The speculation about whether the United States might somehow be hurtling toward a second civil war is usually dismissed because there doesn’t exist a clean sectional or geographic split as we had in 1860. But this misses the point.

This passage from Harry Jaffa in 1964 would seem to apply very well to our current moment:

“The Civil War is the most characteristic phenomenon in American politics, not because it represents a statistical frequency, but because it represents the innermost character of that  politics; it is the event in which the things that forever drive us toward and hinder us from achieving our political salvation emerge in the sharpest and most visible confrontation.”

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