A Cold Civil War

by Tim Jones5/2/17

Back in January conservative columnist Dennis Prager gave his take on the state of the union – and it was not good. In a piece called America’s Second Civil War, it begins with the following:

“It is time for our society to acknowledge a sad truth: America is currently fighting its second Civil War.

In fact, with the obvious and enormous exception of attitudes toward slavery, Americans are more divided morally, ideologically and politically today than they were during the Civil War.”

The culmination of the radicalism of the Sixties has come into fruition and a new kind of civil war has begun. Although there isn’t any shooting or fatalities, at least not yet, make no mistake a “cold” civil war has started. It’s a cold civil war that’s in its infancy and very likely could become a hot civil war like the big one in the 1800s . This one won’t be geographic in nature nor over the principle of universal human freedom. No, this one will be authoritarian in nature where a small group of extreme Leftists are creating enough mayhem to ignite widespread violence in their goal to overturn the existing political, social and economic order that’s been in place since the founding of the country. Places like Berkeley and Portland as well as most of academia are  testing grounds of what will spread beyond the perennial locations of protest. A recent piece in the Weekly Standard bluntly put it: This Is War.

“Now we’re in the midst of the ultimate battle in the culture war – the battle for the First Amendment – and if Republicans don’t recognize this is a war and fight like their existence depends on victory, nothing else will matter.”

The Democrat Party is in the process of being completely co-opted by the most extreme Leftists who were midwifed out of the tumultuous 1960s. There have been feeble objections by the current leaders of this new Left, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, to let conservatives have their say in the midst of a nationwide veto of the First Amendment by violent and unruly protests. They even criticized Obama for getting a $400,000 payday speaking to Cantor Fitzgerald, the epitome of a Wall Street financial organization that he railed against during his presidential campaigns and administrations.

The pleas of Sanders and Warren to uphold the sanctity of the First Amendment had a shelf life of about twelve hours and were completely ignored by the mainstream media. Even Bill Maher and the ACLU have spoken out against the radical “antifa” (as in anti-fascist) left. The only coverage this group is getting is on conservative websites. But during a rally recently held in Boston, Sanders and Warren appeared together and reverted to form by egging on their faithful followers and signalling to their extremist base to stay the course in the “revolution” by preparing for their next big fight against Trump.

In an outstanding piece recently posted, surprisingly, by the Chicago Tribune, The LIes We Were Told About Who Would Silence Free Speech:

“It’s there in front of you, the thuggish mobs of the left killing free speech at American universities. The thugs call themselves antifas, for anti-fascists. They beat people up and break things and set fires and intimidate. These are not anti-fascists. These are fascists. This is what fascists do. Surveys suggest that many young Americans think the First Amendment should be amended so as to not allow offensive speech. So the students have learned their lessons well.”

In the end however, Sanders and Warren, are the faces of the latest incarnation of the most radical and authoritarian Leftism that’s been rearing its head off and on since the Sixties. A Sanders acolyte is even challenging Nancy Pelosi, one of Congress’ most enduring liberals, in a primary, which tells you everything you need to know how extreme the Democrat Party has become over the last fifty years.

Now it appears to be approaching critical mass where its hippie forefathers would be proud. The new Leftists might think they’re the vanguard of a social revolution but it goes much deeper than that. They are precipitating a new kind of civil war, one that in all likelihood will not end well. Another quote from This Is War puts the current movement in historical context:

“History has shown a small group of people, especially when they’re willing to oppress others and commit violence against their fellow countrymen, can attain power.”

Lenin, Marx and Mao would all be proud as well.

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37 Responses to A Cold Civil War

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    In many ways, a closer comp may be events in Spain in 1936. There, the liberals and moderate leftists decided to align with the radical left — as has happened here. Both Left and Right refused to abide by unfavorable results; that has certainly happened here with the Left (i.e., the Demagogues). There was a strong body of anarchists who didn’t really care which side won, as there is here. The result was an increasing outbreak of political violence involving both sides; we’re seeing increasing violence by leftists, but not yet by the Right.

