Are we actually heading towards a second civil war?

In this excerpt from the Building Psychological Strength podcast, April Seifert talks with Peter Montoya about the similarities between the civil war of the 1860s and our current political division, and what brought Peter to name his new book The Second Civil War.

I guarantee that there are people and I’m going to say the divisive words right now, I guarantee that there are people who are struggling in conversations with Covid, with their families, with the vaccine, with their families, with mask mandates, with their families, politically, with the new administration, with their families, the old administration, etc., etc..


I mean, immigration with their felt like all of these topics that how many of those words that I just said are just on the do not talk about list when the family is together. So probably all of them.


Right? And everybody is like shipping them out loud and cringing in their cars as they’re listening to us. But OK, so you wrote this book and you titled it something pretty provocative. You titled it The Second Civil War A Citizen’s Guide to Healing Our Fractured Nation.


Where did you get that title? That’s amazing.


So I actually do think we are in a civil war of sorts. And let me explain what that means. So our first civil war between 1861 and 1865 was a hot civil war. We had two different armies, two different governments, 620,000 Americans died. Troops died,


I mean. Another 100,000 civilians, which was two point three percent of the population. It was just entirely awful. And that was a hot civil war. And we don’t have that today. There have been deaths because of shootings, riots and terrorist bomb explosions in 2020.


There were about 35 deaths over political reasons and maybe about a couple of dozen this year, which is awful, awful. But in large part, this is a cold civil war and a cold civil war is are any other techniques that are not hot.


And how that’s played out for us is largely through shaming and shunning. So those are Cold War tactics and it’s not so much happening at the party level. I’ve called both the Republican National Committee and the DNC, and I asked them, do you want to annihilate the other party?


And they go, what? We want to beat them at the ballot box. But no, our country needs two functioning at least two functioning parties to be an effective democracy. So, no, we don’t want to annihilate them. We definitely want to beat them.


So there’s no institutions who are kind of waging this war of annihilation. So where is the war being waged? I would call it a social civil war. It’s being waged friend against friend or child against parent or parent against grandparent or employer versus employee.


And what we’re seeing is the tearing of our social fabric. And that’s a metaphor. Then it goes, oh, yeah, I totally understand that. But what that really means is, is almost all of us have friends we don’t talk to anymore or family members who we see less now or people who were less likely to cooperate with or


people who we get around and we’re automatically anxious. So our superpower as a country is our optimism and our ability to cooperate in this cold civil war, this social civil war is undermining our ability to cooperate and get along and solve our national problems.


If you are more committed to national unity than partisanship, please check out my book, The Second Civil War: A Citizen’s Guide to Healing Our Fractured Nation. My book will challenge you to improve your relationships with friends and family.


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