How would we slip into Civil War?
The Atlantic has an excellent article that goes in-depth on the Oathkeepers.
For those making the equation of ANTIFA vs. right-wing militias, there is an important distinction. ANTIFA usually operates within a square mile of a liberal city for a short period. They're generally not well-armed, if at all. They arrive in numbers that the National Guard and local police can quell. Louisville saw limited destruction because they prepared for it. Kenosha was as bad as it was due to the Governor's failure to provide the necessary troop levels to deter crimes from taking place.
The challenge is working through the mental gymnastics of comparing the world we would like to exist (a stateless society) and the world we currently live in. It reminds us that no perfect solution exists in ending this violence entirely and permanently in a community full of fallen individuals.
It is an uncomfortable reality for libertarians to look towards the state to keep law and order thanks to their monopoly on violence.
We look at the riots over the summer and can rightly say many cities and states failed to keep this fundamental promise. Mayors and Governors that didn't act quickly are directly responsible for the tragedy that is a lost business or life due to riots. I believe a property owner has the right to protect their property from destruction, especially when the state is failing. I'll admit to discomfort with the idea. Guard Troops and law enforcement have training and experience. A command structure is in place with clear consequences if a soldier ignores orders. They're better equipped to handle riots than random militia members. In other words, existing laws and mechanisms exist, and the help of a Kyle Rittenhouse isn't needed.
What does a Civil War look like? It is the breakdown of the rule of law and into the rule of man. What happens if the election is close and Trump loses, he convinces a large population it was stolen, and America ends up in a place where we have two sides claiming the right to rule.
In effect, we have two constitutions? Most of the existing political structure (Federal, state, and local governments) pledge allegiance to Joe Biden's Constitution. A healthy percentage of the country promises to support Trump's constitution, including 25% of the military and local law enforcement agencies. Militias back them. We now have two well-armed governments, and the side that supports Biden is at a disadvantage due to restraint.
The groups that make up the III%ers, Proud Boys, Boog Bois, etc. are well organized. They've been arming and networking for decades. A flashpoint that activates and mobilizes these groups means well-trained, armed men and women in every community within the country. That's not an equivalent threat to what ANTIFA allegedly poses. It's much more extensive. It's why the US security services now focus more on the danger Americans pose to each other than foreign terrorists.
ANTIFA is undoubtedly a threat to the rule of law, but I also see militias as a threat when gamed out. Most of these groups contain many self-identified libertarians. We can't let coalition instinct tacitly support the breakdown of society. Liberty thrives with stability. Libertarians are marginalized in a power state as everyone becomes seduced by propaganda. That is what is happening now. The last Civil War was a reaction to the tremendous systemic evil that was slavery. We are reacting to words, and those are easily changed if we begin to de-escalate. Libertarians should resist the seduction of authoritarians in their attempt to maintain power.
No mere porky pie, exaggeration or run-of-the-mill spin, the Trumpian lie is “the power lie, or the bully lie. It is the lie of the bigger kid who took your hat and is wearing it – while denying that he took it.” The truth has no purchase in what happens next. The point of Conway’s lie, says historian and journalist Anne Applebaum, author of another recent book on the rise of illiberalism, “was to make people afraid of the person who’s so powerful that they can lie … [Trump] was forcing people to conform to an alternate version of truth that everyone knew was wrong.”
Gessen is also exercised about the change Trump has wrought in the perception of reality. In a chapter titled "The Power Lie," Gessen explains the difference between an ordinary lie that may "collapse in the face of facts" and "the Trumpian lie."
The latter is "the power lie, or the bully lie ... the lie of the bigger kid who took your hat and is wearing it — while denying that he took it. There is no defense against this lie because the point of the lie is to assert power, to show 'I can say what I want when I want to.' "
The media generally assist in this, Gessen argues, even when serious news organizations "fact-check" the president, by presenting two notions of reality side by side and inviting the audience to decide. Right there, the president has won, Gessen says. The lie has been given equal standing with verifiable facts, and the concept of truth has been devalued.
Media bias is real and pernicious, but it's not a magic wand that erases problems with Republicans. The problem in the debate was not Chris Wallace. It was a President that agree to debate rules and then refused to follow them. Fixing "this hot mess" requires the President's supporters saying "keep your word."
“Generally speaking, I did as well as I could, so I don’t have any second thoughts there,” Mr. Wallace said, in conclusion. “I’m just disappointed with the results. For me, but much more importantly, I’m disappointed for the country, because it could have been a much more useful evening than it turned out to be.”
His belligerent debate performance revealed the president has lost the confidence he had four years ago, and it will cost him.
I laughed my way through 2016. He was jocular and funny. This year he was just angry.
A key unsolved question in the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is the duration of acquired immunity. Insights from infections with the four seasonal human coronaviruses might reveal common characteristics applicable to all human coronaviruses. We monitored healthy individuals for more than 35 years and determined that reinfection with the same seasonal coronavirus occurred frequently at 12 months after infection.
In other words, COVID-19 is now a permanent threat.