    Some time back, I brought up an exchange in the Cortes a month before the civil war started. As I observed then and is true now, there is much to be learned from that debate. This includes Gil Robles’s point that a nation might survive any type of government — but not anarchy (by which he really meant chaos). Another is Calvo Sotelo’s comparison of the Spanish premier (Santiago Casares Quiroga) to Count Karolyi, who betrayed Hungary to Bela Kun (just as the Demagogues today — including the synoptic media — are betraying the American tradition to revolution.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I can’t help thinking that ultimately this is a religious question. From what I gathered from Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” is that a driving force (and one that explains their many inconsistencies) is the exulted feeling they get from being immersed in and amplified by a mob — a feeling of heightened importance and meaning.

    I may be wrong about this, but normal people who have a job, friends, family, hobbies, and a God have no use for getting their kicks from the street violence or demonstrations. That is, what we are seeing is either addictive behavior or addictive behavior combined with malignant personal defects or deficits.

    These Snowflakes and other monsters will continue to test the limits of their power. And so the stage is quite possibly set in the near future for our own version of brownshirts to fix or confront what the legitimate authorities (or at least authorized authorities) will not do.

    I’m not hoping for this. I’m not promoting this. But on the other hand, if the police and other adults are going to give this mob free rein, then I’ll shed no tears if some squad of modern brownshirts puts them in their place.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Ann Coulter discussed the mob aspect of liberalism in Demonic, which was based on actual psychological research in mob psychology.

      After (I believe) the brief Federal occupation of Fredericksburg (which involved a lot of looting and vandalism), a staff officer wondered to Stonewall Jackson what they could do with them. His answer was, “Do? Why, shoot them.” His wisdom is badly needed today.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I suppose mobbism (mobbery?) is a cheap date and a cheap sport. I also think it’s about a whole lot of freeloaders trying to psychologically keep the focus off their own failures or lack of effort and blame another.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    This link will take you to an article about how the FBI abused its powers to release information on Americans to third parties who had no business receiving the information they got.

    There is something going on with Comey which is fishy. The man seems to be like Hoover in that he gathers info on others to make sure no one can come after him for his crimes.


    • Timothy Lane says:

      In the final analysis, Comey was an Obama Gangster in good standing. It was a corrupt, power-abusing reign, and he generally cooperated with it in its criminal treatment of political opponents.

  4. Steve Lancaster says:

    Hoffer in “True Believer”

    “Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave equality and fraternity more than they do freedom. If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom to establish equality and uniformity. The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity: to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic; one thread not distinguishable from the others. No one can then point us out, measure us against others and expose our inferiority.”

    This is the modern progressive. They will destroy all and then cry about the waste. If you desire a life free of the chaos that travels with them then they must be defeated.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      An interesting interpretation. It depends, I suppose, on what degree of equality you seek. But it certainly fits those who want total equality.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Islam is a foaming-at-the-mouth madness. Only slightly less so is Leftism as practiced by the zealous. Although both have a general ideology, I don’t believe either movement is about ideas, per se. It is a supremacist identity highly flattering to the ego and sense of superiority combined with “higher goals” as a mask for a deep-seated grievance. This grievance almost always has a component of self-hate.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Rush today reported on a study by a British university that socialism appeals to physically weak men. They actually measured the various physical characteristics (including physical strength) and plotted them against political views.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          There can be little doubt that many use government “equalization” as a way to try to make up for their perceived shortcomings. This, I would say, is different from the healthy and traditional perspective that people must necessarily band together to protect themselves. The individual is weak and must inherently make up for this by banding together with others.

          But this banding together, under the American brand, is for the purpose of the individual (including all his free associations) to prosper (or fail) according to his inclinations, talent, and just sheer luck. It is so he is not swamped by the whims of those who would take by force or are the most unscrupulous (which is why I could never be a libertarian). The American brand of banding together to form a society is not about trying to make up for existential sleights from God (or Darwin).

          However, I would add one major caveat: I’ve seen too many instances of tobacco-chewing, country-music-listening, red-white-and-blue-bleeding Americans who have no reservation whatsoever in taking advantage of government give-aways. And most of these people are bright, gifted, and physically healthy.

          Socialism is both a character issue and a metaphysical one. It answers the question “Why are we here?” with “To be comfortable and to make damn sure all my petty little grievances are expressed through some small-minded tinpot democratic dictator who is elected to office on my behalf.” And for the rest who slouch into the system, it’s just about getting “free stuff.”

          • Timothy Lane says:

            In Eugene Burdick’s The 480, there is a scene in which the hero, John Thatch, observes that farmers talk of their independence while living off of government subsidies. Of course, most crops received no such subsidies, but I suspect most farmers produced at least some that did. Once one starts receiving such money, it’s very hard to say “no”.

