“They say we must fight, to keep our freedom but Lord knows there's got to be a better way....War! What is it good for?”

                           – War, Edwin Starr, 1970

The 1970 answer to that question was very different from the answer we’re getting in 2022, but at least Americans know where our country stands. According to presidents, politicians, pundits, and nobodies on Twitter, it stands on the brink of an “absolutely necessary” civil war. Not counting actual wars, we’ve had lots of wars since the 1960s.

Oddly enough, it is Democrats who lost the war on poverty and the war on rich people, even though their favorite domestic terrorist successfully bombed the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon in a campaign to “kill all the rich people.” At this late stage in the republic though, it’s unclear how many parents who can afford to pay for college regret that Bill Ayers – once an “American Red Army” leader and now a retired University of Illinois professor of education – also failed in his other revolutionary goal: to “bring the revolution home, kill your parents.”

But I’m a fair person, and it’s fair to say that Democrats are batting at least .500. They won the war on drugs and the war on women. Weed is essentially legal nationwide, and two years ago, fentanyl overdose was the #1 cause of death among adults aged 18-45. Men are winning NCAA women’s swimming championships, and they’re being crowned Woman of the Year.

Ironically, not too long ago Democrats launched a war on winning and handed out participation trophies to kids on the losing teams. Lots of us objected in vain. My daughter won a t-ball trophy for losing, but she doesn’t remember it because I threw it in the garbage. Gaslighting Democrats won that war, too, acting as if nobody knew winning is hardwired into the human condition.

Nobody likes losing even if losing is the best teacher. Losing to the fascists in 1945 would have been very bad for everyone except the fascists, so when Democrats lost to the “fascists” in 2016 they decided to win in 2020 by any means necessary. We’ve all read stories about how $400 million from a private oligarch was funneled into the pockets of public election officials and paid for illegal ballot drop boxes, but that was just one tactic the “public-private partnership” needed to defeat the forces of fascism.

All’s Fair in Winning and War

Time Magazine revealed the architect of 2020’s winning strategy as one Mike Podhorzer, senior adviser to the AFL-CIO president. In a cruel plot twist, Time noted that Podhorzer once coached his son’s Little League team in Washington DC: “he trained the boys not to swing at most pitches – a tactic that infuriated both their and their opponents’ parents, but won the team a series of championships.”

If only Podhorzer had coached my daughter’s t-ball team.

In fact, winning in 2020 was so important that Sam Harris, a prominent left wing American philosopher who lectures on rationality, religion, ethics, free will, politics, and terrorism, recently said the Democrat desire for free and fair elections required “a left wing conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump.” He then went on to admit “But I think it was warranted,” before adding gleefully that Joe Biden’s son Hunter “literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement [and] I would not have cared.”

That’s not just creepy, it’s ghoulish, but Harris wants us to know that if Hunter was the second coming of Jeffrey Dahmer, Harris would still vote for good ol’ Scranton Joe, father of a serial killer. And I believe him.

But a conspiracy just isn’t enough if you’re going to prevent a second democratic election of Adolf Hitler after he failed to take your country to war the first time. For that, you need to start your own war, so it comes as no surprise that both President Biden and the media have publicly declared war on the “semi-fascist” Republican Party. I’m old enough to remember when Mitt Romney was a “semi-slaveholder” – is that better or worse than “semi-fascist”? – because he wanted black people “back in chains.” But even if the job description of Vice President includes “attack dog,” there’s no way the President would dare attack the legitimacy of elections.

But wait. In 2013 and 2016, Biden was still denying that George Bush won the 2000 presidential election and still declaring Al Gore the winner. In May 2019, Biden said he “absolutely agrees” that Trump is an “illegitimate president.” And at a press conference in 2022, President Joe Biden said “oh yeah, I think it would be easy [for elections] to be illegitimate.” In 2020, Hillary Clinton said “there was a widespread understanding that this [2016] election was not on the level [and] we still don’t really know what happened.” Perhaps that’s not “widespread refusal to accept the results of a free election” because she wasn’t president when she said it.

The Road to Civil War 2.0

I don’t know when the idea for Civil War 2.0 was planted, but it certainly received a good watering from a 2021 article in The Atlantic titled “Biden Needs an Enemy.” As the author asked, “If Biden needs to unite voters, whom should he unite them against?” The answers ranged from having another go at the failed “war on poverty” to having another civil war “as Abraham Lincoln did when he pulled northerners together to stand against the slaveholders.”

As the narrative goes, evil Republicans stole Georgia and want to put Stacey Abrams back in chains – again? how convenient! – by “consolidating power at the state level and turning against democracy in large numbers.” Under these dire circumstances, what should a legitimate president do when his illegitimate predecessor does not “respect the Constitution,” “believe in the rule of law,” “recognize the will of the people,” and refuses to “accept the results of a free election”?

Even more dire than that, what should a legitimate Commander in Chief do when his illegitimate predecessor leads an army of “insurrectionists placing a dagger at the throat of our democracy”?

As Legitimus Maximus President Joe Biden told us during his September 1st speech from his podium at Philly’s Independence Hall, Republicans are “working right now, as I speak in state after state, to give power … to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers and undermine democracy itself. … But democracy endures only if we the people respect the guardrails of the republic. Only if we the people accept the results of free and fair elections. Only if we the people see politics not as total war but mediation of our differences.”

Which brings us back to the original question. War: what is it good for? Absolutely nothing?

No. What’s good for the president is good for the country. And since civil war is good for Joe Biden, well, then a civil war is absolutely necessary. And that, according to the narrative, will make America great again.

“For the next 200 years,” Biden promised us on September 1st, “we'll have what we had the past 200 years: the greatest nation on the face of the earth. We just need to remember who we are.”