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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Libertarians are Cool on Kavanaugh

Constitutional Republic
In a constitutional republic, why would you not want a constitutionalist justice?

Progressives not surprisingly, hate President Trump’s pick of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He won’t create rights not enumerated in the Constitution, nor will he legislate from the bench.   Conservatives like him, as he was vetted and approved by the Federalist Society for consideration.  They love him for the same reason the Left hates him. Libertarians have given the choice a cooler reception, citing concerns about privacy rights, especially when it comes to Fourth Amendment protections.  Judge Andrew Napolitano, a libertarian-leaning judge had this to say about the pick:

Now he has given us a nominee to the highest court in the land who typifies the culture he railed against when he claimed he’d drain the swamp. This man and this culture accept cutting holes in the Fourth Amendment because they don’t believe that it should protect privacy. This man and this culture accept unlimited spying on innocent Americans by the National Security Agency because they don’t believe that the NSA is subject to the Constitution.  — Judge Andrew Napolitano

Judge Napolitano’s concerns have been echoed by others on the libertarian side:

Kavanaugh is not another Gorsuch—not even close. Disappointing pick, particularly with respect to his record. Future decisions on the constitutionality of government surveillance of Americans will be huge. We can’t afford a rubber stamp for the executive branch.  –Rep Justin Amash, (R) MI

Restore the 4th

Senator Rand Paul, arguably the most notable libertarian on Capitol Hill was also cool on Kavanaugh, reserving his judgment for now…  “I’m not going to make any comment until we’ve had a chance to look through and really go through a discovery process, meet the nominee,” — Sen Rand Paul, (R) KY

Liberals don’t like Kavanaugh, they are deathly afraid of him overturning Roe v. Wade, and would prefer a justice who believes in a “living Constitution”.  Conservatives like him because they think he won’t legislate from the bench.  Libertarians are concerned that he will opt for an interpretation of the Constitution that favors the government over individual rights.  Will Senator Rand Paul, who might well be the deciding vote in the Senate, be able to overlook past rulings on the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance?  Will he decide that perfect is the enemy of good-enough, or will he find he has irreconcilable differences with Kavanaugh’s judicial philosophy when it comes to privacy versus security?

It’s OK to Love America

The Flag of the U.S.A.

A recent Gallup poll shows that only 47% of those polled were “extremely proud” of their country. This is disturbing, but not surprising, given that public schools, colleges, and political leaders constantly talk down America. Students today are fed a version of history that accentuates the negative while downplaying or completely ignoring the positive. The Left tells us that conservatives are fascists while shutting down the free speech of others they don’t agree with. They fear that if a majority of Supreme Court justices actually follow the Constitution as written, a whole host of “rights” will disappear into thin air. They are unaware apparently of the irony of what they say, as the Constitution was written precisely to codify into law our rights. We live in a country where laws are fine if enforced by one president, but not another. Most of the lack of pride in America stems from a very skewed version of history, the malleable definition of certain words like fascist, racist, sexist, etc., and a near zero knowledge of civics. There are plenty of things that Americans can be proud of, things that paint a better, and indeed, a more accurate picture of America. The fact is, that Americans have many reasons to love their country. Listed here are just a few:

We beat the most powerful empire at the time, Britain through a combination of sheer determination, imagination, and just plain luck. The courage, valor, and determination of the American patriots should not be overlooked. Our Revolution could have been lost in so many ways, yet we pulled off the upset of the century. Read just about any book on the American Revolution and you’ll see just how amazing and improbable our victory actually was. Some, such as George Washington have even attributed our nation’s birth to divine providence.

We freed the slaves. Yes, unfortunately, we had them in the first place, but the matter of slavery was a contentious one since the founding of our republic. Slavery was abolished in Pennsylvania even before the Battle of Yorktown was fought. Though slavery lost support in the North early, it was only ended in the rest of the country at tremendous cost. Imagine a war that was not only the bloodiest in the nation’s history but one where all of the casualties were citizens of the same country. Imagine a war fought not over territory or religion, but over the freedom of people.

We invented stuff, lots of cool stuff. We invented a lot of things the world would have a lot of trouble getting along without. Basic stuff, like light bulbs, the telephone, wireless communication, the internet, zippers, the airplane. Nothing too important.