  5. Timothy Lane says:

    Jonathan Goldberg has a “Goldberg File” at NRO which attempts to explain the leftist (and increasingly rightist) intolerance of opposition. His argument is that politics is increasingly what he calls a lifestyle, or perhaps more accurately a key component of personal identity. But the result is that dissent is seen as an attack on one’s self-image. Hence the strange notion that free speech is a form of assault, thus justifying assault as a method of free speech. This is actually related to my interpretation of the phrase “professional liberal”.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Sounds about right. I’ll give that a read.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I did give that a read this morning. The first part of his “G-File” was good and succinct. And then he wandered, convoluting in too many words the idea “It may be legal or a right but that doesn’t necessarily make it moral or good.”

      I would extend on this to point out to my Progressive-tainted friends who seem to think that because something presses the bounds of good taste (such as that Kathy Griffin thing) and thus gets everyone do defend the idea of “she has a right to do that” that this therefore means she ought to do that. In other words (and my Progressive-tainted friends are surely self-aware enough to understand this): Why do you always attach “virtue” to those pressing the limits of civility or legality but never see it as virtuous to abstain from acting like a vulgar juvenile?

      Jonah also provided some useful links to an article (his own) that also linked to another article (David French’s) which both provided takes on Prager’s lame article regarding conservatives who oppose (or just criticize, I suppose) Trump. Those two article did make good and succinct points throughout.

      Yours truly, as well as some of you here, have pointed out that the politics on the Left (as Tucker Carlson recently noted about the Paris accord discord) is a religion. And Jonah is not quite a day late and a dollar short pointing out that people are now identifying by their politics as a “lifestyle” (his only new contribution is coining a word). We all knew this. And it is behind my plea for people to drop The Daily Drama as a way of life. By all means, go speak to students at your local community college and inform them of other points of view. Run for office. Go to the state legislature and give testimony on a pending bill. Raise money for a good conservative candidate. Be an activist of some type and get in the face of the Left where it counts (which means, anywhere where you’ll likely take some heat for doing so).

      But enough of this Daily Drama of getting behind the keyboard and making a liturgy of your daily grievances regarding this, that, and the other thing. And if there is someone out there who does not know what I’m talking about, then you’re too far gone already. And this “Lifestylization,” as Goldberg calls it, is by no means limited to the Left. This is what I had previous called “The Conservative Book Club” which means that this whole “conservative movement,” such as it is online, is little more than about selling books and giving paid speeches to the masses who have taken to making this drama their lifestyle choice. Oh, they’ll read about it and bitch about it. But 99.9% of people won’t do anything substantive about it.

      I’m on record as saying that our culture is now just a little bit insane. Does anyone really want to adapt to this or do you want to try to build something better?

      • Timothy Lane says:

        The concept of “ought” is alien to liberals, though they’re happy to list all sorts of words one ought not use. Much like Newspeak, though not yet to the same degree. Incidentally, Bill Maher used the dreaded “n’ word while interviewing Ben Sasse (and his audience applauded). Naturally, many liberals are blaming Sasse.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Key to all this is when Jonah noted that to disagree on a point of politics, fact, or whatever, hurts those on the Left particularly deeply because they’ve so identified themselves with their politics/dogma.

          Don’t touch Frank. But if the earth is warming, cooling, staying the same, or morphing into Donald Duck, let the facts speak for themselves. No skin off my duck’s back. But that’s no longer how our society is ordered.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Well, the left hasn’t completely taken control yet. There are a few places where facts still matter. There are even a few college campuses, such as Hillsdale and Liberty, where sanity prevails.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      In 1963, the anti-American, demonic, and deceitful Left blamed JFK’s assassination on an “atmosphere of hate” in Dallas instead of on a left wing radical with ties to Russia and Castro.

      This is a fact. But there is something to be said for the problem of creating an atmosphere of hate, which is exactly what the Left has done regarding Trump, in particular, and the GOP in general. As you say, Mr. Kung, Trump is very lucky to have the enemies that he does. He seems (within a certain blurry filter) normal compared to the kooks, nuts, and flakes on the left opposing him with vile rhetoric…and now bullets.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        In 1963, the anti-American, demonic, and deceitful Left blamed JFK’s assassination on an “atmosphere of hate” in Dallas instead of on a left wing radical with ties to Russia and Castro.

