THE UNITED STATES ON THE CUSP OF A MODERN-DAY CIVIL WAR
A WAKE-UP CALL FOR AMERICANS
“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.” ~ from A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, by Thomas Sowell, Economist and Social Theorist; Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Make no mistake about it: The United States is on the cusp of a civil war. It is a war fought not with swords, firearms, and artillery—at least not yet—but through throngs of people chanting and screaming in the streets; in buildings; on university campuses; and in the public square; even outside private residences. These throngs are threatening, ridiculing, harassing, and assaulting Americans who do not share their views, their sensibilities. And physical altercations and clashes have occurred. More of those are on the horizon; that is certain. No one should doubt it. The outcome of this modern conflict will have as deep and lasting effect on this Nation and on its citizenry as did the American Civil War.
In the present conflict, there can be no negotiation with or compromise between the two factions, for the gulf dividing them is too vast, the chasm too deep. The outcome of the present civil war will be profound. This conflict’s outcome will determine the Nation’s social, political, economic, and legal contours for generations to come.
Americans see the clash between the two factions playing out most aggressively, of late, through the Senate confirmation process of the President’s second nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Judge Brett Kavanaugh presently sits as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He is, by any estimate, a brilliant jurist with many years of judicial experience. No one should doubt that. No one can reasonably refute or rebut that. No matter. One faction intends to strike his nomination down.
Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans, sitting on the Judiciary Committee, pose, essentially, as proxies for the two factions in conflict. One faction supports confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the high Court and is working to see it happen. The other intends to prevent it. Few Americans remain on the sidelines. Both factions in this modern civil conflict know that the Judiciary—more so than Congress, or the Chief Executive—has power, predicated on the jurisprudential and philosophical predispositions of the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, either to strengthen or weaken the bedrock of the Nation: its Constitution. In their individual approaches to case analysis, through the methodologies employed, one vision of the Country sees actualization.
Democratic Party proxies, frantic and frenetic, fearing imminent confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the high Court, have lost all sense of decorum, all reason, all self-restraint. They have been unable to shoot holes in Brett Kavanaugh’s legal methodology; in his understanding of the law. That much is clear.
Democrats, and the public at large that tuned to the Confirmation Hearing, know that Bret Kavanaugh has a keen analytical mind; that he is legally astute; that his years of experience as a lawyer and as a jurist make him eminently qualified to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Democrats and the public at large know that Judge Kavanaugh has a deep, abiding respect for the Nation’s system of laws; for its Constitution; and for the Nation’s massive body of jurisprudence, accumulated over two centuries.
Democrats, and the lay public also know that Kavanaugh’s methodology for analyzing cases reflects respect for case law precedent; and for the plain meaning of statutes; and for adherence to “original intent,” when applying the U.S. Constitution to the facts of a case. And, as for the latter two points, there’s the rub. For, one faction seeks a jurist to sit on the high Court who has no qualms about legislating from the Bench: someone like Judge Merrick Garland,* a Judge, whose jurisprudential methodology and jurisprudential philosophy just happen to coincide with the political and social agenda championed by the previous U.S. President, Barack Obama, who nominated him to sit on the high Court—a jurist who would also be championed by the 2016 Democratic Party Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton who failed to get elected. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s jurisprudential approach to case analysis and jurisprudential and ethical philosophies are antithetical to those of Judge Merrick Garland.
Knowing what is at stake, Democrats have become frantic, desperate. At the last minute, in a last ditch effort to delay, with the aim of ultimately derailing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Democrats have sought the last refuge of the hopeless: character assassination. As they could not successfully attack the man’s principles, his ability, his experience, they launched a vicious, audacious, reprehensible, despicable attack on the man himself.
Each side, in this conflict, knows full well that the very soul and psyche of this Nation and its people is at stake. The outcome of the present conflict will, then, from that perspective, be far-reaching—conceivably more so than that of the previous conflict, devastating as that conflict was and as far-reaching in its consequences that it was for the Confederacy; and for the Nation; and for all Americans.
Before we explain how the very soul and psyche of the Nation is at stake and what, precisely, we mean by that and why we say that the outcome of the present conflict may very well have consequences that are, potentially, more far-reaching than the consequences of the American Civil War, let us, for the moment, consider what resulted from the South’s defeat in that conflict. We see that:
- The secession of the Confederate States from the Union was withdrawn, and the Nation reunited.
