Beyond the Cusp

February 19, 2018

The Destruction of Civility

 

Some cynics I know whose idea of civility is simply saying, “Who cares,” claim that civility is overrated and not really required in the world today. Our thought when hearing this is that we have a question we silently pass over in our minds of whether civilization is necessary in these people’s world or is that too overrated and not really required in the world today. We believe that civility is a prerequisite for civilization for without the cooperation and polite exchange of ideas, civilization ends up in tatters and will not function. The United States and much of the world are heading for a collapse of their common civilization which in the end will be traced by those who come along to study the failings of Western Civilization will conclude that first there was a breakdown in civility which was instrumental in the downfall of the civilization. There will likely be many theories on what drove the people to such a point that they no longer could find any common ground and to totally dismiss one another leading to total societal dysfunction and dissolution breaking the civilization down. The common theme will likely include the breakdown in communication where the various divisions in the society would refuse to accept any contrary view demanding that only they have the right path and because they know they are correct, they never need to tolerate the idiots on the other side or who hold contrary opinions.

 

In the United States, the lack of civility is so obvious that it has caused people to actually unfriend people on Facebook and other social networks banning receiving any posts from these former online friends. Europe has suffered from varying degrees of political poisoned discourse where political differences would lead to uncivil behavior between groups. What is even more worth noting is that some of this behavior can occur between groups whose politics appear to be of the same ilk, either left or right, nationalist or universalist, libertarian or authoritarianism or other definitions of political thought where two parties fall into the same general definition yet go after one another as if they were opposing adversaries having disagreements over near everything, not over slight differences. The levels of incivility in politics has reached levels not seen since probably the 1860’s and the slavery abolition movement. According to Wikipedia, covering political incivility, “Eight out of 10 Americans believe that the lack of civil discourse in the political system is a serious problem. Eighty-two percent of American respondents to a 2011 survey felt that political advertisements were too “nasty” and 72 percent believed that political commercials that attacked the opponent were “inappropriate”.” The levels and amount of political and public incivility have become even more overblown and in some ways appear to be cracking the very fabric of the society. When marriages have broken up over the spouses having voted for opposing candidates in the last Presidential elections, business partners have dissolved their businesses in order to go their separate ways after their disagreements in the last election, and family members have declared other members of their families dead to them over their votes in the last election are all signs of excessive dysfunction and an excessively high level of incivility to points where it could easily become harmful to the society itself. Such fracturing in a society has to be something very dangerous and destructive which could lead to a societal breakdown or a breakdown of the political system.

 

Either societal or political fractures are of such destructive capabilities that either can lead to the destruction of any nation no matter its size or presumed sophistication. The United States is one nation to have survived the ultimate fracturing of their nation which resulted in their Civil War. The recovery from that division and war took a great deal of effort and time but was facilitated by an eventual forgiveness between the two sides and the coming industrial revolution which massively altered the face of the society and the need for slaves to work on the plantation farms. They were replaced by tractors and harvesting machinery which replaced manpower. America had entered the age of machines and she never looked back. Now their society is facing new threats where the two sides in the political front have drifted so far apart that there appears to be no common ground. Politics is dependent upon there existing neutral ground where the two opposing parties can meet when designing and passing legislation and keeping the government functioning. When the two separate sides, be they a ruling coalition and the opposition as in much of Europe or the two main parties as in the United States, there need be some area where the opposing sides can meet finding common ground for the common good of the nation. But when the two sides feel that they must oppose everything from the other side no matter what because their voters refuse to admit there can be any agreements, then the attitude is poisonous enough to cause a complete breakdown of function by the government. All which would be required to bring such a government into collapse or bring a coalition to calling for a new set of election is for a few members of the majority to fall out of line and join the opposing side ending any majority.

 

Civility

Civility

 

This is partially what President Trump has been facing with the ‘Never Trump’ Republicans throwing the Senate completely beyond any ability to accomplish anything meaningful. When one political party is voting as a block against every effort and a sector of the majority party have decided to support the minority party, such a situation easily would lead to what appears to be a virtual coup. But the problems in Washington D.C. are a small part of the problem which could be resolved by the midterm elections, especially if President Trump can gain support in the Senate against historic records. But the political split which is so severe in the United States is also echoed in the public. The split in the United States is easily defined, the people on the coasts and living in the major cities and the more rural citizens and those in smaller cities and towns. The split also is between those who are religious attending church or synagogue and those who are secularists. This might be another reason why the two sides are so far apart and cannot find anything in common. One can only guess whether the split will heal or if one side of the political split will become preeminent and eclipse the other side. We anticipate that the arguments currently invigorating the United States may subside once one side prevails. The one thing we can likely guarantee is this conflict will continue throughout the entire Presidency of Donald Trump and possibly beyond should President Trump be reelected and Vice President Pence follow him into office. We can see the eventuality of the Republican moving even further to the left while their base moves further to the right which will destroy the party. Once such becomes apparent, then the Democrats will begin to win every election as why vote for the Republican if they represent pretend Democrats when you can elect a real Democrat. Eventually the former and now disgruntled Republicans and the remnants who remain truly conservative establish a new party, the Republicans will merge with the Democrats and a new split will appear, but this may be too late to prevent the United States becoming exactly the same as the European nations which will be the end of the Western World as they will no longer have any military to protect them. Without the United States military, the West will collapse and fall to whoever decides to take them over and that will be the death of democratic governance.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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