In a post, which was written by Ruy Teixeira and Peter Leyden on Medium entitled California is the Future, they call for a “civil war,” the destruction of the GOP, and a notion that California runs everything from sea to shining sea. Forget bipartisanship, mob rule is what’s needed. The right should be mercilessly crushed into oblivion.
The “civil war” will be won at the ballot box and demographic shifts, namely through the so-called emerging Democratic majority. The overall theme is quite explicit: conservative Republicans are not welcome until they reform.
Should we worry? Well, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted out Monday after reading the piece, “good read”. If there were any lingering doubts about Twitter’s perceived bias against conservatives, here you go. Not to mention Facebook’s banning Diamond and Silk for being ‘unsafe to the community’.
In all, the Medium post notes the similarities between our first civil war and this one. We had two separate Americas. Two separate economic models in each sphere.
Has the United States of America reached that point again?
Common ground with the Left and Right, which sometimes seems regional, does not seem to exist.
We cannot come together, but maybe we don’t have to. Nothing is written in stone. Lines are re-written, borders move.
As a nation, we are not indivisible. America is politically, ethically and spiritually polarized, divided with literally nothing in common.
While in modern times we have seen Germany, the Soviet Union, the Baltics and other places rewrite borders. It is what time does–borders move, countries and regions split or meld. They do this for a myriad of reasons.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…” — The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
The United States was founded on two things: Judeo-Christian values and a limited federal government. The entire platform of the modern Democratic party does not stand for this.
This is the party that booed the very mention of the word “God” at their 2016 convention. This is the party whose candidates openly “joke” about killing anyone who won’t turn in his weapons. Senators joke on national TV about killing the U.S. president and the host responds by clapping like a seal.
It has become a most dangerous game. Both sides are getting bolder, and they are getting more violent. They have no interest in rational compromises.
If you happen to believe in God and limited government, be ready to be mocked and hated by the Democratic Party, media, Hollywood, the public education system, and now even corporate America. Conservatives have lost the culture war.
Example: A mass shooting happens at a high school in Florida. Both sides do agree something should be done. People on the Right think we should increase school safety. People on the Left think we should restrict the gun rights of every American citizen, and they’ll try to destroy the career of anyone who disagrees (ask Laura Ingram). Or you may be assassinated while playing softball.
Sooner or later, the left-wing rage mob will start coming for the careers (and lives) of anyone who sees things differently. Be sure to hide that NRA card.
We say this can’t happen here, but real domestic unrest comes is coming. Is there a peaceful way out?
Should either side be expected to live under a value system that they find unacceptable? The most peaceful solution may for Americans to agree to go their separate ways. Two conferences under one league banner.
This article is full of generaliztions, and out of context sweeping conclusions , that it amounts into a rant. Nothing insightful could be gained by reading it, except a clear concept of the attitudes and beliefs of the writer.
Tom Parks says
You must be a Liberal.
Liberals are going to awaken a sleeping giant. I fear they will not enjoy his company , once fully awake.
Paul Plante says
As is usual with your essays in the Cape Charles Mirror, Wayne, I find this article to be quite thought-provoking.
Despite the blather from the Democrats and Rodham Clinton this last election season, we never truly have been “one nation” in this country, as can be seen from the Oliver Ellsworth Speech in the Connecticut Convention of January 04, 1788, as follows:
It is observable, that there is no preface to the proposed Constitution; but it evidently presupposes two things; one is the necessity of a federal government, the other is the inefficiency of the old articles of confederation.
We must unite, in order to preserve peace among ourselves.
If we are divided, what is to hinder wars from breaking out among the states?
States, as well as individuals, are subject to ambition, to avarice, to those jarring passions which disturb the peace of society.
What is to check these?
If there is a parental hand over the whole, this, and nothing else, can restrain the unruly conduct of the members.
Union is necessary to preserve commutative justice between the states.
If divided, what is to hinder the large states from oppressing the small?
What is to defend us from the ambition and rapacity of New York, when she has spread over that vast territory, which she claims and holds?
Do we not already see in her the seeds of an overbearing ambition?
On our other side there is a large and powerful State (Massachusetts).
Have we not already begun to be tributaries?
If we do not improve the present critical time, if we do not unite, shall we not be like Issachar of old, a strong ass crouching down between two burdens?
New Jersey and Deleware have seen this, and have adopted the constitution unanimously.
A more energetic system is necessary.
The present is merely advisory.
It has no coercive power.
Without this, government is ineffectual, or rather is no government at all.
But it is said, such a power is not necessary.
States will not do wrong.
They need only to be told their duty, and they will do it.
