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A new read on Jewish life
30 November 2022
6 Kislev 5783
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How the Next Civil War Begins

America is lurching toward collapse. Its democratic norms will bring about its final unraveling.

All national declines ebb and flow. The street violence and chaos of the summer of 2020 marked the moment the curtain was pulled back, the country’s true psychic state revealed for a single season before the curtain fell once more—President Biden entered office, the pandemic subsided, normalcy seemed to return. In the two years since that summer, I’ve considered the specific series of events that might trigger our final national fragmentation, often in Tablet, and it now seems clear to me that America’s demise will be inaugurated by what has become our country’s pastime: a contested election. In two years from now, both parties will declare themselves the electoral victor, with neither presidential candidate conceding defeat; state electors will ratify two different presidents, according to their preferred narrative or conspiracy theory; the country will then fracture, legally and institutionally, along red and blue lines. According to recent polling, more than 50% of Americans expect a new civil war in the “next couple of years.” It’s a pathetic scenario more fitting for a semi-authoritarian backwater than the world’s beacon of democracy. National breakup efforts will be coming and, if we’re being honest, they’re behind schedule. Since 2000, the U.S. has witnessed three contested presidential elections, with one side labeling the results illegitimate. In 2000’s Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court shut down vote recounts and delivered the election to the son of a former president, a man whose family, at various points, maintained that the 1992 election itself was “stolen” by the querulous Ross Perot and the meddling “liberal media.”...

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Navigate to The Sports Mitzvah podcast page

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Navigate to The Sports Mitzvah podcast page

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