George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
The Involved Citizen - Common Sense Revisited
> State of the Union
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Rapid Response for WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, May 25 and 26, 2022
A SICK SOCIETY.
1) "God is
Dead". Spirituality vs. Secularism. Human Hope vs. Fatalism / "Living
in the "Here and Now" / ME!
2) The Nuclear Family
is Dying. Non-Committed Parents and married Couples. Federal "Help"
in killing the Nuclear Family.
3) The Children seek
"support" and relevance wherever they can find it.
4) All this is
promoted and aggrandized by mainstream media and by personal "social"
media (enabled by personal gizmos and apps).
5) A Result: Children
"grow up" with vestigial interpersonal skills: unable to interact
personally while "always connected". This prevents both GROWING UP
6) Another Result: No
regard for Limits or Law, but rather a deep antipathy to such concepts of
Socialization. The only thing that counts is ME.
7) The logical and inevitable
result: The Law of the Jungle, followed by Revolutions and Decline.
HOW TO ATTEMPT
A) ACCEPT the above
symptoms and clinical signs.
B) The three major
Religions must stop playing mere defense and self- defense. The Catholic
Church, for one, must aggressively seek the return of over half of its Laity
who effectively left since the 20th century in revulsion over its unnecessary
rules on "the Unitive Function of Sex" even within the married bond;
on non-abortifacient contraception; on a distinctly un-catholic approach to
divorce as the only viable response to irreconcilable differences between a
married couple who tried; on the rule against marriage for the Clergy; on
declaring homosexual tendencies as "intrinsic evil" rather than
studying it as an apparent biologic variable affecting God's human
The Church needs to
re-visit these issues for its own relevance and survival...and because WE ALL
NEED ITS SPIRITUAL MESSAGE OF HOPE.
C) Parenting must once
again be entered into as a Full Time Vocation for at least 20 years...or NOT AT
D) The addiction to
"social media" must be aggressively treated and replaced by the
actual Humanization of personal interaction...both at home and in school.
E) Actions must once
again have consequences. Law And Order, properly defined and implemented. The
Badge must be respected.
F) In context with all
of the above, access to firearms remains a Constitutional Right...but can be
better regulated as to access - while still consistent with the potential needs
of a "Militia" to rise up against despotism in this
Guns do not kill.
Failure to deal with
the above Infection is beginning to lead to the Decline and Fall of the
greatest experiment in human self-government in History.
What a Shame that
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Rapid Response for MONDAY through THURSDAY,
November 19 through 22,
THIS ARTICLE IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST-READ, IF YOU CARE ABOUT WHERE WE ARE AS A NATION.
"America's Cold Civil War", by Charles R. Kesler, (in Imprimis, Hillsdale.edu, October, 2018).
It is reprinted below in its entirety.
are three kinds of people: people who make things happen; people who
watch things happen; and people who are constantly saying..."Wha
Which kind are you?
America’s Cold Civil War
Imprimis, October 2018 • Volume 47, Number 10 • Charles R. Kesler
Charles R. Kesler
Editor, Claremont Review of Books
R. Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government
at Claremont McKenna College and editor of the Claremont Review of
Books. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social studies and his A.M.
and Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. A senior fellow at the
Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political
Philosophy and a recipient of the 2018 Bradley Prize, he is the editor
of several books, including Keeping the Tablets: Modern American
Conservative Thought (with William F. Buckley Jr.), and the author of I
Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Future of Liberalism.
following is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on
September 27, 2018, during a two-week teaching residency as a Eugene C.
Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Journalism.
years ago I wrote a book about Barack Obama in which I predicted that
modern American liberalism, under pressures both fiscal and
philosophical, would either go out of business or be forced to
radicalize. If it chose the latter, I predicted, it could radicalize
along two lines: towards socialism or towards an increasingly
post-modern form of leadership. Today it is doing both. As we saw in
Bernie Sanders’ campaign, the youngest generation of liberals is
embracing socialism openly—something that would have been unheard of
during the Cold War. At the same time, identity politics is on the
ascendant, with its quasi-Nietzschean faith in race, sex, and power as
the keys to being and meaning. In the #MeToo movement, for example—as
we saw recently in Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation battle—the credo
is, “Believe the woman.” In other words, truth will emerge not from an
adversarial process weighing evidence and testimony before the bar of
reason, but from yielding to the will of the more politically correct.
