By Daniel Bobinski
Let’s go back to 1860. On November 6 of that year, Abraham Lincoln is elected President. Less than a month later, South Carolina secedes from the Union. Within two months, six more states secede. Lincoln is inaugurated a few months later, and 40 days after that, Federal troops at Fort Sumter surrender to Confederate troops after a 34-hour bombardment.
Thus began the hostilities of America’s Civil War, but that war didn’t bubble up overnight. It was preceded by decades of internal tension.
Let’s move now to the end of World War II. Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin meet in Moscow for 10 days to divvy up Europe, creating western and eastern sections. Sadly, their imperialist strategizing sow the seeds for 45 years of geopolitical tension.
That period is known as the Cold War, so named because no bullets or missiles were fired. However, plenty of high-level tension existed between two distinctly different philosophies. It was Russia and its satellite countries – known as the Soviet Union – against the United States and its allies, with each side maneuvering for superiority.
As I said, the two sides never fired directly at each other, but plenty of saber rattling occurred, and armed conflict did emerge through several proxy wars.
Our Cold Civil War Today
I bring up our Civil War and the Cold War because over the past decade, America has experienced a significant increase of socio-political tension within its own borders. A Cold Civil War, if you will.
In fact, over the past several years, quiet talk of a Cold Civil War has moved into open dialog, complete with presentations and books on the subject.
Some in Washington DC and in the legacy media say we should not be uttering such words, but guess what? To not discuss the tension leads to more tension. Because I’d rather work toward turning our nation’s tension into a conflict resolved by words instead of a conflict resolved by bullets, I say let’s openly discuss the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
From differences to disdain
Americans have always had differences, but other than the Civil War, we’ve been able to resolve them peacefully because of a common support for American principles. I’m referring to a belief that rights come from God, not the government; that political power comes from the will of the governed; that our government should be a representative republic (because direct democracies lead to mob rule); that our government should have only limited power; and that citizens’ rights cannot be taken away by the government.
Unfortunately, in the past century, a class of people have emerged that we’ll call the “elite.” These people think they know better than you how you should live your life. For many years, they used a “two steps forward, one step back” approach for instilling upon us a set of principles that are different than the founding principles listed above. Students of history know this as the Hegelian dialectic.
Elites were making great gains under the Obama administration. An obvious example was the court decision legalizing marriage for LGBTs that flew in the face of multiple states’ constitutions. Another was the nationalization of healthcare.
Lesser, but still significant examples include:
- Removing millions of acres of public land from public use without public input
- Mandating religious employers provide contraceptive services to employees
- Blocking people from building homes on their land if it gets marshy when it rains
- Forcing school districts to adopt and teach to “Common Core” standards
- Making it illegal in some states to collect rainwater
Another disdain for American principles has been elitists using the courts to move their agenda along faster. Why? Because getting their desired changes though the consent of the governed (e.g., Congress) wasn’t happening. This is why the Left fights so hard against conservative Supreme Court nominations.
The Left uses the courts to circumvent the rights of the states as expressed in the 10th Amendment, which reads:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
A purposeful penetration
Elitists have become entrenched in government, the media, our education system, and in the entertainment industry. Rather than abiding by the “live and let live” theme that has helped Americans get along since before the country’s founding, elites believe that if you don’t see things their way, you are wrong and must be brought to heel.
Hillary Clinton voiced this perspective when she stated that people who didn’t support her were a basket of deplorables. Sadly, that level of disdain now saturates most of the political left, and its intensity has increased over the past decade. For example:
- Professors are not shy about labeling Trump a terrorist and even elementary teachers are bullying students who might hold conservative views.
- When actress and activist Rose McGowan was criticized for defending Iranian terrorists, she used derogatory language I can’t print here to say what she thought about American freedoms.
- News commentators state that anyone who supports Donald Trump is a racist.
Attacking our principles
Writing in an essay about the Cold Civil War in America, Angelo Codevilla, a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute and professor emeritus of International Relations at Boston University, says,
“During the Civil War, President Lincoln observed that all sides ‘pray[ed] to the same God.’ They revered, though in clashing ways, the same founders and principles. None doubted that those on the other side were responsible human beings. Today, none of that holds. Our ruling class and their clients broadly view Biblical religion as the foundation of all that is wrong with the world.”
Said another way, the elites have departed from the founding principle that our rights come from God. If you think Codevilla is just offering his opinion, think again. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission is a bipartisan commission consisting of four Presidential appointees, two senate appointees, and two House appointees, In 2016, the Commission chairman said,
‘The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.’”
