War and Culture, Pt. 2: The shooting starts when the talking stops
If you were to look at the electoral map of the United States in 2016 by county, not by state, you would see, well, this:
Eventually, those differences caused the two sides to stop talking to each other completely. And that is when the worst and bloodiest war that Americans have ever fought, came to pass- because the South eventually realised that its issues with the North could no longer be solved through dialogue, and had to be settled using blood, fire, and steel.
What I am seeing brewing right now indicates that the probability of another rupture, of even greater magnitude, is now large enough to start taking seriously. And this time, the side that is most likely to cause the shooting to start is going to be on the losing side.
The Coastal Elites
The Great Unwashed Rest
This is news to precisely nobody, of course, but it illustrates nicely the nature of the division of the United States. Urban versus suburban and rural. Coastal versus heartland. Cosmopolitan versus small-town. Atomised and secular versus familial and religious. The list of polar opposites that describe "them" versus "us" goes on, and on, and on.
The problem for the coastal elites is that they think that they are the real America, because they have never had to listen to or talk with anyone who thinks differently from them. Yet the real America is not in the big cities and fashionably wealthy (and almost always lily-white) suburbs. It is to be found in the American heartland of small towns, back roads, sleepy little villages, and decaying Rust Belt factories.
That America is not nearly as densely populated as its urban counterpart, which is why Donald Trump won the electoral college with a 30-state victory but lost the popular vote by 2.5 million votes. America, like most Western societies, is heavily urbanised, so the majority of its people live in the big cities and towns.
And that is why the heartland of the country is usually forgotten- because the people who are supposed to make decisions on their behalf, at least at the Federal level, are almost completely divorced from the reality of the people who sent them to the Capitol to defend their rights.
The end result is that the country is not-so-quietly tearing itself in two- and neither side is interested in talking to the other.
It's Always Been Two Countries
In reality, however, this country has pretty much always been split along ideological lines- going all the way back to the Founding itself.
On the one side, we have always had the small-government libertarian types. Back in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they were the Southern Democrats. They were primarily advocates of an agrarian-focused, decentralised, minimalist, small-government philosophy that generally left people the hell alone to get on with their own business.
On the other side, we have also always had the mercantilists, the industrialists, the big-government centralists. They believed that a strong central government was absolutely required to prevent the new nation from being overwhelmed by its competitors and sinking into irrelevance or slavery under a foreign power.
That ideological difference has persisted, in various forms and espoused by various parties, all the way through to the modern day. That is of course well known. Eventually, the divide became so deep and so bitter that it resulted in the War Between the States, which Northerners rather oxymoronically refer to as the Civil War, and Southerners somewhat more accurately refer to as the War of Northern Aggression.
That divide was eventually papered over, at least somewhat, by the North's crushing victory over the South. To this day, the South still hasn't fully recovered from that defeat and the years of the Reconstruction Era that followed- and the wounds and scars inflicted by that defeat still linger on.
But- and here is the key difference between then and now- even throughout those times of bitterest division and discord, the two sides were able to talk to each other, right up until the time for talking was over and there was nothing left to do but start shooting.
And that is precisely what America has now lost.
You will not find finer exemplars of the two spirits of America than Presidents Adams and Jefferson. One believed completely in a strong central government; the other believed equally completely in a weak one. The two argued, often contentiously and always with eloquence and conviction, in favour of their respective positions.
Yet the two of them were also closer than brothers. Their respect for each other transcended their political differences and united them in their love for their new country, and their desire to see it succeed. Not for nothing have they been called "Founding Brothers".
This is what America has lost today. The two sides of the debate no longer talk to each other. They talk past each other.
I do not necessarily claim this to be a bad thing, by the way. The reality is that the Right understands full well how the Left thinks by now. But the Left has absolutely no bloody CLUE how and why we think the way we do.
Our positions- particularly those of the alt-Right- are rooted in evidence, fact, and a cold-blooded appreciation of the realities of the human condition. Our predictive models are better than theirs because ours actually work, and because we modify the assumptions going into them when they don't work. Our ability to adapt, react, and overcome is far greater than theirs because our thought process is predicated on the fundamental axiom that Man is Flawed, Fallen, and broken, and cannot be redeemed by his fellow Man no matter how hard we try; as such, we don't get hung up on stupid shit that doesn't work.
Their mental model is outdated and deeply flawed. Their predictive skills are woefully inadequate for the new realities that they face. They are having the devil's own time adapting to the new world- a world that they never expected would exist in the first place.
I've seen this in my own family; when Donald Trump was elected, my parents and especially my sister simply could not fathom how on Earth such a disaster could have befallen the world- but because I had been paying attention to things that they hadn't been, and because I was capable of looking far beyond my own experiences at the realities on the ground, I had predicted a Trump victory since late May and was not particularly surprised when he actually did win.
And since then, as I had also predicted, he has proven to be a far more sensible President(-elect) than his campaign rhetoric had led people to believe.
But the fact remains that the two sides of the country are no longer talking to each other. And that is extraordinarily bad news- for one side, not the other.
As you see from the map above, the Left Coast elites are concentrated in specific bastions and surrounded on just about all sides by the very people that they so despise- and yet depend upon to supply all of their basic necessities in life.
I'm no military strategist, but even I can figure out that it's generally a very stupid idea to piss all over your own supply lines when surrounded by potentially hostile forces. Yet that is exactly what the Left has proceeded to do by throwing a truly epic shit-fit ever since the election of the God-Emperor.
The outcome of this increasing divide is almost surely going to be war, once again. The talking has long since stopped; I'm pretty much just waiting for the real shooting to start. The question that every American then must ask himself is, "which side do I choose?"
If you believe in what a predominantly white, productive, small-government America once stood for, then the answer is obvious: it's that sea of red out there in "flyover country" that has been treated like a cross between fungus and vomit for the better part of a quarter century by the very people who now demand that the will of those same folk be overturned by force.
*Hat tip to LTC Tom Kratman, who found that map and used it for his EveryJoe column from a while back- from whence I duly pinched the same.