Glenn Reynolds: "Civil War Has Already Begun In America"

Authored by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, op-ed via USA Today,

Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kirstjen Nielsen experiences at restaurants suggest a 'soft' civil war is well underway. It will get worse unless we learn to stop hating each other.

(Photo: Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty Images)

The other day, author Tom Ricks asked whether we’re heading toward a civil war. "I don’t believe we’re to Kansas of the 1850s yet. But we seem to be lurching ... in that direction,” he wrote.

Ricks was commenting on “What Democratic rage would look like,” a Bloomberg opinion column that quotes political scientist Thomas Schaller as saying, "I think we're at the beginning of a soft civil war. ... I don't know if the country gets out of it whole."

That sounds pretty serious. The column by Francis Wilkinson presents a catalog of things Democrats are mad about — from the existence of the electoral college to Trump’s “propaganda apparatus” — and predicts that if Democrats lose the midterm elections, there will be hell to pay. (And Republicans, you know, could make a similar list of their own complaints.)

“I don't know exactly what that would look like," Wilkinson writes. "But liberals have a great deal of cultural, academic and economic heft, stretching from Hollywood to Harvard. Just this week, some Hollywood powerhouses flirted with leveraging their cloutagainst the Trumpist Fox News. There are endless variations on such a power play. If Democrats opt to use their power more aggressively — breaking rules - Schaller's soft civil war hardly seems unlikely.”

The civil war is already starting

Well, actually this sort of thing seems to be well underway. Hollywood has basically turned its products, and its award shows, into showcases for "the resistance." Americans are already sorting themselves into communities that are predominantly red or blue. And in heavily blue Washington, D.C., Trump staffers find that a lot of people don’t want to date them because of their politics.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was even kicked out of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, because the owner and employees disliked her politics. This seems like a small thing, but it would have been largely unthinkable a generation ago.

And, in a somewhat less “soft” manifestation, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was bullied out of a restaurant by an angry anti-Trump mob, and a similar mob also showed up outside of her home.

Will it get worse? Probably. To have a civil war, soft or otherwise, takes two sides. But as pseudonymous tweeter Thomas H. Crown notes, it’s childishly easy in these days to identify people in mobs, and then to dispatch similar mobs to their homes and workplaces. Eventually, he notes, it becomes “protesters all the way down, and if we haven't yet figured out that can lead to political violence, we're dumb.”

Apparently, some of us are dumb or else want violence. As Crown warns, “We carefully erected civil peace to avoid this sort of devolution-to-a-mob. It is a great civilizational achievement and it is intensely fragile.” Yes, it is indeed fragile, and many people will miss it when it’s entirely gone.

Political contempt is the problem

Marriage counselors say that when a couple view one another with contempt, it’s a top indicator that the relationship is likely to fail. Americans, who used to know how to disagree with one another without being mutually contemptuous, seem to be forgetting this. And the news media, which promote shrieking outrage in pursuit of ratings and page views, are making the problem worse.

What would make things better? It would be nice if people felt social ties that transcend politics. Americans’ lives used to involve a lot more intermediating institutions — churches, fraternal organizations, neighborhoods — that crossed political lines. Those have shrunk and decayed, and in fact, for many people politics seems to have become a substitute for religion or fraternal organizations. If you find your identity in your politics, you’re not going to identify with people who don’t share them.

The rules of bourgeois civility also helped keep things in check, but of course those rules have been shredded for years. We may come to miss them.

America had one disastrous civil war, and those who fought it did a surprisingly good job of coming together afterward, realizing how awful it was to have a political divide that set brother against brother. Let us hope that we will not have to learn that lesson again in a similar fashion.


LawsofPhysics Tue, 06/26/2018 - 10:42 Permalink

Yes, your global oligarchs are very happy. Divide and conquer still works quite nicely!!!

Back to work debt slaves!!!

"Full Faith and Credit"

same as it ever was!!!

macholatte IridiumRebel Tue, 06/26/2018 - 10:51 Permalink


The author is a law professor at U of Tennessee and a well known blow hard and chicken shit describing himself a “Libertarian Transhumanist”. If this article is anything like what he teaches, then he is indeed worthless. He has completely failed to take a stand against the tyranny of the Progs and suggest that “both sides are to blame”. He promotes crap from left wing authors and mentions Trump’s “propaganda apparatus” but says zero about ABC, CBS,NBC, MSNBC, etc.  He has failed to rage against the identity politics used mercilessly by the establishment for decades or even suggest that the Progs who break the law by inciting violence against conservatives are arrested.

Garbage in - Glen Reynolds out.



In reply to by IridiumRebel

Freeze These macholatte Tue, 06/26/2018 - 10:53 Permalink

Trump has done deep long-lasting damage to the GOP, there's no arguing that. There will be a fringe-alt-right Trump party, and classic GOP aligned conservative patriots who happen to recognize bigotry. 


