Note: The following has been determined to be a diatribe and not a screed. A screed would be several times longer.

This period in US history contains enough meat on the bone to keep both scholars and crackpots gnawing for decades. Collectively, we are in the overlap space of a sociological Venn diagram. The overlapping domains of economic calamity, political paranoia, shrinking international stature, and withering military expense combine like cyan, magenta, and yellow to form a white hot zone of malcontent.

It is no overstatement to say that many if not most Americans have chosen a part of the political pool they want to swim in. Listen to the voices at McCain/Palin rallys. Listen to people being interviewed upon leaving a McCain/Palin rally. They’re invariably angry and fearful. They distrust the “Liberal Media”. Do they mean to include Rupert Murdoch’s media empire? Do they also include most of the AM band talk radio programs? Is this the deep end of the pool or the shallow end?

I cannot help but conclude that conservatives are a fearful bunch. Study the McCain/Palin campaign advertising. Go back to any recent presidential campaign and recall Willie Horton or the Swift Boat attack on the democrats. Fear is the unifying ingredient in conservatism and the people who run the GOP machine know how to swing this stick.  Democrats do the Fear theme poorly and as a result, cannot summon the same kind of existential panic that the GOP can pull from their bag of tricks.

McCain is starting to see some of the visceral response to the possibility of Obama as president from underneath all of the rocks and behind all of the tarpaper shacks in the political back-40 acres. He has been openly challenged by angry citizens about the viability of his campaign.

That cartoon figurehead of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, was practically apoplectic in his frustration with McCain. Strangely, this political freakshow impressario is now towing the line on McCain and has focused his leagions of ditto-zombies on bringing down the reputation of Obama with a mezmerising whisper campaign of slander.

I’m beginning to think that McCain wouldn’t be the worst kind of GOP president to have, especially if the conservatives of the land are this uncertain of him. But Palin as runner-up to the Whitehouse leaves me speechless. A country so brain-addled as to put Palin in national office is perhaps a country that needs to have its nose rubbed in it for a taste of its own collective stupidity. McCain/Palin in Washington may be what it takes for the complete implosion of the GOP.

Having watched the rise of Bush II and the conduct of the 2008 campaign, I have begun to understand what it might have been like to have lived in the period leading up to the American Civil War. This was a period intense division between citizens regarding deeply held beliefs. Civil and religous laws were invoked by both sides to justify their actions. Both Lee and Sherman believed that they marched in righteousness. It was brother fighting brother with a kind of hostility that is startling to people even today.

I sense a widespread and internal hostility along with a rigid adherence to doctrine that marks a divided country. I believe that America is in a type of cold civil war. There is a fulmination of anger and frustration out there that is beginning to partition the meaning of America into distinct translations that suit the adherents. 

Countries that experience economic and political upset are prone to the surfacing of latent fascism. Fascism is a kind of fever that spreads through the vectors of blame and jingoism. Anti-intellectualism and ethnic hatred are common manifestations of a country having a bout of fascism fever.

Witness the accusations of “elitism”  and the whisper campaign questioning the citizenship and religious affiliation of Obama. We have elite military forces, elite police forces, and elite athletes- why not elite chief executives? Why would we demand that politicians be just like the down-home folks like you see, say, running the Tilt-O-Whirl at the carnival? Don’t we want the chief executive to be someone who has honed his skills for public life? The Army has its War College. Why can’t the executive branch have its Administration school?

I think we have a civil cold war brewing in the USA right now and if 20-25 % of the workforce loses its paycheck because of the banking fiasco, I think there’ll be trouble. But no doubt, the DHS has thought of this and has soldiers and Darkwater contractors ready to deal with the sh**storm.