Not My Party: So We’re Headed to ‘Civil War’ Soon?
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MSNBC Interviewee at Trump Rally: I see a civil war coming. I do. I see civil war coming.
Tim Miller: This is Not My Party, brought to you by The Bulwark.
All right. So, you know, Marjorie Taylor Greene, that insane MAGA congresslady who spends time with the polyamorous tantric sex guru and who thought Jews with space lasers created the wildfires? You know the one.
Juno MacGuff: Unfortunately, yes.
Miller: Well, she sent a tweet this week that caught my eye. She asked whether we need a “national divorce” where red states and blue states split up But who gets Georgia?
Creepy Goggle-Eyed Act.TV Puppet of Marjorie Taylor Greene: Yeah, I know, I am the worst.
Miller: So this has to be some more Looney Tunes talk from a crazy woman.
Marjorie Taylor Greene: Q is a Patriot for sure.
Bart Simpson: You’re crazy.
Miller: Not something that normal people believe. Right?
Kyle Broflovski: Uh.
Shallow Hal: Um.
Larry David: It’s very disturbing.
Miller: A recent poll from the University of Virginia asked our fellow Americans if they agree with the following statement: “The situation in America is such that I would favor [Blue/Red] states seceding from the union to form their own separate country.” Fifty-two percent of Trump voters agreed.
Philip J. Frye: I am shocked, shocked. Well, not that shocked.
Miller: But are you ready for this? So did 41 percent of Biden voters! Have you people lost your f**** minds?
Spock: It would appear so.
Miller: I feel like it was only yesterday that everyone was getting ‘a thrill up their leg’ from this—
Barack Obama: There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America.
Diego the Saber-Toothed Tiger: Yep. Those were the good days.
Miller: How did we go from that to having secession fever? Over what exactly? Superman having a bisexual kid? Dave Chappelle being a TERF?
Dave Chappelle: Now, you know, I go hard in the paint, but even I saw that s*** and was like, “God damn!”
Miller: Schools teaching that the Founders were not infallible virgins bestowed on us by the Lord?
Jesus from Family Guy: Psych.
Miller: These seem like bridgeable issues, right? Our divides only seem insurmountable because of social media algorithms that incentivize conflict, a constant stream of disaster porn, and outrage peddlers who get off on making us mad.
Tucker Carlson: Well, we all, I, I know that.
Miller: The reality is, the culture wars of today pale in comparison to the life-threatening discrimination faced by older generations—especially when you consider that there are people still living who experienced a time where black people had to drink from different water fountains, or Asian-Americans were held in internment camps. You’ll notice that those who suffered through those atrocities don’t tend to be the ones who are calling for present-day uprisings.
Madison Cawthorn: If our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, it’s gonna lead to one place and that’s bloodshed.
Homer Simpson: He’s crazy.
Miller: Another poll showed that only 31 percent of those over the age of 65 thought a civil war was likely. While, 53 percent of those 18 to 29 thought it. This seems like evidence that the youngs might be getting a little over their skis with the civil war cosplay.
Bikini Zombie Interviewer: What freedom are you fighting for?
Tricorn-Wearing Patriot-Garbed Protester: Medical freedom. . . . I’ll eat bark off a tree and eat earthworms before I get a vaccine.
Fran Sinclair: Well, it’s time for his nap now.
Miller: Now, I don’t want to totally dismiss the fact that there are legitimate concerns about the challenges we face as a country. There’s police brutality. Climate catastrophe. Working-class communities being hollowed out. The fallout from mismanaged wars.
Real activism to address those problems is a great thing. So is peaceful protest. But fantasizing about sending Trump voters to a Squid Game isn’t.
One reason I think this ‘national divorce’ talk is heating up right now is that we’ve tossed the pandemic on top of those ongoing problems. Of course, the response to a once-in-a-generation plague is gonna be divisive.
“This Is Fine” Comic Dog: Things are going to be okay.
Miller: But if one community decides it wants to rely on Darwin’s horse dewormer and another wants to mandate masks when you’re outside in the park, that isn’t a sign we’re on the brink of war. It shows that we live in a big, dynamic country. Where flawed people are trying to balance personal freedoms against the public interest. That’s how our system is supposed to work.
So here’s the deal. It’s time to log off and stop trying to downvote people we disagree with out of existence. If we let power-hungry political leaders and online provocateurs manipulate us into fantasizing about a bloody divorce, then, well, their stupid games might end up becoming our grave reality. And we saw how that turns out.
I’m taking my own advice. We’re going on a short holiday for a few weeks. But Not My Party will be back with a new episode November 4th.