Your map looks the way it does mainly due to America. Once there were two German states, we helped get that number down to one and a rather ugly wall was torn down in the process. There is a Russia, but not a U.S.S.R., again, mainly thanks to us. We had some help of course, from leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Lech Walesa, and Pope (now Saint) John Paul II, but it was the visionary leadership of a certain American president named Reagan that finally broke the stalemate. There are two Korea’s, one we kept free, a few countries that used to comprise Yugoslavia, and a few more that were either Soviet republics or vassal states. America’s influence has literally been global.

We helped win two world wars and the Cold War. Countries once former enemies are now either allies or important trading partners, or both. Hundreds of millions of people are free due to our willingness to sacrifice for their freedom. Millions more have a chance if they can resist the temptation to revert back to authoritarianism.

We sent a man to the moon. In fact, several of them. To date, the only human beings to ever walk on the moon have been American. Every single human being to take a selfie on the moon has been an American. Every single human being to ever drive a cool dune buggy on the moon has been an American. Every single human being ever to drive a golf ball on the moon, you guessed it– has been an American.

We help people. Anytime there is a major catastrophe anywhere in the world, America offers aid. Be it after an earthquake in Haiti, tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan, or hurricanes in the Caribbean, or any number of other disasters you can name, America is always one of the first countries to offer humanitarian assistance. Were also generous, The United States consistently rates high among all nations in charitable giving, both in terms of total dollar amounts and dollars per capita. Just google: “charitable giving by country” and you’ll see.

To hear it from some people, you’d think that America was a terrible place with a terrible history with few redeeming qualities. Some of their points are valid, but they do not give a balanced perspective on our nation. Our Founding Fathers were men of wisdom and courage who sacrificed much and were prepared to give even more, even their lives if necessary for us to gain our independence. That spirit of sacrifice, of putting liberty and freedom above our own lives and fortunes carries on to this day. No country has done more to further the cause of liberty than the United States. Our influence is global, literally, we’ve helped rewrite atlases, we’ve helped oppressive countries disappear and be replaced with more liberal ones. From freeing black Americans from slavery to freeing other nations from tyranny and oppression, America has always taken a lead role. We make and do cool stuff, like build the Panama Canal and send cars into space. We help the less fortunate in our own county and across the globe. Even when it comes to countries that we don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with politically, we offer them help in their time of need. In short, there is an awful lot to be proud of if you’re an American. That doesn’t mean we ignore the bad, or not continue to correct injustices, it means that our positive contributions and achievements far outweigh the negative, and for that, we should be proud.

So, you want to compare Trump and his followers to Hitler and the Nazis?

Politics of Division

“If you vote for Trump, then you, the voter, you, not Donald Trump, are standing at the border, like Nazis.” – Donny Deutsch.

So, you want to compare Trump to Hitler and his supporters Nazi’s because he wants to arrest and deport illegal aliens? First, former president Obama deported more illegals than any president before him, earning him the nickname: “Deporter in Chief”. So where was your outrage then? Second, but most importantly, when ICE deports illegal aliens they send them back to their country of origin. They arrive there safe and probably in better condition than when they entered the U.S. If not wanted by the authorities in their own country, they are free. Many of them as we know will return to the U.S., a funny thing to do if you believe Trump’s America is the Third Reich revisited.

Compare that to the actual Hitler and real Nazi’s When they rounded up Six million Jews, Slavs, and others they were sent not home, but to concentration camps where most of them died or lived as slaves. The religious and ethnic minorities that were rounded up were not allowed due process, they were offered neither hearings nor trials, there was no pleading their case, no requests for asylum. There was no “catch and release, ” there was no recidivism rate for Holocaust victims. When a member of Himmler’s Totenkopf SS found you, that was it, you were a slave of the Reich until death or the Allies freed you.