This is just the beginning unfortunately, members of this admin will be lambasted for the rest of their lives. Their kids will have no chance in public-schools. Think about new neighbors? Who is going to hire you? Without moving to the middle of nowhere Nebraska, how will you go out in public?


Yes, your actions have consequences. Be complicit or take a stand for decency.

In reply to by macholatte

skbull44 IridiumRebel Tue, 06/26/2018 - 11:11 Permalink

"...used to know how to disagree with one another without being mutually contemptuous.."

I noted this some time ago with those who would identify themselves as 'left-leaning' or 'liberal' as being anything but. They would attack alternative perspectives not with logic and counterpoints but with ad hominem and strawman fallacies. They would refuse to participate in civil discourse but sling abuses and emotional appeals. It was a sure sign that they did not have the evidence to support their views but only the politically-correct neoliberal narrative to back them up. I always ended such interactions with, "We will have to agree to disagree" to which many simply 'lost it'. Very sad state of affairs.

In reply to by IridiumRebel

HopefulCynical skbull44 Tue, 06/26/2018 - 11:16 Permalink will get worse unless we learn to stop hating each other..."


It will get worse until enough of us stand up and punch the Cultural Marxist outrage machine in the mouth so hard it's picking its teeth out of its asshole.

There's no reason for us not to hate Marxists: they're murderous parasitic shitbags who have no problem instigating violence over ideological disagreements. They murdered well over 100 million people in the 20th Century. If given any sort of chance, they'll gladly murder millions more. IT'S WHO AND WHAT THEY ARE. FULL STOP. They're simply unfit for any sort of polite, mature society.

And, being useless, lazy fucking parasites, the Marxists will never stop hating us for refusing to simply roll over and surrender our hard-fought, hard-won resources to them.

No, the only way this stops is when Marxists are terrified to instigate further violence, because they know with total certainty that they will meet a very unpleasant end if they do. WE. MUST. STAND. UP.

It was not part of their blood
It came to them very late
With long arrears to make good...

In reply to by skbull44

dirty fingernails house biscuit Tue, 06/26/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

This. Shit, 2/3 of ZH articles are slants targeted to incite anger and othering. Same shit goes on all across the MSM. Look at the comment counts on such an article. Poor fat cunt Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant and did, no biggie, and it gets 500 comments. Yet an article about how the economy is wobbling like a drunk chugging a gallon of everclear gets 40 comments. It's like crack for the masses. Everybody looking for a reason to hate

In reply to by house biscuit

Gaius Frakkin'… dirty fingernails Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:06 Permalink

Listen, it's fairly simple.

All the White-haters have to do is back down and give us our country. Then there won't be a civil war. You're never going to reason with that kind of hate so pray that they back down. I'm not betting on it though.

This hippie shit about accepting our differences and 'letting it be' is why we're in this mess. They want to replace your people. It's time to man the fuck up.

The 'soft' civil war has already started and I wouldn't be surprised if it goes 'hard' at any time.

In reply to by dirty fingernails

Sid Davis SWRichmond Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:36 Permalink

Their hopes will be dashed because freedom loving people are much more likely to prevail in a civil war, and the resulting nation will be a disaster for those in the world who keep pushing slavery to the State and rule by the elite.

The philosophy of the left is based on dependence, plunder, and control.  These are not traits that are likely lead to victory against the well armed freedom driven right. 

Cut off supply to the cities, where the leftists are concentrated, and they will be crying like babies after their first week without food and electricity.

In reply to by SWRichmond

OverTheHedge dirty fingernails Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:57 Permalink

 We all know that the FBI successfully convinces people to commit acts of terrorism, and then arrests them for being terrorists. I hesitate to suggest that Tyler is a stalking-horse trying to convince people to engage in acts of violence, but I am convinced that quite a few of the commenters are doing exactly that, because they are paid to do so. 

We KNOW that there are entire regiments of internet warriors employed across the globe to counter terrorism, and it is much easier to create a terrorist than to find a self-motivated lunatic. These people are paid to produce results, and so they will do the most efficient thing to produce results. Do you want to be part of their solution? You may not enjoy the jump-suit.

In reply to by dirty fingernails

Expendable Container OverTheHedge Tue, 06/26/2018 - 14:40 Permalink

Good points you make. Calm heads must prevail, don't allow emotional manipulation.


The following emergency broadcast is by Mike Adams (Health Ranger) who reveals there is a planned coup d'etat currently being attempted against Americans using multiple tactics, - what the several tactics are,

- who is behind it, and

- how it should and shouldn't be counteracted - :


In reply to by OverTheHedge

Chris2 HopefulCynical Tue, 06/26/2018 - 11:27 Permalink

As bad as it sounds we are better off to have the hot civil war now with Trump in office and Dems in minority elsewhere.

