People often can’t, won’t, or don’t want to think the unthinkable. I am a soldier who has been to war and had multiple “Laundry Check” moments after Jihadi mortars whistled in. In that context, I often wonder how many on the left and right understand the last word in the concept, “Cold Civil War.” My guess is that they do not because too many on both sides have an effete, Moral Relativism that will fail if our Cold Civil War goes hot. Reading articles from the Huffington Post and a few others, I had to roll my eyes. A rather typical article can be found at:
In general, I found a total lack of toughness or reality, if either side is going to use the ‘War’ word. On the right, we banter around concepts like ‘truth’ and ‘World View’ but to the left, we look just as morally relativistic (and corrupt) as our side accuses them of being. Bloviators on the left detailed a lot of emotion about crying wives, hurt feelings, anger at Pastors waving Bibles in victory…
In the contextual Moral Realism of hugging a curb in Iraq during a mortar attack and changing my underwear afterwards, I have to ask the question – What does a Cold Civil War look like?
One aspect comes with Ebola landing in multiple cities. Citizens can see on prime time entertainment (otherwise known as the nightly news) the end result of a nation that is unable to reason morally on issues of life. Instead, our moral relativism flows through political and policy decision making that reflects our inability to make MEDICAL decisions that protect health and community. Facing the potential catastrophe of 5 children exposed to victim #1 going to school in four of Dallas’ largest public schools, citizens are discovering this is not prime time entertainment for the sake of pounding a few words about deity into a presidential platform no one reads or Ron Paulers huffing and puffing on the brick walls of the establishment. This is real and I am sure parents in Dallas are wondering if they should let their kids go to school.
Cold Civil War tactics in this situation would be defying ‘political policy’ that says Ebola is hard to get, not transmutable via the air, the schools are safe, yadda yadda yadda… and keeping your kids home. Cold Civil War tactics is mom or dad staying home from work to home school the kids until Ebola is no longer a relevant threat to the kids or your family. Another tactic is zooming to the mega warehouse grocery store and coming back with four or five fifty pound bags of rice, cases of water, cases of beans, and a crate of Rotel and another of Velveeta. I knew some Missionary folks several years ago who said that a human can live on a 50 pound bag of rice and two one pound bags of beans for months. You just have to worry about clean water. Kind of boring but you would live. That’s why you buy Rotel, too.
In other words, think practical. All the verbiage from right and left makes mostly good entertainment and gets citizens angry but we are not yet shooting at each other. In this Cold Civil War, left and right are in the Grocery store parking lot helping each other load 50 pound bags of rice and cases of water in the trunk.
What would a situation look like that could go violent? Glad you asked. Sitting around a fire, smoking cigars, and enjoying two fingers of a fine adult beverage, I asked a retired U.S. Army Special Forces acquaintance what a real Civil War in North America might look like. He told me to dust off my public school math books because one of the most important indicators is simple math.
Apparently, the magic number in any insurgency movement is one tenth of one percent. That is the fraction of a movement that is willing to go violent. If a movement is a couple of hundred or even a couple of thousand, that is a very small number. Put those boneheads in jail and you have shut down the violent potential of a movement. Let the lawyers yell and scream all they want about the first amendment stuff but you stop people from shooting at each other. You keep that little corner of potential violence in a ‘Cold Civil War’ state.
Let’s walk these numbers across a BIG movement. 30 million people own 300 million weapons. One tenth of that is 3 million. They have the energy and drive to write editorials, write their congressman, and put an NRA bumper sticker on their car. 1 percent is 300,000. These folks will hide weapons and ammo, try to work weapons acquisition off the grid, and perhaps provide money and sanctuary to the violent ones. Now for the ugly number. One tenth of one percent of 30 million is 30,000. That is roughly 3 divisions of light infantry. Even George Washington did not start with that many. In the Gun owner community, a lot of the 30,000 have operator class skills. With all the rhetoric, politician screw ups with Ebola, boneheaded decisions about health care, and on and on, it is worth asking how many Ruby Ridges or Wacos the Feds would cook off if they decide to take control of those 300 million weapons. If the gun community gets pissed and that 30,000 (one tenth of one percent) takes the Civil War hot, they could asymmetrically shut down government, economy, and media with assassinations, murders, intimidation, you name it. Most gun owners reject that scenario but the violent one tenth of one percent of gun owners is potentially a lot of people.
I used Gun Owners as an example. What about the gay community? As a boneheaded, rather anal evangelical, my criticism and mocking of gays over the years has been cruel. I have fed the fire of their Cold Civil War while focusing on my own self-righteous rhetoric. Our nation is doing a classic Romans chapter 1 style nose dive into the ground. Sexual sin In Romans 1 is used as an indicator (not the cause) of the pathologies that destroy nations. I get it.
As we agonize over our nation, my wife and I decided to try something different in this Cold Civil War. It is called conversation, listening, and hospitality. My thought as a rather anal, gun owning evangelical is that I already know what war feels like. It sucks. Instead, I want to shut my legalistic, self-righteous mouth, sit down with people from the Gay community and ask them what their story is. Let them speak. When Jesus walked among the sinners, he did not try to criticize them into righteousness. He encouraged dialog. My wife and I fail miserably when we try to criticize our kids into righteousness. On the other hand, dialog brings understanding, humor, laughter… the fellowship and enjoyment of each other that is no longer a Cold Civil War – beginning in our own home.
Sitting outside watching the silhouette of the Rocky Mountains against the setting sun and enjoying a fine Cigar.