“Her truth” is stronger than any objective or disinterested truth.
the Claremont Review of Books, we have described our current political
scene as a cold civil war. A cold civil war is better than a hot civil
war, but it is not a good situation for a country to be in. Underlying
our cold civil war is the fact that America is torn increasingly
between two rival constitutions, two cultures, two ways of life.
scientists sometimes distinguish between normal politics and regime
politics. Normal politics takes place within a political and
constitutional order and concerns means, not ends. In other words, the
ends or principles are agreed upon; debate is simply over means. By
contrast, regime politics is about who rules and for what ends or
principles. It questions the nature of the political system itself. Who
has rights? Who gets to vote? What do we honor or revere together as a
people? I fear America may be leaving the world of normal politics and
entering the dangerous world of regime politics—a politics in which our
political loyalties diverge more and more, as they did in the 1850s,
between two contrary visions of the country.
One vision is based
on the original Constitution as amended. This is the Constitution
grounded in the natural rights of the Declaration of Independence, the
Constitution written in 1787 and ratified in 1788. It has been
transmitted to us with significant Amendments—some improvements and
some not—but it is recognizable still as the original Constitution. To
simplify matters we may call this “the conservative Constitution”—with
the caveat that conservatives have never agreed perfectly on its
meaning and that many non-conservatives remain loyal to it.
other vision is based on what Progressives and liberals, for 100 years
now, have called “the living Constitution.” This term implies that the
original Constitution is dead—or at least on life support—and that in
order to remain relevant to our national life, the original
Constitution must be infused with new meaning and new ends and
therefore with new duties, rights, and powers. To cite an important
example, new administrative agencies must be created to circumvent the
structural limitations that the original Constitution imposed on
As a doctrine, the living Constitution originated in
America’s new departments of political and social science in the late
nineteenth century—but it was soon at the very forefront of Progressive
politics. One of the doctrine’s prime formulators, Woodrow Wilson, had
contemplated as a young scholar a series of constitutional amendments
to reform America’s national government into a kind of parliamentary
system—a system able to facilitate faster political change. But he
quickly realized that his plan to amend the Constitution was going
nowhere. Plan B was the living Constitution. While keeping the outward
forms of the old Constitution, the idea of a living Constitution would
change utterly the spirit in which the Constitution was understood.
resulting Constitution—let us call it “the liberal Constitution”—is not
a constitution of natural rights or individual human rights, but of
historical or evolutionary right. Wilson called the spirit of the old
Constitution Newtonian, after Isaac Newton, and that of the new
Constitution Darwinian, after Charles Darwin. By Darwinian, Wilson
meant that instead of being difficult to amend, the liberal
Constitution would be easily amenable to experimentation and
adjustment. To paraphrase the late Walter Berns, the point of the old
Constitution was to keep the times in tune with the Constitution; the
purpose of the new is to keep the Constitution in tune with the times.
the 1960s, most liberals believed it was inevitable that their living
Constitution would replace the conservative Constitution through a kind
of slow-motion evolution. But during the sixties, the so-called New
Left abandoned evolution for revolution, and partly in reaction to
that, defenders of the old Constitution began not merely to fight back,
but to call for a return to America’s first principles. By seeking to
revolve back to the starting point, conservatives proved to be
Newtonians after all—and also, in a way, revolutionaries, since the
original meaning of revolution is to return to where you began, as a
celestial body revolves in the heavens.
campaign against the inevitable victory of the living Constitution
gained steam as a campaign against the gradual or sudden disappearance
of limited government and of republican virtue in our political life.
And when it became clear, by the late 1970s and 1980s, that the
conservatives weren’t going away, the cold civil war was on.
by sharper, deeper, and more compelling accounts of the conservative
Constitution, the liberals had to sharpen—that is, radicalize—their own
alternative, following the paths paved by the New Left. As a result,
the gap between the liberal and conservative Constitutions became a
gulf, to the extent that today we are two countries—or we are fast on
the road to becoming two countries—each constituted differently.
a few of the contrasts. The prevailing liberal doctrine of rights
traces individual rights to membership in various groups—racial,
ethnic, gender, class-based, etc.—which are undergoing a continual
process of consciousness-raising and empowerment. This was already a
prominent feature of Progressivism well over a century ago, though the
groups have changed since then. Before Woodrow Wilson became a
politician, he wrote a political science textbook, and the book opened
by asking which races should be studied. Wilson answered: we’ll study
the Aryan race, because the Aryan race is the one that has mastered the
world. The countries of Europe and the Anglophone countries are the
conquerors and colonizers of the other continents. They are the
countries with the most advanced armaments, arts, and sciences.
