Analysis: Rhetoric About a New Civil War Is on the Rise

by Clifford Humphrey and Juan Davalos


In June, we counted 23 articles written about the prospect of a new or cold civil war in the United States. In July, that number doubled to 46. That’s no mere “uptick.”

Right or wrong, these prognostications from both Left and Right are significant for what they reveal about the nature of the political division in the United States. Interest in this topic will only increase as we approach the election in November and whatever lies beyond it.

For this reason, we are launching a website dedicated to collecting and cataloging all the news and opinions on the prospect of a new civil war. We do not aim to be alarmists but to bring attention to the fact that both Left and Right are talking about this topic, and to make it easy to follow that conversation.

By gathering all of the rhetoric on what is perhaps the most important political subject in the last century and a half in one place, we hope that Americans may better understand the nature of our divisions and work to discover unifying solutions.

It’s no secret that political divisions in the United States are at a very high pitch in this election year. The whole world knows it. A Scottish newspaper this week called America a “tinderbox,” “teetering on the brink of civil strife and disorder.”

Of course, we’ve had plenty of political divisions and civil strife in this country since the Civil War.

What’s significant about the divisions and strife today, however, is the strong belief on each side of the political aisle that the other side is hell-bent on causing a new civil war. Political commentator Tim Pool interpreted the recent Antifa attack on a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon as “a second Fort Sumter scenario.” Meanwhile, commentators on the Left are calling Donald Trump “the boogaloo president,” who is engaged in an “irresponsible campaign to foment a new civil war.”

From the articles, videos, and podcasts we’ve collected, several questions arise that are worth considering.

Clearly political divisions in the United States have surged during President Trump’s administration, but the question remains whether Trump is a cause or an effect of these divisions. It seems few people, if any, are objective enough at this point to be able to answer that question in a way that the American public would find persuasive.

If Trump is merely a symptom of the division, then what exactly is the sticking point between the two sides? Is it mostly a cultural and lifestyle difference between red states and blue states, rural and urban? In what way is there a religious character to our disagreements? Are we already two different peoples living among one another? If so, how and to what degree is this division repairable?

A further question that people seem concerned with is “are we already in a civil war?” Since May 2017, radio talk show host John Batchelor and historian Michael Vlahos have held a weekly conversation on “The John Batchelor Show” addressing this very question. If we are to judge from history, they note, the condition of civil war often prevails before any actual fighting does. We have collected all of their illuminating conversations on our website.

These questions are critical because their answers may unlock the mystery to what the exigencies of statesmanship and the duties of citizenship will be in the coming months and years. We hope our website will help those concerned with this topic find answers to questions like these, and to raise new ones.

To paraphrase the man who bore so much of the weight of the last civil war on his shoulders—“with malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to bind up our nation’s wounds and divisions. Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that we may evade the mighty scourge of war.

But to do that, we must first become informed. As Lincoln noted in his “House Divided” speech: “If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.”

– – –

Clifford Humphrey holds a PhD in politics from the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. Juan E. Dávalos is a PhD candidate in politics also at Hillsdale. Follow their website on Twitter and Parler @anewcivilwar.













Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities for our original content, please contact [email protected].

Related posts

7 Thoughts to “Analysis: Rhetoric About a New Civil War Is on the Rise”

  1. Bill in Tennessee

    The Left THINKS they want a civil war. They really don’t know what they would be getting themselves into. They believe all the Tweets they see in support of their positions, but that is a false narrative. So y’all Lefties, just go ahead and try, I can assure you it will end badly for you.

  2. Jose

    This is Global folks. Europeans, Nation by Nation, are thinking the same thing.

    A shock to North Americans is that Latin America has been in Civil War for 100 years. The war got wrapped up in the complexity of the US-USSR Cold War.

    American “liberals” championed Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and other disasters. The left in Brazil has wrecked the country and many citizens are very tired of it. You could go on, Nation by Nation.

    Nobody is happy with cohabitating with the left. We actually just to separate and no life should be lost.

  3. james bellar

    very good. they will fail. he who has the guns wins.

  4. Steve Allen

    There are so many reasons for this that my comments will barely scratch the surface. There was a time when the differences between the two parties were based on a party that wanted to be all benevolent and provide for the less fortunate, and the other party that believed in self reliance and that if you gave someone the opportunity to succeed they would. Some of this belief is (was) evident by the economic success Americans of ALL COLORS were experiencing before the Chinese virus.

    But in the last 2-3 decades globalism driven by the wealthiest, and in partnership with the Socialist UN, decided that a one world government would be the best solution to global harmony (and their financial growth). To view it another way, Globalism vs. Nationalism. Pride in oneself and ones national history are counterproductive to the “common good”. As the famous Socialist and author George Orwell stated, “The most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” This is why the Left wants to remove statues and rewrite history.

    This shift in America got up a good head of steam under the Obama administration and Americans finally realized what was happening to their nation. If Clinton would have been elected President, that would have sealed the coffin for America as a nation. Thankfully Americans realized what was happening and elected President Trump. This infuriated the Globalists and somehow they are now exerting very strong pressure on the Democratic Party to abandon our Constitutional nation and try to force Socialism/Globalism down our throats. This includes programs such as open borders with unlimited global migration, the ban on the ownership of firearms, and the green new deal. All of the turmoil since the election of President Trump is being instigated by the Globalists. Look who’s funding BLM and the antifa soy boys.

    The Right is made up of Constitution loving Americans that are engaging in a fight to retain their national identity. The Left, now being driven by the Globalists/Socialists are doing all they can deconstruct America. After Trump is reelected, the fighting will only get worse, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Leftists in America engage in all out revolution. We are already seeing a preview of things to come in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Denver, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago, NYC, and the list of Democratically controlled cities goes on. These people are not just going to pack up and go home. This violence will continue until there is major push back from the Right through law and order. In closing I would like to point out who is right and who is wrong with a simple example. Who is causing all the violence, and who is putting up with it and not fighting back? IMO the Right has just about had it with all of this violent behavior, and have been putting up with it admirably. When the time for retribution arrives it will be swift and harsh but hopefully not on a global scale.

    1. Dave

      Well said, Steve. The Left went nuts when Trump won the first time, so you can imagine the meltdown that will happen after he gets reelected!

      1. John

        Dave, the left first went nuts during election 2000. When they couldn’t “find” enough votes to beat W, the Clinton administration staff stomped out of the White House like a bunch of 2-year-olds, prying the W keys off the keyboards before leaving.

        1. Dave

          John, you’re absolutely right, thinking back, that seems to be when the political division really started to get even worse (though most on the left hated Reagan in the 80’s in spite of his accomplishments). Gore the bore bitterly contested the election all the way to the supreme court. They never do seem to accept failure well do they?