I ask, Sir, what warrant is there for this assertion?
Do not States do wrong?
Whence come wars?
One of two hostile nations must be in the wrong.
But it is said, among sister States this can never be presumed.
But do we not know, that when friends become enemies, their enmity is the most virulent?
I wish I could say, there were no seeds of similar injustice springing up among us.
Is there not in one of our states injustice too barefaced for eastern despotism?
That state (Rhode Island) is small; it does little hurt to any but itself.
But it has a spirit, which would make a tophet of the universe.
Tophet, of course, is a word for hell.
And yes, the states did all “come together,” but that never made us one people, as the American Civil War was to prove.
As to your statement that America is politically, ethically and spiritually polarized, divided with literally nothing in common, I use as a benchmark the political essay “THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC” written in 1865 by Orestes A Brownson, where in Chapter XIV, POLITICAL TENDENCIES, he has this to say about our political history as a people as he experienced it back then:
THE most marked political tendency of the American people has been, since 1825, to interpret their government as a pure and simple democracy, and to shift it from a territorial to a purely popular basis, or from the people as the state, inseparably united to the national territory or domain, to the people as simply population, either as individuals or as the race.
Their tendency has unconsciously, therefore, been to change their constitution from a republican to a despotic, or from a civilized to a barbaric constitution.
There is the beginning in my estimation of our present political problems in the country – the death of the old Constitution Brownson refers to right there, so that today, the Constitution, as Hussein Obama proved, means whatever somebody in power and his or her followers and acolytes wants it to mean, or not mean, in the case of the 2d Amendment.
1825 is also when James Monroe was president, a time when America was experiencing the Era of Good Feelings which marked a period in the political history of the United States that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans in the aftermath of the War of 1812.
There were essentially no political parties, or factionalism, during that period, unlike our political history subsequent to then, for the reasons Brownson states above.
Brownson continues as follows:
The American constitution is democratic, in the sense that the people are sovereign; that all laws and public acts run in their name; that the rulers are elected by them, and are responsible to them; but they are the people territorially constituted and fixed to the soil, constituting what Mr. Disraeli, with more propriety perhaps than he thinks, calls a “territorial democracy.”
To this territorial democracy, the real American democracy, stand opposed two other democracies — the one personal and the other humanitarian — each alike hostile to civilization, and tending to destroy the state, and capable of sustaining government only on principles common to all despotisms.
That insight into people back then has not changed because time has passed.
Those people and that situation continue today in our times, as they did in the lead-up to the last civil war.
Brownson continues as follows:
In every man there is a natural craving for personal freedom and unrestrained action — a strong desire to be himself, not another — to be his own master, to go when and where he pleases, to do what he chooses, to take what he wants, wherever he can find it, and to keep what he takes.
It is strong in all nomadic tribes, who are at once pastoral and predatory, and is seldom weak in our bold frontier-men, too often real “border ruffians.”
It takes different forms in different stages of social development, but it everywhere identifies liberty with power.
Restricted in its enjoyment to one man, it makes him chief, chief of the family, the tribe, or the nation; extended in its enjoyment to the few, it founds an aristocracy, creates a nobility — for nobleman meant originally only freeman, as it does still with the Magyars; extended to the many, it founds personal democracy, a simple association of individuals, in which all are equally free and independent, and no restraint is imposed on any one’s action, will, or inclination, without his own consent, express or constructive.
This is the so-called Jeffersonian democracy, in which government has no powers but such as it derives from the consent of the governed, and is personal democracy or pure individualism — philosophically considered, pure egoism, which says, “I am God.”
Under this sort of democracy, based on popular, or rather individual sovereignty, expressed by politicians when they call the electoral people, half seriously, half mockingly, “the sovereigns,” there obviously can be no state, no social rights or civil authority; there can be only a voluntary association, league, alliance, or confederation in which individuals may freely act together as long as they find it pleasant, convenient, or useful, but from which they may separate or secede whenever they find it for their interest or their pleasure to do so.
State sovereignty and secession are based on the same democratic principle applied to the several States of the Union instead of individuals.
Wayne, is that similar to the points you are making above?
Seems so to me, anyway, and yes, I consider this a very important discussion for our troubled times today.
And then Brownson talks about the abolitionists of back then as follows:
The humanitarians will fail for the want of a good social grievance against which they can declaim.
Those members of our society never disappeared because the Civil War was over.
They simply found more social grievances against which to declaim, as Hillary Clinton the humanitarian proved this last election cycle with her charges that we in this country who were not for her were a basket of deplorables and that if we had white skin, that made us racists because of implicit bias.
