A sheriff in Lubbock Texas recently made a surprising comment “predicting” there would be a civil war in America if Obama were reelected. Not long after that a couple of American soldiers got caught plotting to assassinate President Obama. It didn’t surprise me at all that either of these events happened, and it worries me that I was so unsurprised.
The extreme conservative right has been beating the civil war drum since 2008, and what started out as a slow clap has finally worked itself up to a fevered pitch, and I blame conservative shock jocks and Fox News pundits almost entirely for this. They’ve been acting like fire and brimstone evangelical preachers this whole time. It’s just taken them this long to play enough hymns and preach enough sermons to get the conservative base worked up like a church revival.
I don’t know why they’re doing it, but I can see what the end result is. They’re poking a bear with a stick, and by “bear” I mean “millions of people who already own A LOT of guns and resent authority.” And by, “poking with a stick,” I mean, “feeding sensationalized disinformation to…” it was only a matter of time before a self-proclaimed Republican somewhere in America acted on what people had been thinking after watching Fox News.
The thing about that is, yeah, the American government is completely broken. That’s been front page news since we were born, but civil war won’t fix that. All it will do is make America turn its gargantuan war machine on itself and shoot itself in the foot. No group of Tea Part militia men could possibly defeat the U.S. military no matter how many shotguns and rifles they owned.
If a rogue group of battle-hardened veterans started attacking politicians, the American government would have to declare martial law on all of its citizens, which would needlessly inconvenience and infuriate an already stressed out, anxious, and fearful population. The worst consequence of even a small scale violent rebellion in the United States would be shutting down travel and business. That would stop people from working, getting paid, or buying goods. If roads were shut down or became unsafe to travel on, then consumer goods would stop reaching markets. Once grocery shelves ran dry, very few Americans living in suburbs or cities would have any way of getting more food except to fight their neighbors for it, and since there are so many guns in America, that’s a recipe for total collapse of civil order. Anything remotely resembling civil war in the United States is a lose/lose situation for everyone except America’s enemies. Anyone doing any saber-rattling is either completely detached from reality or wants America to lose.
The ironic thing about all of this is that there’s a perfectly sane, nonviolent solution to all of these problems built right into right-wing, conservative values. Conservatives, you want government out of your lives. You want to set the laws where you live. You don’t like handouts. You believe in hard work, fiscal responsibility, and fair compensation. And between the lot of you, you’ve also got a ton of money.
You could channel all of those strengths into butting heads with a bankrupt government that’s going through the death throes of an unsustainable empire while being bled dry by welfare queens and an unnecessarily huge and epically wasteful military… but you expect the American government to collapse if another Democrat gets elected anyway. So why not just let the government you hate so much die a natural death? Then you can be the first in line to pick up the pieces instead of being the first to drag yourself out of the rubble you went out of your way to create.
And let’s be honest here for a minute. If the Chick-Fil-A protest was any indicator of how prepared you are to put your money where your mouth is or endure hard times, then armed rebellion is not an option for you. You will fail, but if you know one way or another, America is heading towards its next great depression, then the most important thing you can be doing right now… is preparing for a great depression.
During Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, he raised over $500 million from conservatives, and all of that money got flushed down the toilet when he lost. Imagine how big of a trailer park you could build with $500 million. You could build a trailer park the size of Pecos County, and since Donald Trump is on your side he could Trump it up. With or without trailer houses, you could build your own conservative Utopia surprisingly easily in this day and age. Then all the godless liberals can go to hell inconspicuously outside your walls while you wait for the rapture securely inside.
If you build your own cities then you’ll get to do things your way there. If you design your city to be sustainable then you won’t be dependent on your government. The fewer people are dependent on the government, the fewer people the government can depend on in return. You can assert and enjoy your independence by simply living independently, but that means moving off the grid and building new infrastructure.
You might not want to move off the grid though. You might feel like you paid for the grid with your tax dollars and therefore it’s owed to you. Well, as true as that may be, that grid is broken and unsustainable. It’s a cash sieve. It’s a white elephant. The smartest thing anyone can do is move out of the suburbs and into sustainably designed, self-sufficient communities. If everyone did that then it wouldn’t be a problem when the old system finally dies from eating its own tail. Then we could all just pick up the pieces without having to fight each other over scraps.
On a final note, I just have to ask, was Jesus a builder or a fighter? If you want the world to be a better place then build a better world. That option is still on the table. In fact, the more violent and destitute America becomes the more you’ll wish you had built a sustainable world when you had the chance. If you ever get to thinking that you can bomb your way to a better world, just ask any Iraqi how well that works.
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