The United States has become so polarized–as evidenced in our recent election–that some observers from both the Left and the Right are wondering if we might be facing a new Civil War.
That would not be another military conflict like the War Between the States. The disputes are not between states that have armies. And there is probably little sentiment on either side for keeping the Union together. That’s the problem. Our two sides do not seem capable of existing in a union with each other. What we seem to have lost is our democratic consensus and our overarching identity as Americans. But it’s hard to have a nation or a rule of law or a culture when the major factions do not recognize each other’s legitimacy.