America is in the middle of a ‘slow civil war’ | The Marc Steiner Show

Jeff Sharlet has been studying and reporting on far-right movements in the US for decades, but something feels different now. From Waco and Ruby Ridge in the ‘90s to the 2014 Bundy family standoff with the federal government in Nevada, from the rise of Donald Trump to the “martyrdom” of Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed raiding the Capitol on Jan. 6, from the overturning of Roe v. Wade to COVID-19, from the Q-Anon conspiracy to the veneration of vigilantes like Kyle Rittenhouse, new and long-brewing currents of rightwing rage and resentment are converging to change the American political landscape in ways that we will have to contend with for years, if not decades, to come. In the latest installment of our ongoing “Rise of the Right” series on The Marc Steiner Show, Marc speaks with Sharlet about his new book The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, the volatile moment America is in right now, and what we need to do to confront the far right today.

Jeff Sharlet is the New York Times best-selling author and editor of eight books, including The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, adapted into a Netflix documentary series, and This Brilliant Darkness. His reporting on LGBTIQ+ rights around the world has received the National Magazine Award, the Molly Ivins Prize, and Outright International’s Outspoken Award. His writing and photography have appeared in many publications, including Vanity Fair, for which he is a contributing editor; the New York Times Magazine; GQ; Esquire; Harper’s; and VQR, for which he is an editor at large. He is the Frederick Sessions Beebe ’35 Professor in the Art of Writing at Dartmouth College, where he lives in the woods with many animals.

Studio/Post-Production: David Hebden

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Author: phillyfinest369


22 thoughts on “America is in the middle of a ‘slow civil war’ | The Marc Steiner Show

  1. Far right has conspiracy theories about how the Left wants a population control in America. All this as they (republicans) are openly advocating for wide spread violence that would kill MILLIONS in this nation.

  2. Raid. 1. A surprise attack by a small armed force. 2. A sudden forcible entry into a place by police. 3.An entrance into another's territory for the purpose of seizing goods or valuables.

    Stilted, pejorative language. This channel has real news, like soft serve is real ice cream.

  3. This guy misses the point about so much.

    The Little House on the Prairie isn't really about the prairie or even nation-building. It's about family solidarity, courage, and bravery in trying times, a universal theme that, while rarely met in practice, is worth striving for anyway. We have similar mythologies in the US about the Civil Rights Movement (none of its leaders were saints, for example, and it probably would not have succeeded if not for the global political environment at the time). They are equally false, factually speaking. That's not the point.

    In constantly pointing out that white Americans do not represent all of American history (factually true) and, much more importantly, insisting endlessly that difference constantly be allowed to take center stage, he actually makes white identity politics all the more powerful. If you wanted to create a revolutionary white American identity, you could not have done better, policy and media-wise, than the left-leaning cultural elite has over the last thirty years. And as Trump's election showed, when the majority decides to play identity politics, it usually wins.

    The dream of whiteness, as he calls it, is not so much about the erasure of difference as it is about the creation of belonging and solidarity. That the formation of said identity left some people out and subjected them to terrible things is not in question. That said, if you think you are going to erase people's desire for belonging and shared social norms by telling them that it never really existed, you are going to be proven wrong ninety-nine times out of a hundred.

    Real difference and diversity within a political community can be a strength, but, often, it is not. That's why big-tent parties so often fail. Go to any place with real political trouble today, and you will find that it has a common cause – real, non-negotiable diversity of identity and/or interests. It is something that has to be managed and dealt with and accommodated, and that takes energy. It is not an accident that the most truly democratic and cohesive societies on Earth (in the sense of everyone mattering) – Japan, the Nordic countries, and so forth – are extremely homogeneous and, as a rule, fairly small and culturally united. You do not have to constantly spend time arguing about the basics of life and philosophy. You can make decisions practically, not about ideology.

    Anyway, I don't see any reason to make a shibboleth of diversity. It is a fact of US political life and always has been. We have the philosophical principles necessary to deal with it well. Our elite simply seems determined never to use them for anything other than shoring up their own moral authority and grabbing as much money as they can.

  4. When someone brings up that they spoke with an entertainer……sorry…..I am tuning you out… Malcolm X said……they give the black community entertainers and sports figures for role models…..Harry Belafonte doesn't know shit about what real people do or even how the world works……what does he know about food production, manufacturing, getting up and busting your ass 50 plus hours a week…..nothing…..your average small business owner of any color or creed or religion knows more. This clowns only answer seems to be the same one I have been hearing for awhile now… being white is the main problem and I need to listen to people who have done little and achieved little……hand over to others who have achieved little and be happy about it……rofl…….thank God these people live in cities and don't control the arable land ….yet. These pseudo intellectuals don't realize they can't get to the left of the left and in the socialist world they desire they are the first ones who get crushed because they produce nothing. His little utopia in the woods will be taken from him and he will wonder what happened ……what a fool.

  5. Oh god that columbine myth. My eyes have been damaged rolling out of ny head. And wow I didn’t know that scumbag Carlson talked about Babbitt once a week

  6. So you're going to heal the divide in America by saying all fundamentalist christians and conservatives are fascists and ignoring every real issue they are concerned about. Yeah, that's going to bring us together LOL I mean, it's worked so well so far! Keep at it guys, the civil war can't happen without your help!

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