During the last 30 years we Americans have been so politically divided that some of us have called this left-right, liberal-conservative split a "culture war" or even a "second Civil War." These descriptions are no longer accurate. The precise, technical word for what is happening in the United States today is revolution.
Because of our country's history, we tend to think of revolutions as military conflicts, and of the revolutionaries as the good guys; the image of Minutemen fighting valiantly against the British forces at Lexington and Concord lies deep within our DNA. But sometimes -- quite often, actually -- revolutions aren't military conflicts, and the good guys are the ones trying to keep the revolution from happening. In January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany by its elected president; he would spend the next two years consolidating his power with the legislative connivance of his political allies in the Reichstag. In October 1917, Lenin and his Bolsheviks took control of Russia from Kerensky and his Social Democrats -- who had overthrown the Czar earlier that year -- entirely through parliamentary maneuvering in Russia's fledgling Duma.
What defines a revolution -- and this is the crucial point to grasp -- is that when it's over a country has changed not merely its leaders and its laws, but its operating system.
Go read the whole thing. Sadly, I fear he's correct.
Further, it appears that a large number of Americans believe that this is what's happening. Witness the Tea Parties. Also witness the unprecendented surge in sales of firearms and ammunition since November 4th, prompted in large part by the palpable fear that efforts to resolve this peacefully will fail.