Our Civil War About Nothing
With the most divisive president in our history receiving 74 million votes, about 47% of the voting population, and with some portion of those voters ready to rise up in violent insurrection, we seem to be a hopelessly divided nation. It appears we can’t resolve our differences the way constitutional democracies are supposed to: by legislative compromise or judicial decision. Our time has been compared to the period just before the Civil War, when the country was on the verge of breaking apart.
To be sure, those who voted for the ex-president have legitimate grievances. Elites of both parties failed to remedy the pain and displacement caused by bad trade deals and other manifestations of globalization. Rural communities and small towns have been neglected by a national government dominated by big city coastal elites. But there’s no real partisan political divide here. Many Democrats either opposed those trade deals, or now see the error of their ways, and are even more likely than free-market Republicans to rectify the problems created by globalization and to invest government resources to uplift neglected localities.