Editorial—The Changing War

Last week I heard an interesting opinion as I was wandering around online, one by comedian and talk show host Bill Maher.  A political comic, my feelings toward his opinions tend to vary, depending on the topic he’s on.  Sometimes he seems bang on, other times he seems just clueless, at least to me.  No doubt I’d be the same to him.

Regardless, this time was one of those bang on times when he said something that make me think.  The statement was that the United States is currently in the middle of a cold civil war.  And when you put it like that, suddenly so many things seem to click.

It’s often said the first casualty in war is the truth.  I don’t think I need to go into detail on that one.  No matter which side of the aisle you ascribe to, you know somebody out there isn’t telling the truth. The only way we differ is in who we think is telling the lies.

But there are other casualties in war, even a cold one, and we’re starting to see those happen.  Ashli Babbit can probably be considered the first actual death directly tied to the current war going on in the US.  More recently, we have Paul Pelosi as another victim of an attack directly tied to this cold war.  And despite what many have claimed the recent election shows us, I don’t think this is going to end things any time soon.  Once again, the preponderance of social media bubbles keeps each side from seeing the true nature of the war.  Neither side has a clear view of just how powerful the other side really is.  And just because one side may be failing doesn’t mean they can’t do damage.  That may well be when they’re the most dangerous, really.  Especially because each side believes whole-heartedly that they’re right.

Around this time is when the typical response is that obviously the answer must be somewhere in the middle, but I don’t believe that.  Balance is something that rarely exists in the real world unless we make it.  When considering if the world is spherical or flat, the answer is not that of a football flopping in the middle.  Sometimes one side is simply wrong when looked at through objective reality.  Sometimes, some people are just simply wrong.  What makes it difficult is when they’ve decided that any evidence to the contrary is irrelevant or made up by some shadowy powers that be.

And if it was just in the United States, that would be one thing, but we’re seeing it in Canada as well.  We see it in the likes of the election of Danielle Smith who definitely seems to be on the side of those who are looking toward a reality that doesn’t actually exist, as she fears our health agency has connections to a shadowy cabal somewhere in the Swedish hotel conference rooms of the WEF, or that there’s any way to pass a single law that allows Alberta to bow out of anything the federal government might decide to do.  These are not beliefs that are rooted in reality.

Now, given the reaction here, and given the recent election in the US, and the distraction of the Ukraine offensive for Putin, perhaps this cold war will eventually freeze over.  But then we see things like Elon Musk buying twitter and the use of racial slurs skyrocketing over 500% within 12 hours.

It may be a cold war, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t soldiers ready and waiting for any opportunity.   “Never again,” the saying went.

If only we could be so lucky.