary expenses. I don't just bury my head and keep spending money I don't have hoping things will get better in the future.


@adadavis: That is an interesting point, however I see a couple key problems.
One, a lot of people who identify as independent don't actually vote at all. Only the votes that are cast are counted.
Second, there are no independent politicians at the national level. Every politician has to pander to one party or the other in order to keep their job. This only furthers the political divide at the level of the federal government as both parties are overrun with the mentality of "if I can't get my way, I will do everything I possibly can to ensure that the other guy doesn't get his way".


@earlyre: While the news cycle doesn't help, it is not a primary culprit in the issue, from my perspective.
Sure, in a normal occupation people will overcome their differences and get work done. However, in government, the parties reward people who do exactly the opposite of that. Parties seem to prefer gridlock over compromise with no concern for the long-term effects of gridlock.
Couple that to the fact that while congress has an approval rating hovering around ten percent, while individual congresspeople tend to poll quite well with their own constituents (regardless of how well they do at fulfilling their agendas) and you have a situation that further encourages gridlock.
So basically, since the fundamental philosophy of the federal government has changed little since the 70s, we seem to be destined to follow the same trajectory to oblivion. And a lot of people won't be happy with where that leads.


@lparsons42: A lot of the people who identify with a party don't vote, either. I have not seen data that shows Independents are less likely to vote in General elections. Fewer vote in primaries because many states restrict primaries to party members. In states (like mine) that have open primaries, more people (higher percentage) tend to identify as Independent, and vote in about the same percentages as people who identify with a party.

The fact that the centrists/Independents are critical to winning an election is why we have the Politician Two-Step : They pander to the left and right extremes to win the primary, then have to race to the middle trying not alienate the centrists. They pick VP candidates based on how many votes they are likely to capture from the middle and the other party. Swing your partner dos-y-dos. The center mass is a moderating factor that forces elected officials to govern from somewhere near the middle or get nothing done at all.



The country has been more divided in the past (various other elections where the popular vote didn't match up with the electoral college vote are good indicators of turmoil in our politics), with a less well educated population, and with less access to opinions from the rest of the country.

Even supposing that we were for some reason, how would that look? It rapidly in our nation looks impractical. Not to say we aren't/won't rot from within, but it won't look like a civil war, it'll just be a flat out collapse under external pressures (citations: Republic of Venice, Western Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire)

But what do I know, I just study history and try to draw parallels, because there's very little new under the sun. It's just people generally don't like acknowledging that.

I would say though we can't trace turmoil to the government not doing anything. Looking at past congresses, little ever got done and everyone was okay with that. The malaise is due to other things.


"Looking at past congresses, little ever got done and everyone was okay with that"
I think the problem is in that statement. We are now at a point where virtually nothing gets done in congress, and almost nobody is OK with that. Most people want to see something done at the federal level - though the country is deeply fractured as to what it should be.
If congress continued to do nothing much longer, the federal government would go bankrupt. Eventually even the military would no longer get paid. Even the people who want to starve (insert your [least] favorite government agency here) to death don't want to see everything run into the deep red.
So an argument could be made that doing nothing is the worst long-term choice of action available. Yet the most pervasive congressional mentality is to favor it if the option of getting your way is not on the table.
From my point of view we are approaching a point where something has to happen. Just a question of what.


For a more in depth view of the news cycle for media outlets run by Rupert Murdoch (he of the scandals that forced the closure of News of the World) and headed up by Roger Ailes (Fox News etc) check out this article.

There have always been Have's and Have Not's. This country was built on the backs of the poor, the immigrants, the minorities, the disenfranchised. Howard Zinn's book , A People's History, was required reading at the college I attended. I recommend it, it's a great read and looks at history from a different point of view.

tl;dr --------> demagoguery has always existed, there is nothing new under the sun


@lavikinga: I have to put money in my savings every payday to save up for my property taxes. So while it's not my whole tax burden, I do have to do that for about 1/3rd of my tax burden. I don't really feel differently about it than I do about my income tax. I wish it was less, I wish I made more. But I am glad of soldiers and police and firefighters and teachers and roads and bridges and parks and clean water and safe food. These things could probably be had more cheaply if they were better administrated, but I am dependent on the things my tax dollars pay for and would not forego them to keep those tax dollars in my pocket.


I'm surprised this was taken as a serious question


@moondrake: Me neither as I come from a long line of military, police, doctors, and educators. It's the wasteful BS pork barreling of our tax payer dollars that bothers me. Each time we create a government "Office of Official Offices" sort of thing, we have to move heaven and earth to get rid of it when we realize it just wasn't practical.