Is Another “Civil War” Among Us?

Reflections on the Great Divide in 2020

Is Another

Christian Pannullo, Staff Writer

The word “war” could mean something different to everyone. Some might think of it as a series of bloody battles between countries or territories over a difference in policy or a fight against oppression, such as the first two world wars or the U.S. Civil War.   Some think of it as a strong disagreement between two opposing sides going to extreme political lengths, such as the Cold War between the U.S and Russia.  For me personally, I think both of these interpretations are accurate definitions of war. Now, will the average American say that in the next few years liberals and conservatives will engage in gunfire, explosions, and vast destruction because of the differences of the 2020 political issues? No, probably not.  However, based on the way some Americans have dealt with the presidential election and the issues regarding racial inequality, things are not looking too good either.

Connections from the 1800’s to the 2000’s

When debating about whether our country is heading in the direction of another civil war, it makes the most sense to connect it back to where it all started. In the mid-to-late 1800’s, war broke out between northern states loyal to the union, and southern confederate states breaking from the union, mainly because of their differences of opinion on slavery and economic function. There’s a strong similarity between these two eras: the issue of racial inequality. Ever since the killing of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement has become more prominent, with many Americans protesting against our own law enforcement. Some of these protests have led to actual riots and violent street interactions. Many Americans support this movement, while many other Americans don’t, believing that it is not an issue of racial inequality, but rather an issue of police brutality. These other people support the All Lives Matter movement. When one side of America is protesting or even rioting based on racial issues, and one side is not, there is obviously a strong disconnect amongst the groups.

The Violence  

According to Washington congress polls, along with historians over at Stanford University, political and/or racial related violence in America has been at its highest in 2020 since 1872. CNN posts and articles detailed over 200 new deaths or violent outbreaks monthly ever since George Floyd’s death back in May. Also, according to a New York Times article written by national journalist Neil MacFarquhar, police departments across the country have prepared and been taking precautions for violent outbreaks ahead of election day. A difference in opinion for a presidential candidate is one thing, but for our own law enforcement to have to worry about violence after the election is dangerous and unnerving, similar to how protesting is one thing and rioting is a completely different thing.

With the year starting off with a national shut down, then the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans due to Covid-19, the last thing we need is more blood on our hands due to injustice.

As many might not want to admit it, all of this violence in our country could very well lead to more serious issues, such as another civil war.

The Presidential Election and Coronavirus Pandemic

Obviously, because of the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 presidential election is regarded by many as the most important in our nation’s history. Our new president will have a lot on his plate, such as enforcing control over the spread of the virus in our nation, getting back on track for economic progress, and having to put an end to racial inequality and violence on the streets. The question of  “Who the right man for this job?” was answered with closely divided polls.

While I’m not writing to give my political opinion on who should have won, I think it’s important to address an issue that has been on my mind. Throughout this election process, I’ve often asked my friends or peers about their views. I’d say about 90 percent of them said something like, “Either way there’s gonna be violence in our country,” or,“No matter who gets elected things are only going to get worse.” 

Why has our nation’s election come to this? An election is an election. Two sides have different opinions, whoever wins, wins, and we move on. We as the American people must put our trust in Joe Biden now; he is our leader and we don’t have a choice but to accept him. 

All of this “violence after the election” and accusations of the election being “rigged” lead to nothing but strife. If we don’t move on from the fact that we have to put our trust in someone new in office, we won’t be able to come together and fix all the issues we have right in front of us. Civil wars only start when a country gets divided and right now, I personally believe our country is more divided than ever.

So, Will Another Civil War Start? 

There is no easy or obvious answer to this question. Most people really like to say no; after all, our modern-day times and those from one hundred and fifty years ago were different for sure, but you still can’t help but put the pieces together. 

It is not all up to Joe Biden and the oval office to bring our country back together. American people have to do their part, too. This includes wearing masks when going out, having a political opinion that advocates for justice but doesn’t disrespect the opposing party, and being able to protest for equality and equity, all while not using violence or corrupting law enforcement.

Together we can prevent another civil war and prevent violence in our country, but after everything 2020 has given us so far,  will the start of an American war really surprise anyone? Probably not…