Josh Barro observed the other day that “the conversation that gets erroneously called a “national conversation” — conducted among select journalists, operatives, activists and academics — is essentially a conversation by and for people who supported Elizabeth Warren.”
I’ve been watching this play out inside the Acela Corridor Bubble. Barbara Walter, the Civil War 2 lady, was on CNN again last night on the latest episode of the new series “Democracy in Peril” with Jim Acosta. In fact, it seems like she has been given a platform on every major outlet in the Bubble.
Here she is with a dire warning in The Washington Post that we are on the verge becoming something called an “anocracy.”
“I will never forget interviewing Berina Kovac, who had lived in multiethnic Sarajevo in the early 1990s, when Bosnia and Herzegovina was moving toward independence from Yugoslavia. Though militias had begun to organize in the hills and former colleagues increasingly targeted her with ethnic slurs, Kovac continued to go to work, attend weddings and take weekend holidays, trusting that everything would work out. One evening in March 1992, she was at home with her infant son when the power went out. “And then, suddenly,” Kovac told me, “you started to hear machine guns.”
The civil war that followed, however, was not surprising to those who had been following the data. A year and a half earlier, the CIA had issued a report predicting that Yugoslavia would fall apart within two years and that civil war was a distinct possibility. One reason, the agency noted, was that citizens were organizing themselves into rival ethnic factions — which tends to occur in societies that political scientists call “anocracies.”
Anocracies are neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic; their citizens enjoy some elements of democratic rule (e.g., elections), while other rights (e.g., due process or freedom of the press) suffer. In the last weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, the respected Center for Systemic Peace (CSP) calculated that, for the first time in more than two centuries, the United States no longer qualified as a democracy. It had, over the preceding five years, become an anocracy.
That rating improved to “democracy” just this month, but to put it in perspective, the current U.S. score is the same as Brazil’s 2018 rating (the most recent available for that country), which was two points below Switzerland’s. …”
Here she is fearmongering in Time arguing that Dump could cause Civil War 2 even if he doesn’t even run for president in the 2024 election:
“Ask most people why countries break apart and many will say that different groups sharing a single country naturally dislike and distrust one another. Yugoslavia fragmented because the Serbs and Croats and then the Bosnian Muslims started to fight each other soon after the Soviet Union collapsed. The citizens of Northern Ireland fought because Catholics resented Protestant dominance and discrimination. Ethiopia recently descended back into civil war because its various ethnic groups—the Tigrayans, Amharans, and those from the Sidama region—each wanted control of government. So fundamental ethnic, religious, or racial differences must be the cause of all these conflicts, right?
Americans have a lot at stake in the answer to this question. Our country has become increasingly divided, with race now playing a central role in debates over policing, immigration, healthcare, even the teaching of history. Could the country fracture as a result of this polarization?
It turns out that differences themselves do not lead to violence. This is the finding of political scientists who have studied hundreds of ethnic conflicts around the world. Almost all countries around the world are multi-ethnic and religious and yet few experience civil war. In fact, most ethnic groups co-exist quite peacefully. Until 1992, Bosnia was a diverse nation where Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks lived together peacefully for decades. Education levels were high, and intermarriage was common and yet 100,000 people died during its civil war.
For a society to fracture along identity lines, you need mouthpieces—influential people who are willing to make discriminatory appeals and pursue discriminatory policies in the name of a particular group. They provoke and harness feelings of fear as a way to lock in an ethnic constituency that will support their scramble for power. These mouthpieces are often politicians seeking to gain or maintain power, but they can also include business elites (seeking brand loyalty), religious leaders (seeking to expand their followers), and media figures (seeking to grow their audience and revenue). Separate and hostile ethnic and racial identities don’t exist in a vacuum; they need to be crafted—and these individuals rise up to do just that. They’re often at high risk of losing power or have recently lost it. Seeing no other routes to securing their futures, they cynically exploit divisions to try to reassert control. We’ve seen such figures here in the United States, from cable news hosts to congresspeople, and they’re more dangerous than we’ve been led to believe. …”
I think there is an important disconnect here.
This analysis of our present situation doesn’t reflect either the sort of content or the tone that you will on a daily basis here at Poll Watch. We’re upbeat and optimistic that PMCs are crashing and burning.
Note: The other guy from Canada who is predicting Civil War 2 is coming was also recently on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
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