was perhaps not a racist in the full sense of the term, because he
expected the less advanced races over time to catch up with the Aryan
race. But his emphasis was on group identity—an emphasis that liberals
today retain, the only difference being that the winning and losing
sides have been scrambled. Today the white race and European
civilization are the enemy—“dead white males” is a favored pejorative
on American campuses—and the races and groups that were oppressed in
the past are the ones that today need compensation, privileges, and
Conservatives, by contrast, regard the individual as the
quintessential endangered minority. They trace individual rights to
human nature, which lacks a race. Human nature also lacks ethnicity,
gender, and class. Conservatives trace the idea of rights to the
essence of an individual as a human being. We have rights because we’re
human beings with souls, with reason, distinct from other animals and
from God. We’re not beasts, but we’re not God—we’re the in-between
being. Conservatives seek to vindicate human equality and liberty—the
basis for majority rule in politics—against the liberal Constitution’s
alternative, in which everything is increasingly based on group
There is also today a vast divergence between the
liberal and conservative understandings of the First Amendment.
Liberals are interested in transforming free speech into what they call
equal speech, ensuring that no one gets more than his fair share. They
favor a redistribution of speech rights via limits on campaign
contributions, repealing the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision,
and narrowing the First Amendment for the sake of redistribution of
speech rights from the rich to the poor. Not surprisingly, the
Democratic Party’s 2016 platform called for amending the First
There is, of course, also a big difference between
the liberal Constitution’s freedom from religion and the conservative
Constitution’s freedom of religion. And needless to say, the liberal
Constitution has no Second Amendment.
In terms of government
structure, the liberal Constitution is designed to overcome the
separation of powers and most other checks and balances. Liberals
consistently support the increased ability to coordinate, concentrate,
and enhance government power—as opposed to dividing, restricting, or
checking it. This is to the detriment of popular control of government.
In recent decades, government power has flowed mainly through the hands
of unelected administrators and judges—to the point that elected
members of Congress find themselves increasingly dispirited and unable
to legislate. As the Financial Times put it recently, “Congress is a
sausage factory that has forgotten how to make sausages.”
one thinks about how America’s cold civil war could be resolved, there
seem to be only five possibilities. One would be to change the
political subject. Ronald Reagan used to say that when the little green
men arrive from outer space, all of our political differences will be
transcended and humanity will unite for the first time in human
history. Similarly, if some jarring event intervenes—a major war or a
huge natural calamity—it might reset our politics.
possibility, if we can’t change the subject, is that we could change
our minds. Persuasion, or some combination of persuasion and
moderation, might allow us to end or endure our great political
division. Perhaps one party or side will persuade a significant
majority of the electorate to embrace its Constitution, and thus win at
the polling booth and in the legislature. For generations, Republicans
have longed for a realigning election that would turn the GOP into
America’s majority party. This remains possible, but seems unlikely.
Only two presidents in the twentieth century were able to effect
enduring changes in American public opinion and voting
patterns—Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. FDR inspired a political
realignment that lasted for a generation or so and lifted the
Democratic Party to majority status. Ronald Reagan inspired a
realignment of public policy, but wasn’t able to make the GOP the
Since 1968, the norm in America has been divided
government: the people have more often preferred to split control of
the national government between the Democrats and the Republicans
rather than entrust it to one party. This had not previously been the
pattern in American politics. Prior to 1968, Americans would almost
always (the exceptions proved the rule) entrust the Senate, the House
of Representatives, and the Presidency to the same party in each
election. They would occasionally change the party, but still they
would vote for a party to run the government. Not so for the last 50
years. And neither President Obama nor President Trump, so far, has
persuaded the American electorate to embrace his party as their
national representative, worthy of long-term patriotic allegiance.
of course, is new to this, and his party in Congress is basically
pre-Trumpian. He did not win the 2016 election by a very large margin,
and he was not able to bring many new Republicans into the House or the
Senate. Nonetheless, he has the opportunity now to put his mark on the
party. In trying to do so, his populism—which is not a word he
uses—will not be enough. He will have to reach out to the existing
Republican Party as he has done, adopt some of its agenda, adopt its
electoral supporters, and gradually bring them around to his “America
first” conservatism if he is to have any chance of achieving a
political realignment. And the odds remain against him at this point.
for moderating our disagreements and learning to live with them more or
less permanently, that too seems unlikely given their fundamental
nature and the embittered trajectory of our politics over the last two
So if we won’t change our minds, and if we can’t change
the subject, we are left with only three other ways out of the cold
civil war. The happiest of the three would be a vastly reinvigorated
federalism. One of the original reasons for constitutional federalism
was that the states had a variety of interests and views that clashed
with one another and could not be pursued in common. If we had a
re-flowering of federalism, some of the differences between blue states
and red states could be handled discreetly by the states themselves.
