There's a hoary old saw about not being able to see the forest for the trees. It's a useful metaphor for describing the inability to truly see a problem that one is party to. About being so close to chaos that it looks like stability. When you think about it, for all the ultimate irrationality of the madness in places like Syria and Gaza, there is at least an inherent internal consistency to it. Those people are NOT like us. They DON'T believe what we believe. It's THEM that hate us - we're just fighting for our survival here.
Now look at the budding civil conflict in America. Based on nothing historical, nothing even real, we have created two 'sides', each 100% invested in the destruction of the other. Each side developed an ideology, originally a framework for public policy debates, but now growing into something larger and uglier - an identity, a community, a belief system, an entire self contained worldview that increasingly cannot even tolerate the existence of the other side. With typical American inability to grasp the concept of irony, and with the American's passionate embrace of crude marketing-speak, these tribes have chosen the names 'Liberal' and 'Conservative'.
Now, of course you're saying 'but mikey, it's those right-wing fascists who refuse to compromise, who won't allow any governance that doesn't further their radical agenda', and, of course, you're right. But that doesn't change the calculation - if there are two sides, and one refuses any kind of compromise, not matter how one-sided, is that functionally any different than if BOTH sides embraced that same doctrine? The problem here is not that one group is wrong and one group is right. Go ask the Sunnis, the Shiites, ISIS, al-Assad, General Sisi, Bibi Netanyahu, any of them who is wrong and who is right. There is NEVER anyone in a tribal conflict that will say upon a moment of reflection "y'know, those other guys have a point, we're really being assholes here, but that's the way the world works".
The point I'm trying to make here is we have, as Americans, created this imaginary tribal structure out of public and economic policy arguments, and instead of solving them the way nations always do, we have built out an entire cultural identity around these disagreements. And one of the key premises to these tribal identities is that the other side represents an existential threat to 'our' way of life and 'we' cannot live alongside them, they must be destroyed. Now ask yourself: How does this story end? Is there a path back to an America where elections mattered and leaders governed? Perhaps I lack imagination, but I can't see it. We're one, or perhaps two, triggering events away from widespread bloodletting. You see it in conservative rants against 'socialist libtards', but rest assured, there are many liberals who quietly nod their heads, load their magazines and mutter "bring it on, bigot".
When it happens, due to the unnecessary and destructive 2nd amendment, it will be loud and bloody. But there will have been no logic to it. No historical basis, no linguistic basis, and while ethnicity will have been a factor, it won't be the basis for the civil war. The basis for the civil war will be a set of lies, assumptions and beliefs that were allowed to build themselves into something seen as utterly worth killing one's neighbor over. And a century later, historians will still be struggling to explain how we let this happen.