Of course, many other examples exist. In February of 2019, Democrats in a House Judiciary Subcommittee changed their swearing-in oath to omit the phrase, “so help me God.” In its place they want to use the phrase, “under penalty of law.”
It doesn’t take much thinking to realize the Left wants the state to be the final authority, not God. That way, in the blink of an eye, rights are coming from the state. And elites are deeply embedded in the state.
Cold Civil War comparisons
Prior to the hostilities at Fort Sumter, the Civil War saw precursor violence, such as the events at Harper’s Ferry in 1859. I hope it’s not a shadow of things to come, but we have also experienced violence in our current Cold Civil War.
In 2015, a Bernie Sanders supporter named James Hodgkinson was writing a lot of anti-Trump rhetoric, such as, “It’s time to destroy Trump & Co.” Then, in 2017, Hodgkinson went to Alexandria, VA and shot five Republican congressmen and staffers.
Also in 2017, a group of anti-fascist activists, or “antifa,” openly told The Hill that their violence was necessary. This is the same group that blocks streets for no reason and attacks people as well as places of business.
My point is this: In some places, tensions are at the boiling point, stoked by a legacy media that works hand-in-hand with the elite. Why? Elites want to see America fall so they can rebuild it in their own image. They create division wherever they can, blaming conservatives along they way.
Our present dilemma
Professor Charles R. Kelser has an insightful piece about our Cold Civil War in the October, 2018 edition of Imprimis. Also, the Claremont Institute and Heritage Foundation teamed up in March of 2019 to discuss the subject, resulting in an hour-long video that can be viewed online.
During the discussion, an audience member asked how likely it was for our Cold Civil War to become a Hot Civil War. One of the panelists said he didn’t think it would happen, hypothesizing that any such violence would be started by a militia group out west and be put down quickly by the force of our military.
As it turns out, March of 2019 was before Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam announced he wanted to enact gun control legislation aimed at confiscating citizens’ guns. It was before 22 Virginia counties declared themselves to be Second Amendment sanctuaries. It was before Virginia State Senator Richard Saslaw revealed his elitist views by saying Second Amendment supporters were “like little kids.”
It was also before Sheriff Mike Lewis in Wicomico County, Maryland said that if the Federal Government attempted to strip citizens in his county of their right to bear arms, “it would be an all-out Civil War.”
It would appear that the Claremont Institute panelist failed to consider the possibility that our Cold Civil War could become a Hot Civil War not by the actions of a militia out west, but by the actions of elitists in our government acting on their disdain for our founding principles.
What the future holds
For those that want to conserve our founding principles, we must recognize that elites will not stop their “progressive” march. They were making great advances, fundamentally transforming America two steps at a time, thinking they could stop taking that occasional backwards step.
Their overconfidence resulted in many Patriots saying, “enough,” and electing a President who would stop their advance. That’s why the elites – and their Public Deceptions Department known as the legacy media – are working overtime to discredit and remove Donald Trump.
It is my firm belief that if there is to be anything left to conserve, conservatives must stop all compromises with the elites. For decades, the Left has made wild demands, and then demanded that conservatives compromise. Their model should be obvious by now, so at this point, the only way to preserve our founding principles is to stand firm on those principles and STOP COMPROMISING.
Allow me to quote Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, from an article in the Free Beacon. Van Cleave said, "We've been down this compromise road and their version of a compromise is they never give up anything. We are expected to give up something every time and we're not doing it anymore.”
Here, here. That is the mindset we need.
If our Cold Civil War were to become hot, I do not believe it will be a militia that starts it. And I certainly do not advocate for hostilities. But one thing is clear: No more ground should be given to the Left. Conservatives must make clear they are no longer compromising on America’s founding principles.
Footnote: If you haven’t already, you are encouraged to Part 1 of this Decade of Disdain series.
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is a certified behavioral analyst, best-selling author, columnist, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker. In addition to working with teams and individuals to help them achieve workplace excellence through improving their emotional intelligence and improving the way they do training, he’s also a veteran and a Christian Libertarian who believes in the principles of free market capitalism – while standing firmly against crony capitalism. Daniel writes on both workplace issues and political issues for multiple publications. In his ideal world, he’d be a speechwriter for President Trump. Reach Daniel for help with your workplace through his website, MyWorkplaceExcellence.com. For things political, use @newbookofdaniel on Twitter. © Shadowtrail Media, LLC