And now it is guns.
Back then Brownson, whose work remains a cornerstone of American thinking, a great intellectual achievement and important treatment of American political theory, had this to say about what he called “philanthropy” as applied to the abolitionist movement back then, which reminds me of the anti-gun people today, like the one above in the picture with the sign “we are coming to take away your guns”:
Philanthropy seldom works in private against private vices and evils: it is effective only against public grievances, and the farther they are from home and the less its right to interfere with them, the more in earnest and the more effective for evil does it become.
Its nature is to mind every one’s business but its own.
That, of course, was then, this is now, but the same mental attitude prevails.
Somebody is doing something they don’t like, and they are going to stop it, plain and simple, because they are right, and no one else is.
But Brownson also has this to say about our fellow Americans:
The men of wealth, the business men, manufacturers and merchants, bankers and brokers, are the men who exert the worst influence on government in every country, for they always strive to use it as an instrument of advancing their own private interests.
They act on the beautiful maxim, “Let government take care of the rich, and the rich will take care of the poor,” instead of the far safer maxim, “Let government take care of the weak, the strong can take care of themselves.”
That was written in 1865, and I don’t see where much has changed in the intervening years, because I do not believe that people change.
To the contrary, they persist, and have since forever.
And Brownson says this, which I think definitely comes into play in the political divide that exists in this country today, to wit:
No nation is a living, prosperous nation that has lost the military spirit, or in which the profession of the soldier is not held in honor and esteem.
That is so America today, is it not?
So, have we changed?
Or are we still in the same groove of the same record that was playing back then?
If anyone has a clue, please do us a favor and let us know what it might be,
It would be appreciated.
Don Green says
Thanks for such a good, thought-provoking, concise article. The arguments it presents are not new; they have been growing stronger and are more discussed with each passing year. Strong and well-respected Secessionist groups exist in Vermont (The Montpelier Group), in New Hampshire (The Manchester Society), in California (which itself may break apart), in Texas, Virginia, and other parts of the South. In 1856 the country called THESE United States was effectively two countries. Of course, after the two countries were forcibly reunited, the country became generally known as THE United States, acknowledging the overwhelming power of the federal government and ignoring the fact that the country was originally CREATED by its component States. The Tenth Amendment was and remains effectively dead. Federal government corruption, graft and waste became ubiquitous. 360,000 Union troops died to quell the War for Southern Independence. This number translates to about 4 million persons today. Does anyone really think that the existing federal government would risk the lives of such a number of people to force this insolvent entity to remain together? Of course, we will always be reminded of the subject of black SLAVERY. We should always remind ourselves that slavery was PEACEABLY abolished in Brazil in 1877; afterwards, it was nonexistent in the Western Hemisphere, remaining alive only in parts of Africa and in the Muslim world. Keep up the good work. This kind of article is too thought-provoking to make the pages of any of the local newspapers.
Don Green says
Apologies for the typo regarding the date of the abolition of slavery in Brazil. It should have read 1887, 22 years after the end of the bloody war which forced the US states back together.
Paul Plante says
In Chapter XIII of “The American Republic,” entitled “Reconstruction,” the author, Orestes Brownson, who lived through the conflict and was familiar with Lincoln, gives us this following political insight into the issues facing the people of the country, north, or south, in that period of American history right at the close of the War of Northern Aggression, to wit:
THE question of reconstructing the States that seceded will be practically settled before these pages can see the light, and will therefore be considered here only so far as necessary to complete the view of the constitution of the United States.
The manner in which the government proposed to settle, has settled, or will settle the question, proves that both it and the American people have only confused views of the rights and powers of the General government, but imperfectly comprehend the distinction between the legislative and executive departments of that government, and are far more familiar with party tactics than with constitutional law.
I believe that remains the case right up to this very day, in fact – the American people still have only confused views of the rights and powers of the General government, they but imperfectly comprehend the distinction between the legislative and executive departments of that government, and they are far more familiar with party tactics than with constitutional law.
It is quite pitiful, actually, to the point of where tin-pot dictators who rule by executive order are arising right here in the United States of America like Progressive Democrat Young Andy Cuomo of New York who is the presumptive Democrat presidential front-runner in 2020, having been promised the slot by Obama in a visit to New York to ask Young Andy to give Hillary her turn at it first.
People in this country have willingly made the transition from citizen back to subject with great ease.
Better a kind master than having to think and fend for yourself.
Getting back to Brownson:
It would be difficult to imagine any thing more unconstitutional, more crude, or more glaringly impolitic than the mode of reconstruction indicated by the various executive proclamations that have been issued, bearing on the subject, or even by the bill for guaranteeing the States republican governments, that passed Congress, but which failed to obtain the President’s signature.