If you want to compare Trump to Hitler based on deportations of illegal immigrants, then what you are saying is that being sent back to a country like Mexico or Honduras is like being sent to Treblinka or Auschwitz. The problem with that is that aliens returned to Mexico or some other country find themselves free and alive at the end of their experience with ICE or the Border Patrol. Not so much in the case of Nazi death camps. Anyone unlucky enough to have an encounter with the German Totenkopf SS was looking at guaranteed slavery and/or death. Our immigration laws actually prevent human beings from being made into slaves by human traffickers and the like.

Attempts to liken Trump to Hitler due to his stance on immigration are not just historically wrong but are hurtful to the memories of all who suffered at the hands of the Nazis. The Holocaust victims were never allowed to plead their cases, never given a hearing, never allowed any due process. Illegal immigrants are. The Jews and Slavs captured were used for slave labor, our immigration policy is an impediment to those who wish tho traffic in human beings. An encounter on the part of illegal aliens with ICE or the Border Patrol will usually result in that person being returned healthy and alive to their home country. Capture by the Nazi SS always resulted in the enslavement and usually the eventual death of those captured. To compare Trump and his supporters to Hitler and his is not just historically inaccurate, it is divisive and dishonest. Moreover, the hatred and distrust this causes prevent rational discussion of the very real problem of illegal immigration.

Remembering our fallen heroes on Memorial Day: Are we worthy of their sacrifice?

Memorial Day 2016
Pray for those who gave their lives that we may be free. Appreciate every bit of that freedom, and guard it jealously.

So many brave Americans have fought and died for our freedom.  What would they think of the country we’ve become?  Would they lament what some have done with that freedom?  Would they still think it was worth their last breath or drop of blood, or would they shed tears for the liberties we gave away without even a shot having to have been fired to take them? Would they weep at the sight of groups like Antifa rioting and destroying property seeking to deny people their freedom of speech?  Would those who died in the American Revolution shudder at how many people would forfeit their rights to keep and bear arms, to be free from unwarranted search and seizure for the illusion of safety and security?  Would all those hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers cut down in battle throw their hands up dismay at how racially divided we’ve become?  What would those who died on foreign soil in WWII think of a Europe, the continent they freed of one form of malignant socialism opt for a more palatable one?  How would those who died in the War of 1812 react to football players not honoring the Star Spangled Banner, a song written about the flag some of them literally died to defend?  Remember this Memorial Day, those heroes died for more than a piece of land, they died for an idea, an idea that freedom is worth fighting and dying for.  They died so that those they left behind could be safe from tyranny and oppression.  Let’s not surrender easily what they paid the ultimate price for, that idea of that “shining city on a hill”, of American Exceptionalism.

The State of the Union Drinking Game

SOTU Drinking GameThe State of the Union speeches can sometimes be tedious and predictable. There will be the long list of achievements that the President wants to highlight, coupled by an even longer laundry list of things he wants to Congress to act on. They’re full of soaring rhetoric, with each president making an obvious effort to get in that one, memorable line that will be quoted ad nauseam later that night and the next day. This year however, with President Trump, things promise to be a little more entertaining. When Trump speaks, you can never be quite sure what you’re going to get. Still, there will be the usual SOTU trope: The long introduction with the President working the reception line, the call outs by the President to guests in the chamber who he thinks personify a certain virtue, or a the need for a certain pet program. The camera will inevitably cut to shots of some general or admiral when the talk turns to defense, the Supreme Court when a decision of theirs is mentioned, or the relevant cabinet secretary, whenever the speech refers to something they’ve or their department have done or might do.

Whether boring or not, make the address even more interesting by playing the State of the Union Drinking Game:

The rules are simple: Every time during the address the President utters one of the designated words or phrases, or anytime one of a few select events happen, you take a drink of your favorite adult beverage.  You must of course, be of legal drinking age to play, unless your favorite adult beverage is non-alcoholic, in that case…you’ll probably make yourself sick either way!

Take a sip anytime any President Trump says one of the magic words or phrases:

  • Fake News
  • Obstruction, obstructionism
  • Unqualified
  • Leading from behind
  • America First

…Or each time any of the following happen:

  • Protester disruption

  • A member of the audience is recognized by the President.

  • The camera cuts to the Supreme Court Justices (take an extra sip if any of them are asleep)

  • The camera cuts to Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi for a reaction shot.

  • Chants of “USA! USA!” breaks out.