13 Oct 2008

Cold Civil War

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Mark Steyn reflects on the ideological division between the two Americas.

The term “cold civil war” was originated in William Gibson’s Spook Country, and applied about a year ago to current politics by Hyacinth Girl.

In the United States, especially in the present election, we get glimpses of two political solitudes that have been created not by any plausible socio-economic division within society, nor by any deep division between different ethnic tribes, but tautologically by the notion of “two solitudes” itself. The nation is divided, roughly half-and-half, between people who instinctively resent the Nanny State, and those who instinctively long for its ministrations. And every kind of specious racial, economic, cultural and class division has been thrown into the mix to add to its toxicity. …

Only in America are they so equally balanced. Elsewhere in the West, the true believers in the Nanny State have long since prevailed.

Democrats and Republicans have become two solitudes, and so, the result of the election will be ugly, no matter which side wins.


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