A MODERN CIVIL WAR IN THE MAKING: TWO DISSIMILAR VISIONS FOR AMERICA
“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” ~ Anaïs Nin, French-American diarist, essayist, novelist, February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977
“The clash between the two visions is not over the actual or desirable degree of freedom, justice, power, or equality—or over the fact that that there can only be degrees and not absolutes—but rather over what these things consist of, in whatever degree they occur.” ~ 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.
The Nation sits, today, at a crossroads, just as it did at the juncture of the American Civil War. With each passing day, trust between the two sides further diminishes. The feelings of the one toward the other becomes more corrosive; the differences between the two ever clearer, ever more stark; the convictions of each, ever more entrenched.
In an atmosphere of strong animosity and deep suspicion, compromise and negotiation between the two sides is impossible. Each side holds faithfully to a different vision of America. Each is insistent that its vision come to fruition. But, the two visions for the Country, grounded, as each is, in different belief structures, in different value systems, in different presumptive notions of justice and fundamental fairness, the two are inherently incompatible; so, even if the two sides were willing to negotiate, to compromise, any negotiation, any compromise would not bear fruit; would, in fact, be sterile. Where a path diverges, one or the other can be taken, but not both. Only one vision for this Country is capable of realization.
One side, one faction holds to a vision of America that proceeds from the view that the Nation, conceived and created as a sovereign, independent Nation State, must always remain so, and must remain so in fact, not merely in name. That faction holds also to a vision of the Nation, where: the American people are the supreme authority; Government is understood to be a construct created by the people for the benefit of the people; certain fundamental rights and liberties preexist in the people, bequeathed to the people by the Creator; and, as the Government does not create those fundamental, natural, preexistent rights and liberties, Government lacks lawful authority to eliminate those rights and liberties. That faction’s vision coheres clearly, cleanly, and categorically with the vision of the founders of the Nation, the framers of the Nation’s Constitution.
The other faction’s vision of the Country is predicated on an entirely different set of precepts. It does not accept the view that the people are the supreme authority; rather, it is Government itself that is deemed the supreme authority. This faction also does not adhere to the idea that rights and liberties are to be perceived as fundamental, natural, forces, preexistent in the people. This faction doesn’t see some rights and liberties—or any rights and liberties, for that matter—as immutable forces endowed in man by the Creator at all; but, views rights and liberties as man-made artifices, no different than any law, rule, regulation, code, or ordinance. And, as such, this faction sees that rights and liberties may be lawfully modified or eliminated when Government deems it beneficial to do so for the good of the people as a whole, even as that “good” manifests as detrimental to the individual. This faction has, then, a vision of the Country completely at loggerheads with that of the founders of the Republic. But, this doesn’t faze the faction’s adherents. This faction has determined that the foundation of the Nation, its Constitution, the bedrock of a free Republic, along with the Nation’s most celebrated canons and cherished values, can and ought to be and must be altered or eliminated outright, consistent with what this faction perceives to be a new reality emerging in the world at large.
The differences between the two factions cannot be reconciled for those differences rest upon mutually exclusive inferences—inferences that establish both the structure of government and society, and the relationship of man to those structures and to each other. And those inferences themselves follow from an entirely different set of axiomatic premises—premises at once basic and primordial.
The two sides that fought each other in the American Civil War—the Union and the Confederacy—did not perceive their differences, profound as they were, as a vast existential divide between them, not to the extent seen today. The American Civil War was perceived as a confrontation between States’ rights advocates and advocates for a strong centralized Federal Government.
Arguably, the nineteenth century conflict between the Union and Confederacy may be viewed as a continuation of a debate–a longstanding debate–commenced among the founders of the Republic. One side, the Federalists, espoused a strong central Government; the other side, the Antifederalists, suspicious of a strong central Government, espoused decentralization of authority. But, for all that, the South, in the American Civil War, still professed to hold to the relevance of the concept of the ‘Nation State.’ Its concerns were directed to the allocation of power within that Nation State; nor did either the Union or the Confederacy contest the inherent importance of and sanctity of the Bill of Rights. That is not the case today.
Unlike the two sides that fought each other in the American Civil War, the Union and the Confederacy, one side, the leftist faction, has, in this present conflict, questioned the very meaning and meaningfulness of the concept of ‘Nation State,’ in this age of Globalization and massive movements of people across national boundaries. That helps to explain why that faction would question, and abhor, and mock, President Trump’s* campaign slogan, ‘America First;’ for that faction sees the slogan as an affront to their bedrock principles; an unacceptable return to an archaic world view in contrast to their “modern” world view; and an obstacle to fulfillment of their goals. That faction, too, believes that rights and liberties are subject to modification, or even elimination, when, their usefulness does not cohere with—as they see—changed circumstances in the world.
