Robert Reich explains how a second US civil war is already underway

Robert Reich explains how a second US civil war is already underway
Former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich/Screengrab

Robert Reich, who previously served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor under former President Bill Clinton, is explaining how the second U.S civil war is already underway although many Americans may not notice.

In an op-ed piece published by The Guardian, Reich is explained how the war is in play and how it differs from wars of the past. "The second American civil war is already occurring, but it is less of a war than a kind of benign separation analogous to unhappily married people who don’t want to go through the trauma of a formal divorce." Reich wrote.

He added, "One America is largely urban, racially and ethnically diverse, and young. The other is largely rural or exurban, white and older."

Reich went on to note how the great divide between political parties is also corrupting the United States. As the Republican Party reaches new levels of extremism, surveys show that American voters' political status greatly impacts relationship dynamics.

"Surveys show Americans find it increasingly important to live around people who share their political values," he wrote. "Animosity toward those in the opposing party is higher than at any time in living memory. Forty-two percent of registered voters believe Americans in the other party are 'downright evil.'"

He added, "Almost 40% would be upset at the prospect of their child marrying someone from the opposite party. Even before the 2020 election, when asked if violence would be justified if the other party won the election, 18.3% of Democrats and 13.8% of Republicans responded in the affirmative."

The drastic changes in American laws are also raising concerns among party lines. For example, far-right Republicans' assault on abortions, voter rights, and their attacks on Critical Race Theory (CRT) are currently some of the main topics of debate.

"Increasingly, each America is running under different laws," he wrote. "Red states are making it nearly impossible to get abortions but easier than ever to buy guns."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, he noted that "Blue states are moving in the opposite direction. Several, including Colorado and Vermont, are codifying a right to abortion. Some are helping cover abortion expenses for out-of-staters."

He later added, "Blue states are also coordinating more of their policies. During the pandemic, blue states joined together on policies that red states rejected – such as purchasing agreements for personal protective equipment, strategies for reopening businesses as COVID subsided, even on travel from other states with high levels of COVID."

"Where will all this end? Not with two separate nations," Reich wrote. "What America is going through is analogous to Brexit – a lumbering, mutual decision to go separate ways on most things but remain connected on a few big things (such as national defense, monetary policy and civil and political rights)."

He concluded, "America will still be America. But it is fast becoming two versions of America. The open question is like the one faced by every couple that separates: how will the two find ways to be civil toward each other?"

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