Jerry, you and I have talked on LinkedIn before. You know that I know that unlike many on the more “progressive” or “liberal” side of the political spectrum, and unlike most in the news media, you actually **DO** understand rural America and what makes lots of Trump voters “tick.”
You also know that I live in the Ozarks, in a county outside a major Army post, in an area where Trump won the Republican primary by more than 50 percent (with Cruz taking second) and then won the general election by 77 percent, and where Rick Santorum blew away Romney in the Republican primary four years earlier.
In other words, I live and work among the type of people who would be expected to be agitating for a new civil war if there were any significant number of such people.
I just don’t see it.
Do I see hatred and detestation for national Democrats, combined with the recognition that old-school traditional Democrats still exist and are generally on the same page if not the same paragraph? Absolutely. After all, our Congressional district was represented by the last Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Ike Skelton, until he lost his seat after 36 years in the 2010 blowout of Democrats. (Our county voted for him, by the way — the last time our county has ever voted for a national-level Democrat.) Many and probably a majority of our local Republicans used to be Democrats, our local county officials were overwhelmingly Democrat until the 2002 election, and that means most of our hardest-core conservatives have at least a few friends and family who are still Democrats. As you know, Jerry, that’s a common pattern throughout the South of Republicans being former Democrats.
Do I see a lot of people hoping for a #CalExit, i.e., that the California liberals will voluntarily leave? Absolutely.
But I just don’t see anyone — and I mean ANYONE — seriously advocating civil war.
Maybe it’s because our county is full of former soldiers who know what a real insurgency looks like in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and how horrible it is for everybody involved.
Maybe it’s because most of our people would prefer to just be left alone. Most of us don’t have a problem with Massachusetts being Massachusetts or California being California; we just don’t want Missouri to be forced to become Massachusetts or St. Robert to be forced to become San Francisco.
But I think the more important reason, and one which prevails throughout most of the rural South and West, including places nowhere near Army posts, is this: In a community where nearly everyone owns guns, and those who don’t usually grew up in homes which did, we understand that talk of real-life shooting isn’t fun and games. People who learned at the age of eight never to point a gun at something or someone they aren’t willing to kill understand that shooting wars aren’t something to be taken lightly.
I just simply don’t see the same sentiments around here that you are seeing.
If those sentiments were here in any significant degree, I would know.