The most disruptive issues could be denationalized. The problem is,
having abandoned so much of traditional federalism, it is hard to see
how federalism could be revived at this late juncture.
leaves two possibilities. One, alas, is secession, which is a danger to
any federal system—something about which James Madison wrote at great
length in The Federalist Papers. With any federal system, there is the
possibility that some states will try to leave it. The Czech Republic
and Slovakia have gone their separate ways peacefully, just within the
last generation. But America is much better at expansion than
contraction. And George Washington’s admonitions to preserve the Union,
I think, still miraculously somehow linger in our ears. So secession
would be extremely difficult for many reasons, not the least of which
is that it could lead, as we Americans know from experience, to the
fifth and worst possibility: hot civil war.
circumstances, the American constitutional future seems to be
approaching some kind of crisis—a crisis of the two Constitutions. Let
us pray that we and our countrymen will find a way to reason together
and to compromise, allowing us to avoid the worst of these dire
scenarios—that we will find, that is, the better angels of our nature.
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Rapid Response for FRIDAY,
THE VIETNAM WAR: A DOCUMENTARY BY KEN BURNS:
MY COMMENTARY ON THAT “POLICE ACTION” AND ON ITS CONTINUING AFTERMATH.
and more consequential than the Civil War, the Vietnam War was a
disaster while in progress…and one that has had long-lasting effects
that hobble this nation to the present time. Those of us who lived
through it and who have lived with its effects since then need no
reminder about the veracity of this opinion. Those who have not would
benefit from viewing all of the episodes of Burns’ 2017 documentary.
follows is my personal review of that documentary, of its historical
facts, of the consequences during the last 45 years, and of the tears
and rage that effort produced in me in the process.
Make America Great Again.
and its people had been through centuries of efforts to gain freedom
and independence from outsiders. The French colonization began in the
1860’s, the most recent and nearly century-long challenge to that goal.
Those efforts continued after WW l, when a young Ho Chi Minh tried to
get President Wilson’s attention to apply the President’s high-sounding
statements to block further colonization. He was afforded no contact
and no help. It was then that Ho embraced Communism as possibly a
better way to obtain freedom for his people from French colonization.
War II, with the Japanese and Chinese designs on Viet Nam and on all of
Indochina, was followed by French President De Gaulle’s threatening a
reluctant President Truman that he would join the Soviet sphere if
Truman did not support France’s continued colonization after the war.
Then came the great French defeat by the Vietnamese in 1954.
came a succession of U.S. Presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and
Nixon) who serially lied to the American People regarding the
disastrous effects our “police action” was having on the Vietnamese
people and also on our nation. The rationale for these actions was the
“Domino Effect” that the ever – expanding Communist Russia and China
seemed to have settled into. Had the proposition been brought honestly
to the American People, they would likely have agreed to that
rationale…so long as they were keep apprised of the “action’s “
progress, effects and likely outcome. None of that took place, while
our “leaders” lied and lied for years, as the increasing disaster
unfolded. That was the level of confidence that our leaders had on the
American People. The “dissembling miscreants” included Secretary of
Defense McNamara, General Westmoreland, Henry Kissinger, and many
- Meanwhile, the Vietnamese were subjected to wholesale
destruction at the hands of corrupt national leaders, by constant
invasion by Communist Viet Cong supported by Communist China and
Russias88…and by increasingly deadly but feckless American military action
committed to their “salvation” beginning in 1960. The result was over
50,000 American military deaths, over 2 million Vietnamese deaths, the
destruction of South Vietnam, and its loss – as well as of much of
Indochina to the Communists. It also resulted in the violent divisions
of Americans and their radicalization at home, the massive introduction
of a Drug Culture, many tens of thousands of “walking wounded” since
then, the general loss of faith in government – and in authority in
general. Lingering effects include devaluation of family life, a return
of racism, a broad sense of “entitlement” without corresponding
personal responsibility, a debasement of public education and internal
deep political divisions that enabled the rise of terrorism, 9-11,
Afghanistan, Iraq, Isis, and a recent President who worked toward the
enfeeblement of America vis a vis the rest of the world.
