America’s second civil war has already begun — sans the real shooting (and abject carnage), at least yet. If you doubt this, take a hard look at New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, and most other major urban centers — our so-called civilized society is tearing itself apart. As such, the U.S. federal government must intervene to crush the violent insurrectionists wherever they rear their heads. The Insurrection Act of 1807 authorizes this action, and if our current situation doesn't warrant deploying it, then what does? Bottom line, we must stop this insurgency before it goes 'hot' like our first Civil War.
Non-violent protests should continue to be respected and protected — freedom of speech and the right to 'peaceably' assemble are bedrocks of our republic. However, politically-motivated protesters who use violence to attack officers of the law, physically harm others, and destroy property; as well as elected public officials who encourage or condone such acts (thus violating their oath to defend the U.S. Constitution), should be arrested and charged with insurrection against the United States, a.k.a. treason. This behavior needs to be stopped in its tracks. Serious federal measures must be deployed — the risks to our republic are growing by the day.
Those alive when Fort Sumter was fired upon in 1861 could not have imagined the carnage it would unleash — more than 618,000 dead Americans in just four years. By continuing to allow our current situation to fester, we risk a similar dark outcome. Our first Civil War percolated with small clashes for several years before Fort Sumter turned it into a declared hot war. As such, letting the current situation continue to percolate ignores the lessons of history and may be a major miscalculation. We don't want future historians to point to Minneapolis as our nation's second Fort Sumter moment.
Storm clouds are forming all around us. Rule of law is being cast aside, and our protectors are being demonized and attacked. Our current societal divisions are eerily reminiscent of America 1861 — brother against brother, sister against sister. And, yet, the reasons for our current upheaval look utterly meaningless when compared to the monumental injustice of slavery, whereby nearly four million persons were "legally" held in bondage.
It is not easy to discern why we are in this situation in 2020. However, it is not about President Trump, as many would have us believe. These dark clouds have been gathering for at least a dozen years — we saw them during President Obama's time in office as well — Occupy Wall Street, Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Ferguson, race riots, et al.
Part of what's led to our Second Civil War has been the meteoric rise of social media. More specifically, social media's nexus with socialists, communists, anarchists, nihilists, neo-Nazis, race baiters, and the Coronavirus pandemic, all of which mixed together have formed a noxious medusa-like anti-freedom cocktail. This cocktail may be the greatest threat to our freedom of speech that we have ever seen. And without freedom of speech, our republic will whither. It is the glue that binds us.
The most alarming aspect of this situation is that an entire generation of our children and young adults have unwittingly been Facebook trained into thinking and acting like robotic clones. From age 5 and earlier, our children are learning to go along to get along on social media — if you post or tweet what the crowd (mob) approves of, you get lots of likes. Dare to deviate, you get attacked, humiliated, and belittled. And everyone wants to be liked, especially impressionable children. It's Pavlov's dog all over again, starting in elementary school.
This new way of life inadvertently indoctrinated our youth to be malleable and accepting of what the mob wants. This is the reason why most of our youth now sound like parrots mimicking the same catchphrases and viewpoints: the virtues of socialism and social justice, the greed of capitalism and billionaires, climate change, white privilege, America's widespread systemic racism (though none of them can cite a law or statute supporting this claim), and so on. It is rare indeed to find a young person who deviates from the pattern. Simultaneously, most show scant understanding of 1776 and America's bedrock principles of individual rights and liberties. They have become Orwellian clones.
Sadly, our higher education institutions are reinforcing this "intellectual cloning". And it doesn't matter whether your son or daughter goes to Harvard, Stanford, Arizona State, or your local community college. The so-called smart kids are just as easily indoctrinated, if not more so.
With respect to our freedom of speech, sure you can still say what you like. But if the social media mob doesn't like what you say, they will destroy you, your career, and your family. In other words, our freedom of speech is being held hostage in exchange for self-preservation. And if you dare defy them, this mob relishes (and will cheer on) your execution via Twitter.
This is shockingly similar to the French Revolution of 1789 and the mob-incited Reign of Terror which followed — whereby over 17,000 heads were freed of their bodies, to the cheers of the mob. Ironically, the guillotine was eventually turned on those who originated its use.
Our republic is unlikely to survive if our children and young adults aren't de-programmed and soon. Their clone-like behavior is fertile ground for dictatorship. We must re-teach our children (and ourselves) to think again, exercise our freedom of speech, and respect and protect the freedom of speech of others, even those who say the most offensive garbage we have ever heard. (This is exactly why the U.S. Supreme Court approved of the neo-Nazi march in Skokie, Illinois in 1977.)
The Spirit of 1776 is what became the world's great liberator — it's why nearly every revolutionary movement points to 1776 as its inspiration. With this noteworthy fact in mind, perhaps we can lay the groundwork for a better future by instituting mandatory Spirit of 1776 classes for America's youth. Three mandatory classes would ensure success — one in elementary school, one in middle school, and one in high school. The goal would be to teach every student the history of 1776, as well as the origin and importance of our individual rights and liberties. Understanding this will foster an appreciation for how unique and special the United States is. Only then will our youth respect and defend America again.
In 1861, the injustice of slavery and its direct violations of the principles of 1776 were evident and front and center for all to see. Jefferson, Adams and Franklin were acutely aware of this contradiction in 1776 as well — but the southern states would not compromise on the issue of slavery. Thus, they took the best deal they could get in order to secure the signatures of all 13 colonies for The Declaration of Independence.
In 2020 though, the lingering injustices present in 1776 and 1861 are nowhere to be seen. They have long since been wiped away.
Are civic conditions perfect today? No. Is racism gone? No. Does injustice still exist? Yes.
However, "systemically" our nation has been steadily guiding itself ever closer to the noble principles of 1776. Slavery no longer exists in the United States, amendments have been enacted guaranteeing equal rights to all, voting rights have been codified to include all races, women have won the right to vote, and so on. The true systemic injustices that were once embedded in the United States — those that ran directly counter to the principles of 1776 — have indeed been scrubbed away.
Nevertheless, the greatest and most benevolent nation ever conceived of — built by women and men, black, white, red, yellow, and brown — on the bedrock of individual rights and liberties — is being scuttled by our very own citizenry. Pity the fools who haven’t the vaguest of ideas of what the world was like pre-1776, Paris 1789, Moscow 1917, Berlin 1933, Mogadishu or Caracas today, or the endless other human disasters the world has witnessed.
If the United States descends into a hot civil war, the world will become a dark and dangerous place overnight. Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Turkey, and other such bad actors will be free to do as they please — and their motives certainly won't be benevolent.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
The ignorant barbarians have arrived — they are us — and we are them.
We must smash the violent insurrectionists (and begin educating ourselves again) while we still can. If we don't, they will vanquish the Spirit of 1776, and then us with it.