We've been through 'The Cold War' and we've been though at least one 'Civil War'. [N.B: I used Wikipedia as a resource out of sheer laziness, it's accurate enough for my purposes.]
I'm about to suggest that we really need to start using labels that more accurately reflect reality. Also I'm treading lightly because OWD includes some genuine experts where I'm simply a layman forced to pose questions.
I posit that we are, and have been, in a Civil War since the 60's that has many of the earmarks of The Cold War.
Why is it important to accurately label such things?
We've had two 'hot' Civil Wars in this country (I include the War of Independence) both were clashes of ideologies and cultures. Both resulted in a new self identity for our country.
This Cold Civil War is no less important in shaping what we will become for all it's lack of major bloodshed. We have the liberal/left and the conservative/right, each with the ideal of burying the other, but that set of labels misses a larger point.
The analogy works on so many levels I'm surprised the label hasn't been explored by name by real experts.
But the imperative is that it is a WAR! I rather wish there were a stronger word, but, in fact, I'd call it anything to raise the awareness of those being used to fight it. Yep! One of the analogous elements is that many are being used as proxies by both sides and don't even realize it, or maybe don't care?
There is, at least, one major flaw in the analogy... The 'mutually assured destruction' element works backwards. Probably because it is a Cold Civil War. By avoiding a clear resolution we are heading for destruction.
I did a Google search before I began to see what others might offered about America's Cold Civil War and all I found was this book review from a year ago. The reviewer used a liberal/left frame of reference, but actually captured much of the idea, only to head off into hyperbole.
And Rurik's comment:
I see the situation resembling very much the domestic turmoil which preceded the Spanish Generals' revolt of July 1936, which turned their turmoil into a full civil war.
When we are finally pushed from Cold Civil War to Hot, the results will be much more like Spain, than our own earlier conflict, with its relatively contiguous territories and easily determined front lines. We will see a no quarter asked or given struggle. And we almost certainly will see foreign intervention and participation. The one thing that offers me hope - most of the Shit-for-brains on the other side are the same asswipes who are stridently opposed to having guns or knowing how to use them. And they take great pride in knowing nothing of tactics, operations, or other military matters. I think a gunfight with Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin could be a lot of fun - I just want a little warning so I can be sure to have some armor piercing rounds for Mikey.
presents a more realistic approach, but I don't think we really don't have the number of genuine anarchists to stir the pot, let alone bring it to a boil.
What we have in vast numbers (and on both sides) are those who are insulated from reality by the very circumstances they rail against. Said another way - I'll rock YOUR boat, but don't you dare rock mine.
Which leads me to the second major flaw in the analogy, closely related to the first flaw I mentioned above.
I suspect we will be witness to a sort of entropy. Entropy (also known as 'The Heat Death of the Universe') basically states that eventually the temperature of the universe will reach an average, and very low, temperature that can not sustain life.
The American Spirit is being diluted, or cooled down (if you will), by our own behaviors. We can no longer 'go west' to seek adventure. The American Dream, if it ever really existed as a single thing, is no longer a focus for most of our youth. Political correctness and multiculturalism have helped dampen the fire in our belly.
There seems to be no cause to unite us, nor causes powerful enough to stir us even to genuine action against each other.
It isn't even the 'decadence' outsiders have been fussing about for generations, although there is an element of that.
Our Cold Civil War seems likely to end without even the proverbial whimper let alone the bang.