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Posted in: Jihad & Terrorism

Published on Sep 05, 2008 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

The Coming Civil War in America.


Each of the Presidential candidates and those who support them are fighting for the soul of America. Each has a radically different world view; each inhabits a radically different culture. They listen to different music, watch different movies, read different media. Each mainly socializes only with others who are like themselves. They do not talk to those with whom they disagree and when they do, it is often with anger and contempt.

I have lived in both worlds. I still do. There are good people on both sides of the great divide. Nevertheless, their values and tastes are different. One world is a glittering and violent urban metropolis where one can lead an anonymous life–or reach for the stars. The other world is a Small Town where everyone knows everybody’s “business,” prays together, helps out in emergencies, joins the civilian fire department, and usually joins the Army.

And here’s a newsflash for you: Some people can live in a large city psychologically even if they live in a small town and vice versa.

The Democratic National Convention had music by the great Stevie Wonder; Jennifer Hudson, like Senator Obama, a sudden and recent star who won an Academy award for her supporting role in Dreamgirls; Melissa Etheridge; Sheryl Crow; the very popular soul singer, John Legend who performed twice, once alone and once with Will.i.am, a member of the funk/hip-hop group, The Black Eyed Peas. Robert Moore, a Rosebud Sioux tribal Council member, sang a traditionally non-traditional version of the national anthem.

The entire convention, especially the last night when Obama spoke, was the equivalent of a rock concert. To many people, especially younger people, this is what moves them, what is real. Only celebrity, “spectacle,” performance, and popular music have authority, are familiar, and command their respect.

The Republican National Convention had very little music. I myself saw and heard only one young Christian rock singer. Maybe there was more music and I missed it. Perhaps the Republicans decided to focus on the speakers and not on the entertainment. The RNC website lists no musical entertainers, probably courtesy of Hurricane Gustav.

However, the presumably anti-feminist Republicans have now chosen a woman as their Vice-Presidential candidate. Democratic feminists are not at all happy about this because despite Palin’s oratorical gifts and enormous charm, she is a feminist–but from “another world,” one in which feminists are married, God-fearing, pro-military, pro-guns, pro-American energy independence–and anti-big government, anti-taxes, anti-jihad and anti-abortion. It is feared that Palin may also be pro-censorship. Her position on women’s economic rights is as yet unclear.

Today, the Democrats have announced they will employ a troop of “female surrogates,” including Senator Clinton of New York, Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona, and Governor Kathryn Sibelius of Kansas to take Governor Palin on and hopefully steal her thunder away from voters in battleground states.

Sounds like it will be a page from my book Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman.

I wonder why the guys are so uncomfortable taking a woman on publicly? In the political arena, they do so all the time, usually behind closed doors–except if that woman is Senator Clinton. How ironic, that Senator Obama has had to turn to her now.

In my opinion, President Amadinejad might indeed have formidable opponents in Senator McCain and Governor Palin who understand that we are at war and that it is one we must win. Unlike Senator Obama, I bet they do not view the terrorists as “perverting the Islamic faith” (Obama said this in his interview with O'Reilly) but rather, as expressing it all too well. On this very point, (whether there is a “good” and “peaceful” Islam or not), our Republic will either stand or fall.

To be fair: Whether or not they can always practice what they preach, (Clinton got a pass on his various sexual assaults), to their credit, Democrats condemn racism, sexism, homophobia and poverty; support women’s reproductive rights, including birth control and non-abstinence-based sex education, equal pay for equal work, big government, and independence from foreign oil. They tend to oppose the military in general and the war in Iraq in particular.

This is not exactly the Republican Party platform. The Republicans are talking about soldiering and Islamic fundamentalist terrorism and about the dangers of appeasing such terrorists.

As I said: They are cultures, perhaps worlds, apart. McCain has said that he wants to work with everyone, “Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.” I am not sure that Obama has weighed in on this precise point as yet, but he has said that he would sit down and try to work with America’s enemies.

In 2000, when President Bush won (others say “when Bush stole”) the election, the Democrats became enraged, some say “deranged.” That rage has grown. If McCain wins–I predict that the cultural wars will not only intensify but will turn into the beginnings of the next Civil War in America.

What do you think will happen after one side wins and the other side loses? Will blue or red states want to secede from the union? Will there be more violent and ugly confrontations upon encountering ideas and practices with which one disagrees?

Folks: I am in bed with a fever and battling an infection and cannot do further justice to this theme at this time. I hope my readers can fill in the blanks and point out to me what I haven’t covered.

NEWSFLASH: To My Readers: I am very glad to hear from and publish those of you who write–but I am uncomfortable with the direct insults that some, but not most, readers are hurling at each other. Going forward, I will not publish comments that attack someone else as “paranoid, fascist, idiot, moron, ” etc. Attack the ideas, oppose the issues at will. Describe a point of view as “fascist” but not the person themselves.

This is not a high school (or shall I say college) class. Too much is at stake for us to degenerate into simplistic and insulting name-calling.

Thank you.

The Ms Manners of the Internet


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