Would you have liked civil war with Obama in office?

Dems/Media trying to tamp it down now, they saw the guns coming out.

I'm now trying to figure out where I am best off and how it will play out. Because it's comin' one way or another. If Trump does nothing it comes, if he cracks down it comes.

In reply to by HopefulCynical

Chris2 onewayticket2 Tue, 06/26/2018 - 11:32 Permalink


I got it!

Neptune was 29* Aquarius April 1861 with the firing on Fort Sumter. The civil war ended when Neptune left Pisces.

Neptune was 29* Aquarius in March 2011 when Obama used NATO to attack Libya. It was a test of NATO forces leading without US in charge. The plan is to use NATO forces against us!!!

Neptune leaves Pisces in 2025. Globalization started in the post civil war era.

Whole new country, or whole new world.


In reply to by onewayticket2

Chris2 HopefulCynical Tue, 06/26/2018 - 11:47 Permalink

Marxist media is pushing "can't we all get along?"

No we can't, its gone too far. One side is going to win the other side will be wiped out.

That is plain to see for anyone without their head in the sand.

And don't forget Gen. George Patton was murdered because he saw communists setting up in Germany after the war and wanted to take the German army with him all the way to Moscow.

FDR was a commie so were his jooish handlers.

In reply to by HopefulCynical

I Am Jack's Ma… HopefulCynical Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:37 Permalink

When the neo-Bolsheviks stopped merely protesting and began using mob violence to prevent free speech, and few Dems or “progressives” condemned it... when neo-nazis, about 300 guys organized by s former Obama supporting leftist who dated Jewish gals (in other words, C’ville was staged, a psy-op) , lead to weeks of Nazi panic and EVERYONE not on the Dem Left was smeared as a nazi or ‘alt-right’ the writing was on the wall.


Some call themselves anarchists but they are all Bolshevik in ideology -  anti-nationalism (for Europeans only, mind you) and anti-free speech and favoring violence to prevent dissent.

They will pick a fight thinking the Center and Right will react as *they* would. 


That’s unwise as fuck.

In reply to by HopefulCynical

Tristan Ludlow HopefulCynical Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:52 Permalink

To HopefulCynical  + 1M  Most of the libertarian/conservative people I know will turn the cheek until they can turn no more.  They lose to the aggressive Marxists. Venezuela is a good example.  The country is controlled by psychopaths.  They should have fought back much earlier.  I see the same for our country.

In reply to by HopefulCynical

vladiki TBT or not TBT Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:07 Permalink

"Hollywood powerhouses ..  flirted with leveraging their clout" !! 

Does he mean ACTORS?  Those average IQ's with huge egos paid huge sums for spending all day pretending to be somebody else?  Now - they're the folk we'd want to listen to!  They'd know better than we do whats good for us.

Heaven spare us from this Celebritocracy.  If they work to open up the fissures that are present in every society, these arrogant bastards will be the first casualty.  Best they get humble quick and be silent before they're silenced.

One vote each.  That's how our system works.  George Clooney = unemployed steel worker = Manhattan socialite = CNN gabbler = checkout chick on casual gig ....    ALL EQUAL at the ballot box.  The further we get from that the more inevitable our democracy will fail, and segue into an Authoritarianism which would be very unkind to Hollywood.

In reply to by TBT or not TBT

Dickweed Wang Bulgars Tue, 06/26/2018 - 11:07 Permalink

There's a damn good reason why in the "old days" it was always said (and understood) that there are primarily two things you don't talk about in "mixed" company; 1) religion and 2) politics.  That that goes on regularly these days is just another indication that America has lost it's compass as far as interacting with each other.  Things like social media make the problem a thousand times worse due to the fact that the dialogue between people is being done remotely rather than face to face, i.e. people say things online that they would never say to someone's face.

In reply to by Bulgars

GeezerGeek East Indian Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:33 Permalink

You reminded me of something I did in college, back in the late 60s.

Some of my fraternity brothers were dating girls from the same nearby women's college. A female friend from my home town also went there and, at my request, secretly tape recorded a few of these young ladies talking amongst themselves. When I played the tape back for my brothers they were astounded. They could not believe how the prim, prissy girls they were dating could have such potty mouths when alone. Separate but equal has bad connotations, but in this type of instance it provided a needed buffer zone.

In reply to by East Indian

DosZap Bulgars Tue, 06/26/2018 - 13:54 Permalink

Won't be Trump, Obama set this nation on a COURSE of HATE, racial divide not seen in 25 years+, and EO's that NO one would pass on the GOP side.

Trump is doing exactly what needs to be done, anyone doubting him, is a dummy.Everything he has said regarding the DEEP STATE and Clinton, is /has been dead on.

In reply to by Bulgars