Vietnam War was a disaster worse for America than the Civil War. It
brings to mind the increasingly effective invasions of the Germanic
“hords” into the Rome of antiquity and the serial insanity of some of
its Emperors, leading to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. That
took over 400 years. We are half – way there, if we do not embrace the
efforts of our current transparent and effective outsider to
George A. Sprecace., M.D., J.D.
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Rapid Response for FRIDAY, May 11,
HAVE YOU VIEWED THE NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
"TRUMP. AN AMERICAN DREAM"?
That term, Documentary, could easily be placed in quotation marks, in view of its persistently negative tone.
it is worth viewing as a jaded presentation of the making of Donald
Trump. The contempt (read "envy") began soon after the son left the
successful father in Brooklyn to make his mark in Manhattan despite the
desperate times of the 1970's. He began with nothing but his name - and
the perpetual desire of Wall Street types and their political whores to
make money - with the conversion of the failed Commodore Hotel to the
Grand Hyatt. In this effort as in others through the years, he used the
legal methods available to all. But he used them in astounding ways
(like the 40 billion dollar tax abatement from New York City for the
hotel and a second massive abatement for the Trump Tower - that
supported by a unanimous New York State Court of Appeals)...and the
Bankruptcy Laws in Atlantic City. He was beating them at their own
game...and they hated it to this day. He also demonstrated the truism "
If you owe the bank a LOT of money, you own the bank". He became "too
big to fail".
He came from a cohesive family, tried to be a family
man...with limited initial success until his current cohesive family.
He was single-minded to WIN, or not to play. Not an altar boy...but not
the "sociopath" that he is accused of being by the jackals opining in
When he decided that he could win the Presidency of the United States, he ran...and WON.
No "Casper Milque-Toast", he. Thank God for that in today's world.
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Rapid Response for WEDNESDAY, April 4,
Is anybody listening?
"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, 1935:
"Continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber.
To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Rapid Response for WEDNESDAY,
"THE VIETNAM WAR",
A Film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick...
an unmitigated disaster by France, England, our OSS / CIA, the
Vietnamese people, China, Russia, and our deluded and dissembling
(See also my initial comment in this section dated Oct. 9, 2017).
have now viewed and studied the first two of ten "episodes" of this TV
documentary on DVD. I seriously doubt whether I will view any more,
since my memory is very clear and pained about the events that occurred
between 1963 and 1973. The Vietnam War was America's greatest
self-inflicted wound since the Civil War. And it keeps on giving.
modern era of Vietnam's troubles dates back to the 1860's when France
invaded and occupied "Indochina" with typical colonial arrogance - in
the face of its peoples' desire for independence. At the end of WWI,
when Woodrow Wilson was expounding about "the end of colonialism" and
when a young Ho Chi Min sent him a letter seeking his help on behalf of
the Vietnamese people, someone made sure that Wilson never received it.
As the French continued their occupation, Min became enamored of
Communism. During WWII, Vietnam was brutally occupied by the Japanese.
the war, President Truman was also sent a request from Ho Chi Min for
help. And once again this letter was not delivered to Truman.
Meanwhile, the Russians obtained the atomic bomb, the Korean War began,
and the "Domino Theory" flowered. Based on these issues and on
President DeGaulle's and English insistence, the U.S. went along with
continued French occupation...even after their army was routed in 1954
by Min's peoples' army. A few years later, President Diem began an
autocratic leadership of the Vietnamese from Saigon, including
suppression of Buddhism, whose followers made up the majority of
Thus, the battlefield involved Colonialism vs.
Independence, Communism vs. Western values, North Vietnam seeking union
with the South under Communism, the Viet Cong vs. Diem's increasingly
conflicted forces, Diem vs his own citizens and belatedly vs. America.
American "advisors" had increased in numbers from 40 to 600 to 10,000,
etc. And now President Kennedy was beset early in his term by an
ineffectual meeting with N. Kruschev, the Berlin Wall and the Cuba
crisis. He felt that he could not retreat from and possibly lose all of
Southeast Asia as dominoes fell. Strategic errors in the fields of
battle encountered a progressively emboldened Viet Cong. And America
waited too long before removing Diem. So the war took on a distinctly
political aspect as the Civil Rights Movement exploded onto the
American scene, sharing time and space with increasingly disturbing
views and stories of the war in progress. Our leaders began lying to
their citizens. And then President John Kennedy was assassinated.
next 10 years were progressively worse. And then came the fall-out
during the last 40 years for America and Americans to the present day.
