US citizens can end this war
Hector Garcia and Peter Montoya discuss the potential impact that a second civil war would have on our society today and if our current political divide is comparable in any way. Then they discuss what Americans can do individually to help reunify the nation and if one can resort to violence under certain, extreme circumstances.
So, Peter, you talk at the end of the second civil war that each individual must stop playing the game. What did you mean by that? I’m going to take a one step back. The first civil war, which was awful in the 1860s.
It killed seven hundred and twenty five thousand Americans, and that was about two point five percent of the population. And if that happened today. If we got into another hot war and it killed 2.5 percent of the population, it would be seven or eight million people.
It’d be awful. And there are some people who have blood lust and think, well, the other side deserves it. And so I want a war like that. Just so everyone’s clear, most civil wars, but not all, but most civil wars end with some level of genocide.
There’s almost always some level of genocide. So if you think that is a good idea and that we will ever recover from most civil wars, don’t end. The Civil War only ends when the enemy says it’s over. And so some civil wars have lasted decades, and if not centuries, they will keep fighting these grudge matches for hundreds of years. So the first Civil War had very clear dividing lines. We knew it was over slavery and over federal versus state rights. And we actually had battlefields where we actually knew where the battle was being fought.
So the question is today, first of all, what is the dividing line? And the answer probably is something like, I have a different version of reality than you do. That’s probably one part of it, not the only part.
That’s probably one part of it is I disagree with your version of reality. That’s one part of it. And then the next question is, well, where’s the battlefield? Where is it being fought? And the answer is the battlefield is in your mind.
There are at least two factions, two kind of generalized parties right now who want to occupy your mind, your wallet, your attention, and they want you to be on their side to help demonize the other side so they can win at the ballot box.
Now, I hope that everyone who hears that realizes that if you’re hating half of Americans and I’m saying this without vilifying you, but you have become victim to this, and it does not make sense for our country to try to move forward with vilifying the other side.
So the only way to exit the civil war is not to play the game. It is to lay down your proverbial arms. Stop attacking anybody based on politics and just put down your arms. And the quote that I use this really dates me was from the movie War Games.
And if you remember that movie, they had a computer call Whopper and it was WOPR or something like that. And it started running this artificial intelligence, which it couldn’t have had back in the 1980s, basically doing these different war games simulations.
And they came to realize, the computer came to realize that there is no way to win a nuclear war. Both sides always lose. And that is the same thing. That’s true for the Civil War. There is no beating the other side into submission in our country moving forward.
The only way to win is not to play the game. Well, I hope we can somehow arrive at that mentality. It’s going to take a lot. It’s going to take a lot of emotional wisdom, psychological wisdom and maturity.
And so I hope for the sake of the fabric of our nation, that that we can. And I think the rest of the world is with us there, because, gosh, I have friends all over the world who have told me how much what goes on in the United States is, you know, they’re having election watch parties in Ireland and the UK and Australia and Spain and Italy.
And I think that the rest of the world is with us there. So I hope we pull it off. The world does need our leadership. They need us back in our leadership spot as a beacon of hope, of democracy, of light, of possibility.
They need us. So we have a moral responsibility to continue to be that shining beacon on a hill, to show the rest of the world what a democracy can do, how we can lift people out of poverty, how we can stop oppression, how we can reduce violence, and how we can work together to solve our collective problems.
The world needs us. So let me ask you, are there any times at which what the other side is saying is so egregious that you really do take a hard stand and say, you know what that is? That is morally reprehensible.
That’s bullshit. That’s insane. Are there I mean, what if what if somebody is saying, I really do think the other the other side should should die? I really do think we should go out and take arms up against, you know, our neighbors because they think different differently politically or I really do think that, you know, a certain minority class should be attacked or or something like that. Is there a point at which, you know, we are required to take that kind of stance that we should? Yeah. So I have got a very strong moral grounding.
And there are things that are absolutely no go and violence is one of those. So the United States government has a monopoly on a couple of things, and one of them is the ability to raise taxes. Another one is on large federal spending.
And the third thing the government has is a monopoly on violence. And that was one of the best things that any democracy, any government ever figured out. Because what happens when we get in, it’s called a cycle of violence for a reason.
You push me, I push you harder. You hit me. I hit you harder. And our tribal brains, our ape brains kick in and we will not stop. It is a runaway freight train of revenge that we will keep wanting to raise arms until we beat them, even though if you think about it logically, it is a no win scenario. So I draw a very, very hard line. There is the about the only time to use violence is in self-defense. That’s about the only time to use violence, but otherwise destroying property, vandalizing, physically attacking other people.
It does not help. And almost always, you will be on the be the moral loser on that one. The public will side against you if you enact violence. Yes. 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.
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