Well, there’s a lot of things I’ve never seen either — but it doesn’t mean the don’t exist.
Jerry Nelson

Fair enough, Jerry. I know it’s unusual in the Ozarks for people like me to not just watch Fox News, but also regularly read the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Nation, and the Atlantic, as well as National Review and the Washington Times.

I probably read many of the same articles you read warning about a civil war being brewed in the backwoods.

I also understand that the American military, and therefore off-post Army towns, have become a true melting pot of cultures. Maybe our county, because it is so heavily dominated by the Army, doesn’t represent the rest of the Ozarks. People who have fought REAL war, and have gone face-to-face with REAL insurgencies, are not likely to speak rashly about unleashing a new civil war on our own soil.

Jerry, look at the history of insurgencies against established civil governments, or of organized government-led civil wars. For an insurgency to get much bigger than a Waco-style mess, it requires massive numbers of people, not dozens or thousands but millions, who believe the government not only is bad but must be actively resisted. Yes, I know it only takes a small number of actual insurgents to sow chaos, but they must rely — as the Viet Cong once did, and as the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan do today — on a much larger group of people who are not just mad at the government but ready to die in fighting the government.

I think the racist supporters of George Wallace in the late 1960s had a far angrier and far more radicalized support base than the alt-right supporters of Donald Trump have today. More important, they not only had millions of angry people willing to resist the federal government; they had hundreds of city councils, both large and small, hundreds of county governments, and probably close to half a dozen state legislatures making serious talk of being willing to defy the federal government.

I do not see that level of anger today in the general public of rural America, and even if it were there, I don’t see that level of official formal government support at the municipal, county and state level for organized defiance.

I may well be wrong. You may be right.

And since I’m one of “them dadburned Yankee carpetbaggers” who moved South (though I did it a long time ago, shortly after 9/11, to accept a civilian job in Army Public Affairs where I worked until 2003), maybe I don’t fully appreciate the degree of anger you see as a native of the rural South.

But I honestly do not see what you see, and I think we’re a lot farther away from a serious shooting war than we were back in the 1960s.

Have a good day, Jerry, and I hope you enjoy Argentina. It may interest you that my Italian ancestors originally moved to Argentina during the American Civil War, didn’t like it, and then moved to the United States after the Civil War was over. (As you may know, Italy was in chaos during that era, and the part of Italy where my family is from stayed in Austria and didn’t become part of Italy proper until after World War I.) If things had worked out better for my ancestors, I might today be a reporter in Argentina rather than the Ozarks.

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