PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THEIR DAMNED HISTORY – Warning: Ignorance of history is harmful to the health of political debate (and to your mental health):

Nearly one third of Americans think another civil war could break out in the U.S. in the next five years over opposition to President Donald Trump’s policies with more than one in ten believing it is very likely to happen.

Of the 59 percent of people who do not believe that a second civil war could happen sometime before 2023, only 29 percent said the scenario is “not at all likely” according to a Rasmussen survey of 1,000 likely voters.

The survey found that, overall, Democrats (37 percent) are marginally more fearful than Republicans (32 percent) of an upcoming civil war.

A further breakdown reveals 44 percent of African Americans think that a civil war will break out within five years, compared to 28 percent of white Americans and 36 percent of other minority voters. Women and those under 40 are also more worried about a possible civil war compared to men and older voters.

Then there are those (though there is no doubt some overlap) who think that Donald Trump is another Hitler and is planning to abolish democracy and institute a fascist dictatorship.

No, he isn’t and he isn’t, and no, there will not be another civil war.

Part of the problem is that people’s lives are generally pretty good and pretty boring. Fantasising that you instead live in times of great peril and are part of great movements provides a certain frisson that’s ordinarily lacking. It gives your life more meaning and more importance; makes you feel like a hero. At a time where the greatest civil rights struggles are long over and today’s big battles revolve around transgender bathroom, gay wedding cakes and correct pronouns, it feels more elevating to think you fight and face dangers like a modern day Freedom Rider or a Suffragette. Wearing a pussy hat, dressing up as a vagina and screaming at the sky likewise seem much more courageous and meaningful when you call yourself the Resistance – like the brave World War Two partisans, the Star Wars rebels or Dumbledore’s Army. It’s the power of words; the alchemy that transforms the base actions into golden moments.

That the education system has failed and is churning out millions of supposedly intelligent people (in addition to churning out millions who aren’t) who actually have no idea what fascism and socialism mean also doesn’t help. When you’re ignorant of basic facts and concepts, you lose the ability to see the events around you in proper context and perspective. Only those who don’t know what a real hell looks like think that everything around them is hell.

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