I'm in Tokyo where my opinion is greatly respected because I predicted Trump's victory two years ago with certainty.
Now I have to explain the current American cultural civil war. I realize that we had a similar earlier cultural civil war (not the slavery-states-rights one) that began in the late 1800's. This last civil war is now referred to as 'Prohibition'. It was a cultural war that extended far beyond the alcohol issue. It included the Grange, the Wobblies, the Progressives, the People's Party and the women's vote.
Since I ran into people in the 1950's who were still voting 'wet' or 'dry' I noticed how long the earlier cultural civil war lasted. You may also have noted that many states still have state run liquor stores and sales of liquor is banned on Sunday's. Even California still has strict laws separating beer and wine from other alcoholic drinks. One hundred and forty years after this cultural civil war got underway there are hundreds of dry counties in America and thousands that ban liquor sales on Sunday. Still today.
The whole point of this reminder of the last alcohol cultural civil war is that America is prone to this type of division and the division can last over a century. Even the end of the 1860's Civil War has not had a celebration to commemorate the 100th or 150th anniversary of the ending. It is not really over when the Confederate flag and a statue of Robert E. Lee in Virginia are still national issues. I know, I tried to organize these commemorative celebrations for the end of the Civil War. That shooting war is still a very sore point.
What is the current cultural civil war about? The big divisive issues are:
* environmental Armaggeddon
* late term abortion
* the Southern border and Mexicans
* gun control
* police relations with the black community
*newspapers and TV news vs. radio and Internet.
Map showing dry (red), wet (blue), and mixed (yellow) counties in the United States as of March 2012
The lesser issues are:
* recognition of transgenders and multiple sexual categories
* gay marriage and gay child rearing
* male aggressiveness
* whether Islam is a threat
* religious roles in public life
* the importance of racial identity
The environmental Armaggeddon issue is a proxy for anti-commerce. It is especially opposition to large traditional businesses. Most environmental restrictions restrain commercial growth and innovation.
The current cultural civil war is about a variety of seemingly unrelated issues. In some way the issues appear to have been clustered together out of convenience. This is largely true.
However the issues are coherent in terms of male vs. female, traditional vs. social change support and religious vs. secular.
How long will the current cultural civil war go on? It could be centuries. It is also worth noting that other countries are seeing similar cultural divisions largely because of the global Internet.
A large scale military issue, like China, could suppress the current civil war. The 'prohibition' civil war was suppressed because of WWII and the Cold War. The U.S. needed unity and couldn't afford to alienate the large German-American beer drinking population.