The other faction holds to the vision of this Country that the founders of the Republic held. This faction believes in the continued relevance of the concept of ‘Nation State’ and, therefore, professes a strong need to preserve this Country as an independent Sovereign Nation; to preserve the supremacy of the Nation’s laws, and to preserve the integrity of the Nation’s physical borders. This faction also believes in the sanctity of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. Modification, much less, elimination of any of the rights and liberties set forth therein is an anathema. This faction, then, holds to a vision of and for the Country that has stood the test of time; a vision that has endured for over two hundred years. The other side seeks to undo that vision of the Country. The other side seeks to construct the Nation anew. Its “modern” vision for this Country distorts and contorts the foundation upon which this Nation rests, as articulated in the Nation’s Constitution, and questions the very meaningfulness of the concept ‘Nation State’ and of the concept of ‘citizen of the United States.’
Congressional Democratic Party members, the proxies for the leaders of the leftist faction—secretive, amoral, extraordinarily wealthy, and abjectly ruthless transnationalist, Globalist financiers and entrepreneurs—are well aware the power they wielded in Government, on behalf of their secretive, ruthless benefactors, has eroded; their agenda contained; their desires and aims to reshape the Country all but frustrated. They cannot abide this. They and the secretive, ruthless, inordinately wealthy and powerful transnationalists who seek to thrust the United States, “kicking and screaming” if need be, into their new international world order, have mobilized legions of progressive Leftist elements: agents provocateurs, agitators, to stir up dissension in society; to breed confusion and unrest in the Nation; to deliberately create and to maximize disorder and chaos in the Country. This, then, is their response to Governmental power and influence that they have lost but which they refuse to relinquish.
Democrats seek to recover their lost power on behalf of the faction they represent. They seek to regain control of Government, to continue to work toward completing the items on their agenda, as their efforts to remake the Country into the image they envision had been rudely interrupted and disrupted through loss of 2016 U.S. Presidential election to the populist, Donald Trump. Too regain control, Democrats have reprehensibly dispensed with adherence to our Nation’s laws even as they claim to abide by them. They are masters of deception. They are cunning, dispassionate, hypocritical, ruthless. They have plowed ahead with their agenda, even though doing so skirts the law and extends well beyond the bounds of common decency. To assist them in their efforts they coopted the feminist #MeToo movement. They have formed alliances with left-wing progressive groups on and off university campuses, and with the far-left radical anarchist group, ‘Antifa.’ Their echo chamber, the mainstream media, works on their behalf, as do media moguls, actors, and directors in the entertainment business and in the technology sector; and, as do bureaucrats of the “Deep State” and left-wing jurists, sprinkled in federal courts across the Country by Obama.
The police often stand at the sideline, forbidden by Leftist State Governments that control them, to interfere. But, police, and the military too, will need, eventually, to take a side, to take a stand in the conflict.
Unless one side capitulates to the other—and that won’t happen—further and more severe clashes are inevitable.
*Trump, strictly speaking is not a Republican—certainly not in a conventional sense. And, while this leftist faction likely would have accepted a Republican Centrist as President–someone like Jeb Bush, albeit having preferred Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders as President, it does not see in the Bush clan, a mortal enemy, that it sees in President Trump, whom it attacks daily. The Bush clan, unlike Trump, shares the same neoliberal economic principles and much the same social, legal, political, and cultural precepts and interests that cohere with and complement those of the EU, that this faction emulates. Indeed, centrist Republicans, like the Bush clan, properly considered, belong to the faction that seeks this “new” vision for America. Trump and most Americans accept none of that. Trump’s Presidency reflects a vision of the Country the founders intended for it. Americans, seeing that vision slipping away, elected Donald Trump to serve as U.S. President, to set the direction of the Nation aright. Many Americans recognized this Nation’s goals were off kilter; that the Nation had moved far afield from the core values and legal precepts of the Nation’s founding. But as Trump is now President, and not Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton, and as the faction that wanted Hillary Clinton to be U.S. President, and fully expected that she would be President, cannot and will not abide the election results. Thus, the tension that has festered between the two factions for decades, have now reached a “tipping point.” The battle over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is merely the most recent proof of and exemplification of that clash.
Copyright © 2018 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.
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Unfortunately, it is the side which holds that the Government itself is the supreme authority which today holds power in the Deep State. This is the side which has “educated” our children, pushed political correctness, and fed the warfare/welfare State for the last 1oo+ years. The chances of this changing without a major catastrophe are nil. Even if a catastrophe such as an economic collapse or massive civil unrest should occur, there is every chance that this would be used as an excuse for ever more government intrusion and oppression.
EXITUS IN DUBIO EST.