Many writers have talked about the fact that America seems to be in the midst of what is often called a civil war of values. Victor Davis Hanson provides an in-depth analysis of “The Origins of Our Second Civil War.”
Globalization, he says, “had an unfortunate effect of undermining national unity.” While some became billionaires in high tech and finance, most other Americans lost out. To make matters worse, the elites blamed the losers, clingers, and deplorables for driving industries out of the country because they were too racist or xenophobic to get with the globalist agenda.
High tech, he also argues, had a way of disguising poverty. “Suddenly the lower middle class and the poor had in their palms the telecommunications power of the Pentagon of the 1970s, the computing power of IBM in the 1980s, and the entertainment diversity of the rich of the 1990s.” At the same time, the new normal was two parents at work, renting instead of buying, and an eight-year car loan instead of a three-year car loan.
Higher education helped split the country in two. But not only were universities becoming more leftwing, but they were also becoming far more intolerant than they were in the radical 1960s.
Illegal immigration changed America in significant ways. Progressives wanted a new demographic to vote for leftist politicians, while conservatives wanted a pool of cheap, unskilled labor. These waves of immigrants changed the Electoral College map and ushered in tribalism and calls for more diversity.
Victor Davis Hanson has some suggestions about what might bring the United States together. One solution he mentions is a “religious and spiritual reawakening.” Yes, there are political and economic solutions, but perhaps the most important is the need for revival. That may the most important antidote to a country headed for a “Second Civil War.”