It is, in some measure, characteristic of the American government to understand how things ought to be done only when they are done and it is too late to do them in the right way.
Its wisdom comes after action, as if engaged in a series of experiments.
Today, there has been no wisdom forthcoming for some long time now.
And again, back to Brownson:
But, happily for the nation, few blunders are committed that with our young life and elasticity are irreparable, and that, after all, are greater than are ordinarily committed by older and more experienced nations.
They are not of the most fatal character, and are, for the most part, such as are incident to the conceit, the heedlessness, the ardor, and the impatience of youth, and need excite no serious alarm for the future.
But, obviously, from the existence of this thread, this thought exercise, Brownson was wrong, although he could not have known it back then.
Incidentally, Wikipedia tells us that a thought experiment such as this is, considers some hypothesis, theory, or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences, and as was said above, this kind of article is too thought-provoking to make the pages of any of the local newspapers, including the New York Times and Washington Post.
And back to Brownson:
There has been no little confusion in the public mind, and in that of the government itself, as to what reconstruction is, who has the power to reconstruct, and how that power is to be exercised.
I would also suggest that the same confusion exists in this country today, which is in the process of coming apart and reforming into regional coalitions.
And again back to Brownson:
Are the States that seceded States in the Union, with no other disability than that of having no legal governments?
Or are they Territories subject to the Union?
Is their reconstruction their erection into new States, or their restoration as States previously in the Union?
Is the power to reconstruct in the States themselves?
Or is it in the General government?
If partly in the people and partly in the General government, is the part in the General government in Congress, or in the Executive?
If in Congress, can the Executive, without the authority of Congress, proceed to reconstruct, simply leaving it for Congress to accept or reject the reconstructed State?
If the power is partly in the people of the disorganized States, who or what defines that people, decides who may or may not vote in the reorganization?
On all these questions there has been much crude, if not erroneous, thinking, and much inconsistent and contradictory action.
That, of course, is the beginning of that period of our political history that leads right to our doorsteps in America today.
To see that period of history more clearly, let’s once again go back to Brownson:
The government started with the theory that no State had seceded or could secede, and held that, throughout, the States in rebellion continued to be States in the Union.
That is, it held secession to be a purely personal and not a territorial insurrection.
Yet it proclaimed eleven States to be in insurrection against the United States, blockaded their ports, and interdicted all trade and intercourse of any kind with them.
The Supreme Court, in order to sustain the blockade and interdict as legal, decided the war to be not a war against simply individual or personal insurgents, but “a territorial civil war.”
This negatived the assumption that the States that took up arms against the United States remained all the while peaceable and loyal States, with all their political rights and powers in the Union.
The States in the Union are integral elements of the political sovereignty, for the sovereignty of the American nation vests in the States united; and it is absurd to pretend that the eleven States that made the rebellion and were carrying on a formidable war against the United States, were in the Union, an integral element of that sovereign authority which was carrying on a yet more formidable war against them.
Nevertheless, the government still held to its first assumption, that the States in rebellion continued to be States in the Union — loyal States, with all their rights and franchises unimpaired!
That the government should at first have favored or acquiesced in the doctrine that no State had ceased to be a State in the Union, is not to be wondered at.
The extent and determination of the secession movement were imperfectly understood, and the belief among the supporters of the government, and, perhaps, of the government itself was, that it was a spasmodic movement for a temporary purpose, rather than a fixed determination to found an independent separate nationality; that it was and would be sustained by the real majority of the people of none of the States, with perhaps the exception of South Carolina; that the true policy of the government would be to treat the seceders with great forbearance, to avoid all measures likely to exasperate them or to embarrass their loyal fellow-citizens, to act simply on the defensive, and to leave the Union men in the several seceding States to gain a political victory at the polls over the secessionists, and to return their States to their normal position in the Union.
That right there seems to be the timeless universal test that would apply to this thought exercise – the extent and determination of any secession movement today would similarly be imperfectly understood, and the belief among the supporters of the government and of the government itself would be that it was a spasmodic movement for a temporary purpose, which would likely be the case if such a movement were to arise, rather than a fixed determination to found an independent separate nationality, nor would they believe that it would be sustained by the real majority of the people of those States, so that the true policy of the government would be to treat the seceders with great forbearance, to avoid all measures likely to exasperate them or to embarrass their loyal fellow-citizens, to act simply on the defensive, and to leave the Union men in the several seceding States to gain a political victory at the polls over the secessionists, and to return their States to their normal position in the Union.