- The Confederacy was placed under military rule.
- The Federal Government gained supremacy over the States (all States) and State Governments (all State Governments), clearly and unequivocally. In that regard, the diminution of the power of the States has negatively impacted the “Union” States as much as it has the States of the Confederacy. This “Federalism” pervades to the present day.
- Slavery was de facto eliminated. This led to de jure elimination of slavery with the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The loss of State power to the Federal Government is, arguably, the most significant outcome of the American Civil War; and the Federal Government’s accumulation of power at the expense of the States has grown exponentially in the years and decades since the American Civil War ended.
Now, suppose for a moment, that the Confederacy prevailed; this Nation would likely have formed a confederation of two sovereign independent Nation States, comprising States of their own. But, the concept of ‘Sovereign Nation States’—the USA and CSA—not beholding to or subordinated to foreign Nations or to political entities of one sort or another, unlike those Nations comprising the EU, was never at stake. Secondly, preservation of the fundamental, unalienable, natural rights and liberties of the people, as codified in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, was never questioned during the American Civil War, either. With the conclusion of the American Civil War, the United States remained a Sovereign, independent Nation State, albeit as one Sovereign Nation State, rather than two.
We, American citizens, must keep these two points uppermost in mind, because the notion of ‘Nation State’ and the notion of natural rights preexistent in the individual—will either be preserved and strengthened, or they will not, depending on which faction prevails in this modern civil war.
While the stakes in the present conflict are emphatic, the lines between the two factions in the present conflict are not. With the American Civil War, a clear physical demarcation existed for the most part between the two sides: North and South, and the Civil War combatants, “Yankee” or “Rebel,” aligned with one side or the other, although among the border States—Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, West Virginia—the demarcation was not clear-cut, static, but more tenuous, more fluid. Close family members took one side or the other. Brother fought against brother; father against son; cousin against cousin; and uncle against nephew.
As with the border States during the American Civil War, we see today, too, that physical demarcations do not predominately mark the boundaries between the two sides, between the two factions, although a preponderance of one faction lives in the Coastal States, and a preponderance of the other resides in the interior States. But, ultimately, for most people, it is the precepts and tenets that one holds to that determines which side one fights on, rather than where one lives.
The precepts and tenets one holds to determines whom one considers his friend or his foe. And, as the precepts and tenets held by one faction are inconsistent with the precepts and tenets held by the other, any compromise between the two factions is sterile, impossible. The Country is, then, very clearly in the midst of an existential crisis. It is a crisis taking hold of people on a primordial level. Americans are lining up; taking sides in a major clash of competing visions for this Country. Each faction’s vision for this Country rests on distinct, incompatible social, political, economic, and ethical philosophies. Only one side, one faction will prevail in the unfolding conflict.
We will see either massive upheaval, a cataclysmic sea change in the political, social, economic, and legal structure of our Nation, or we will see preserved those principles, those core values and mores upon which the political, social, economic, and legal structure and fabric of our Nation has stood and endured for over two centuries—principles and core values that so many Americans had fought, and for which so many had died, to preserve: principles and core values—unchanging and eternal.[We continue with this article in the next installment].
*Under Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution the President nominates a person to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. But, the President shall do so only with the “advice and consent” of the Senate. The “advice and consent” of the Senate operates as a condition precedent to actual appointment. But, there is nothing in the Constitution that requires the Senate to give its advice and consent. And the Senate has not done so, here, with Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to sit on the high Court. Those Democrats and Leftists, of all stripes, who wanted and had expected the Senate to provide a Hearing and Roll-Call vote on Merrick Garland were apoplectic. Merrick Garland, who would, have been Barack Obama’s third appointment to the high Court, would have given the liberal-wing of the Court a clear majority, sufficient to move the left-wing agenda along. Leftists conclude that Republicans have stolen a seat on the high Court that belongs to them. That helps, in part, to explain, but certainly does not justify the outrageous, reprehensible smear campaign Senate Democrats launched against President Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, in their late hour effort to defeat Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high Court.
Copyright © 2018 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.
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