That is the story - and the legacy - of Vietnam. God Help Us.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Response for SUNDAY, June 29,
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANSWER TO
various economic and political theories or social systems based on
or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production
distribution of goods." (from Webster's New Explorer College
from their efforts
to "put lipstick on a pig", this is exactly what this administration
is attempting at every opportunity, as it consciously increases the
of the American population on the dole in one form or another (read
ObamaCare)...and as it consciously increases the number of new
this country who often have no other recourse (read: 50,000 + newly
Latino children over our Southern border). Their justification for all
is "inequality" of outcome. But equality of outcome in society,
as distinguished from equality of opportunity, is an
witnessed throughout the world - both without and within Socialist
structures. Indeed, merely the sustained effort to produce
outcome robs the society of the means of achieving equality of
opportunity. A recent important article on this subject by an
has witnessed this throughout the world "up close and personal" is:
"THE WORLDVIEW THAT MAKES THE UNDERCLASS", by Anthony Daniels, printed
in Imprimis, by Hillsdale.EDU, May/June 2014 - Volume 43, Number
this situation with this administration,
it is no wonder - rather it is mandatory - that division and disunity
rule of the day. The above worldview and goals are
any honest definition of our American identity and must be overcome by
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Response for TUESDAY through SATURDAY, June 24 through 28,
STATE OF THE UNION:
DIVIDED WE STAND
In a recent Rapid Response
comment, I stated my opinion that…far from worrying about and cursing
the divided state of today’s electorate and its leadership…we should
embrace it as a sign of involvement and energy on behalf of ourselves
and our nation. Indeed, it has always been thus from before the
beginning of our national identity. It has made us strong while
providing a safety valve whose absence would have defeated us from
The American colonists before 1776 and even throughout the American
Revolution were certainly not of one mind. Fully 30% of Americans
during that period were and remained Loyalists, fighting against the
revolutionaries and suffering severe personal consequences
afterwards. Thus the “American Revolution” could be alternatively
called our First Civil War.
The Declaration of Independence supported States’ Rights, Slavery and
the right of individual States to secede from the “Union”. That
“Union” was very soon a subject of severe – temporarily political and
personal – conflict between the likes of Hamilton and Washington vs
Jefferson and Madison on the question of a strong central government
vs. an amalgamation of independent States. Before and
during the War of 1812, several New England States took actual steps to
secede in order to protect their business interests. Thus, it can
be argued that the Founding Fathers created the “United States”.
I took later action to create “America”.
That action came in the form and in the laser-like determination of
Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln did not embrace a (second?)
Civil War to free the slaves. Nor was he interested in acknowledging
the right of individual States to secede. His one goal was to
“preserve the Union”, or rather to establish once and for all such an
actual “Union”: The United States of America”. In the face of
determined, often violent and ultimately personally lethal objection,
Lincoln did whatever was necessary to achieve that end. Some
describe his actions as despotic and dictatorial. Presumably he
considered that a continued loose alliance of sovereign States would
ultimately devolve into the chronically sick model of the European
States. With such an analysis I entirely agree. Please see
the following book, surely iconoclastic for many: “The Real Lincoln”,
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Three Rivers Press, New York, 2002 – 2003.
Then came Reconstruction, the height of the Industrial Revolution, the
Robber Barons, America’s forays into imperialism, our ambivalence
toward both WW 1 and a decade of clear signs of danger leading up to WW
11. During all of these times Americans were divided. But their
divisions were channeled in the court of public opinion and in
political activity. This avoided a Civil War 3.
The danger today is not in our divisions. In fact, poll figures
provided in an opinion piece by Charles M. Blow entitled “The
Frustratioin Doctrine” suggest that we may be more united (“us vs.
them”) now than in a long time (NYTimes Op-Ed, June 23, 2014).
The danger is in our losing the traditional organs of public opinion,
the Free Press, as the media prostitute themselves to one side or
another in the disputes. The danger is in our losing the
responsiveness of our elected leaders as they seem guided only by their
perceived requirements for re-election (ie. massive amounts of money,
regardless of the quid pro quo always involved), and by their
commitment to becoming rich in the process. In the face of these
risks, international dangers – although great - pale by
comparison. The real danger is from within – frustration that
could lead to Civil War 3. This is not hyperbole.
So…what is the message? “VIVE LA DIFFERENCE”. So long as we
correct and maintain the safety valves that have served us in the past.
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