Is America Headed Towards Another Civil War?

 

CWIIDiscussion Topic:

It seems that forces within this country are hell bent on rendering America in two once again.  Last time it was over slavery, this time it’s a struggle between those who believe the American political system and culture should be preserved, others believe our country is fatally flawed and needs to undergo a fundamental transformation towards socialism.  Extremist groups, some with the backing of the media and academia seem intent on exploiting our political divide for their purposes.  What’s worse, some groups disowned by both sides, have an agenda of hate that they wish to further.  Other groups like wolves in sheep’s clothing, practice the same kinds of political violence and intimidation that they accuse the other side of.  America is more divided politically than it has been for a long time.  Do you think America is headed towards a second Civil War?

 

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2015 in Review: My favorite essay.

 

LR 2015 Backgrnd IconWay back in April, I wrote a two-part essay asking the question:  Is America really free?  I believe these two posts define one of the central themes of this blog.  Unfortunately, Liberty Relearned was but a fledgling wog of a blog, without many followers to read them at the time.  I really think they’re worth re-posting as sort of a “best of” look back at 2015.  Here are key excerpts from both.  Hope you enjoy!

Is America Free

From: “Is America Really a Free Country?”

“It’s a free country,” as the saying goes. We as Americans have been brought up to believe this. Our Founding Fathers even put it in writing. We say it without giving it much thought. It’s cliché. If we were forced to answer this question honestly, could we really answer in the affirmative? Even if we allow for some moral restrictions on our actions, can we with intellectual honesty say that America in the 21st century is a truly a free country?

In 2010, a law was passed requiring Americans to engage in commerce– whether they wanted to or not, whether they needed it or not. On top of that they product was product was made more expensive by requiring services that the buyers in some cases could not possibly use. The law of course is the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Worse than such a law even being passed is that the Supreme Court of the United States actually upheld it, or at least a key provision of the law known as the individual mandate. Their decision, apparently arrived through a lot of legal gymnastics, was that the individual mandate penalty is a tax and as such could be broadly regulated. At that point any pretense that America was a free country went up in smoke.


From: Is America Really a Free Country? Pt. 2: Phone and Pen vs. Pen and Parchment

Convinced that the phone and pen could defeat pen and parchment, President Obama continued his government by decree campaign in 2014.  Frustrated by Congress’ failure to pass immigration reform to his liking, he reverted to type and issued an Executive Order that he hopes will put some five million illegal immigrants on the path to citizenship.  This despite the fact that he himself previously claimed he had no such authority.  He was right:  Article I, section 8 of the Constitution gives the power and responsibility to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization” to Congress, not the President.


We Americans have been on a steady decent away from being the rulers of this country to being the ruled.  It has gotten to the point that I no longer use the expression, “it’s a free country,” anymore– it just rings hollow.   I pray one day, that “We the People” will be able to proudly proclaim our freedom again, but that day will not come until we decide no longer to barter our freedom for security or comfort.

Time to rant again.

No laptop today, so no long, well thought out article.  Instead, random thoughts on the situation in Europe.  Maybe a few discussion topics to boot.  So here goes:

Obama just can’t resist belittling those he disagrees with.  I guess he’s given up on trying to sound like a statesman.  I would pay good money to see him debate Ted Cruz on the refugee issue.  Pay per view guys?

Speaking of refugees, since when is it wrong to actually vet refugees who came from a part of the world controlled by people who want to kill us?  Why does it make sense to commit to taking in a specific number of people?  Would it not make sense to say only the maximum number of refugees we’ll take in, like maybe the first ten thousand that can be properly vetted?  It doesn’t matter how many we can take in, it’s how many up to a certain number that we can trust  walking our streets.

After Paris, we find  ourselves at a crossroads.  We have to decide whether  to  lead, follow, or get out of the way.  The only choice that does not lead to our humiliation is leading.  If we allow Russia to lead, we’ll  have to be willing to do things their way.  Their way is the heavy hand. We might call it “winning ugly”, they just call it winning.

USA Behind France Ally
Vive la France!

Maybe we don’t  have to become Russia, but if France is willing  to bomb a target, we should be willing also.  We won’t  win if we’re not wiling to get our hands dirty.

First and foremost, we need to commit to defeating, not containing, but defeating ISIL.  A good way to do that would be a good old-fashioned  declaration of war.  Once you make such a clear statement of intent, there is no going  back, you have to follow up by taking massive action.  While we’re declaring war, we should invoke article five of the NATO treaty. Certainly all the criteria have been met with the Paris attacks.

Maybe you have different ideas, maybe you’d like to vent in your own special, literary way.  Maybe you agree with most or all on this page.   Hopefully though,  you’re not indifferent.

 

 

 

Let’s have a discussion about “national discussions”.

It seems like every time America experiences a traumatic incident such as the shootings in South Carolina, every time there is an important political decision to be made, every time we face any difficult situation of any sort there is one constant, an increasingly predictable response on the part of our leaders and their supporters.  The President has called for them, the press demands them, politicians propose them.  We bloggers fancy that we engage in them, they’re called ‘national discussions’, and the concept is so overused as to be almost meaningless.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have national discussions, it’s just that the phrase itself has become so tired as to become meaningless.  Sometimes it is a subtle sign of in intellectually impoverished argument.  If you can’t prove your point, call for a discussion on it. Pundits and politicians sometimes call for them as a substitute for real action, as if a problem could just be talked to death. We were supposed to have a ‘national discussion’ about gun control after the massacre in Charleston, race relations after Ferguson, and so on.

What if I wanted to have a national discussion on climate change?  If my position is that the whole thing is an overblown scare campaign meant as an excuse to redistribute wealth, will I be engaged in a substantive way, or will I be called a “Flat-earther” and roundly condemned.  What kind of discussion is that?  If in the interest of engaging in a national discussion on gay marriage I were to simply suggest that such a thing at very least would require us to alter our definition of the term, even if I don’t stake a position on its actual morality, I’d almost certainly be called a bigot or homophobe.

And just how do we have them?  Blogs?  Social media?  Can a meaningful conversation be held in 150 character increments?  How much is actual discussion and how much of it is just collective monologue.  Even this essay is a monologue, until someone comments on it.

Much preferable in my opinion would be to bring back national declarations.  Imagine a president or other leader truly speaking on our behalf.  It’s been done before; Churchill throughout WWII, Kennedy stating we would land a man on the moon within a decade, Dr. Martin Luther KIng’s “I have a dream” speech.  Imagine an American president declaring we will send astronauts to Mars within the next fifteen years.  What if our president were to declare that ISIS would be defeated before he leaves office, whatever it took.  How great would it be to hear Israel would be supported in plain, unequivocal, non-apologetic language.  Even Khrushchev said “we will bury you”.  thankfully he was wrong, but I bet he didn’t call for a national discussion.  Reagan didn’t call for a national dialogue on the merits of the Iron Curtin, he called instead for Mr. Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall!”  If your principles are clear and your values not muddled, you can say that sort of thing.

We can have a dialogue on some things.  Sometimes meaningful debate is the only way to come upon a solution, our Constitution was the subject to great debate. On some issues though, we ought to be able to easily forego discussion and resolve to speak with one voice.  We don’t need to discuss the merits of banishing ISIS from the earth, we just need to decide to do it.  When our leaders do call for a national discussion on something, they should be prepared to listen to the other side and not attempt to marginalize them. Don’t call for discussion when you really mean monologue.  Don’t confuse talk for real action.

That’s my opinion, OK go ahead and discuss!