My fourth novel, The Tears of Abraham is speculative fiction, and I pray it stays that way. The first American Civil War cost more than six hundred thousand lives. The next one will be far worse.
I’ve been kicking this idea around for about six months, while working on the final book in my Wrath series. I read some articles about Texas wanting to secede from the Union, and at first I chuckled to myself. Folks in Texas are tough, and they’re already just about a country to themselves. They have the agricultural base, heavy industry, military assets, and fiercely independent mindset to make themselves a Republic, should the general population actually be in favor of it. What I dismissed at first as pure apocalyptic nightmare began to seem possible, though no less insane.
But what if the recession does not end? What if the cultural, racial, economic, and religious divides within the United States get worse with time?
What if the Republican Party does not heal itself, and the schism within the Party of Lincoln leads to an even more powerful Tea Party? With both sides gerrymandering districts to protect their power bases, there would be small incentive for moderation.. But on a national level, the Democratic Party would command more of the general vote, and maintain control of the White House, and probably gain seats in the House of Representatives. Much of the country would continue to feel the Federal Government did not truly represent their interests. The shrill rhetoric from the media on both sides of the political isle would increase, finding conflict and scandal to sell advertising.
The war will be about money, race, religion, and a deep difference of opinion of what government exists to do. The seeds have been planted already.
What would happen if Texas really left the Union? Much of the South might follow suit, along with chunks of the far West. To what lengths would the Federal government go to preserve the sanctity of our country? I love America, and the idea of a civil war terrifies me. The more I’ve researched the topic, the more worried I get. There are a whole bunch of angry people out there. Some of them seem to actually yearn for war. I don’t think it will come to that. I have faith, not in politicians, but in the innate common sense of the American people. I hope that in the coming decade, this decency wins out over hatred.
Lincoln was willing to fight to preserve the Union. I wonder what will happen the next time. I don’t know yet, but there will be tears. Of that, I am certain.