Guerrilla warfare has reached the pews. What will our response be? Perhaps it’s less vociferous in the rest of the West, but as they say, when America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold, or a virus more deadly perhaps. That’s totally possible.
The Culture War threatening to tear the West apart has become guerrilla warfare.
Once confined to demarcated battlefields such as university settings and political houses, in which all of the combatants were recognised soldiers, it is now being fought street fighting door to door, house to house.
And increasingly dining table to dining table, family to family.
The family unit, the great mediating institution of this age, is now being riven apart not only by the politics of the thing, but the deep forces that have shaped those politics, cultural waves that roll on underneath the spume of ballot boxes and electoral college results.
Parents no longer understanding their children’s rage at the system. Children hostile to their parents over their voting patterns. Middle class educated younger generations scorning the poorer, working class.
The incoming President, Joe Biden, (and surely that is now a foregone conclusion) can appeal to a United States rather than a Red States or Blue States, but he is speaking from too high an altitude to do anything about the fighting on the ground.
The true test of bipartisanship is not who you have in the House, but who you can have in your house. It starts there.
And finishes there.
Increasingly we are finding that Americans – and the rest of us following suit in the West – are isolating ourselves from viewpoints that we view as hostile to our own. We are bunkering down whether in reality or online (which is reality now anyway) with those with whom we agree, and delegitimising the humanity of the other side by refusing to look it in the eye. No longer breaking bread, but breaking fellowship.
Who you have over for dinner has become a vexed task. So vexed in fact, that what’s the point in even making friends with those whose politics you view as not merely wrong, but bad; not merely limited in scope, but evil? What will Thanksgiving be like this year across much of the US, one wonders.