        Boy ain’t that the truth. Dallas and anyone from Dallas were blamed for Kennedy’s assassination for years.

        On my first trip to Europe in 1971 I recall a hotel concierge at a small hotel in Italy asked a friend and me where we were from. When we said, “Dallas” the concierge asked, “Oh, have you killed anyone lately?”

        One must understand that I was seventeen at the time and looked younger. What kind of idiot adult, he must have been in his late thirties or forties, asks such a question? Especially of a kid who would have been a child when Kennedy was shot?

        Anyway, my prompt retort was, “No, we only wait for the big ones.” The guy shut up immediately.

        It took the TV series “Dallas” for people to start associating something other than Kennedy’s murder with the city.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          And they call us the Ugly American. I think a large number of Europeans are assholes.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Oddly enough, in the book The Ugly American, the title character is one of the good guys — a retired engineer who moves to a Sarkhanese village to help the residents (successfully).

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I caught a glimpse of a headline yesterday but heard more about it on Prager’s program just now. Someone was doing some Shakespeare-in-the-park (Julius Caesar, I think) and a guy wearing a Trump mask (or something like that) was stabbed at the end of it. Prager made note of the shitstorm caused by a guy wearing an Obama mask (and doing nothing else) at a rodeo when our Marxist in Chief was president.

              We can get caught in a never-ending maelstrom of Butwhattaboutism. I consider these three things foundational to understanding this stuff.

              1) The ideology of “tolerance” and “diversity” is a bunch of bullshit. These people specifically stoke up a lot of hate.

              2). In doing so, and because of the daily excrement sandwiches they must eat down and say taste good, there does develop a sort of cognitive dissonance. The captors of the ideology — who have lost the freedom to speak their own mind and to have their own thoughts — get very angry at those who don’t have to live by the same restrictions. This is true of any moral code, of course, and is a very good enforcement mechanism. You should be mad if you see, say, a shoplifter getting away with something. But the Left takes this to Orwellian proportions. And combine this with the inherent and deep disappointment that all Leftists feel because their internal Utopia of emotional satisfaction never comes, this is reason to lash out even more. It’s all our fault, never theirs.

              3) It is likely that people such as our own Deana have just as many problems as anyone. But she’s nice. Could this be because of a lack of expectations of an earthly utopia and a healthy understanding of human nature? I think so.

              One thing I’ve tried to counsel (mostly unsuccessfully, I’m pretty sure….we’ve lost some people here) is to not get involved in the daily drama of whataboutism. Let a general joy for living propel us instead of making a near religion of being aggrieved at what these Leftist freaks, frauds, and finaglers are doing. The best revenge is still living well. By all means, make fun of these assholes but always with good cheer and a healthy dosage of humor.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Basically, they’re doing Julius Caesar with a Trump look-alike as the title character and a Slavic wife. Faced with the criticism – the play portrays the actual assassination — they point out that the play was opposed to the assassins in the end. But it still shows, in essence, the President being brutally assassinated.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                It is likely that people such as our own Deana have just as many problems as anyone. But she’s nice. Could this be because of a lack of expectations of an earthly utopia and a healthy understanding of human nature?

                I would suggest that part of the reason for people like Deana being what they are is that they have the capability to accept that all gratification cannot be immediate. There can be a huge advantage in learning to control one’s urges and desires.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Trump is very lucky to have the enemies that he does. He seems (within a certain blurry filter) normal compared to the kooks, nuts, and flakes on the left opposing him

        That Trump looks normal should give us an idea of how deranged many have become.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It’s time for the GOP to hold the Demagogues to account for their persistent hate-mongering. Hodgkinson was a Sanders supporter who obviously believed all the “fake news” about Trump and the Republicans, and decided to act. Note that he lived in Belleville, in southern Illinois — and presumably traveled there for the purpose of murdering a bunch of the enemy. Fortunately, he wasn’t a good shot, so at least 4 of his 5 victims are expected to recover despite his firing off a lot of shots. This isn’t Jared Loughner we’re talking about; it’s more like Floyd Culkins.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        “GOP” and “holding to account” is a hopeless dream now. Expect in the future for them to apologize for making the gunman mad.

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Maybe someone can figure out what The Editors are talking about regarding what one could consider the opening shots of Civil War II. I gave up after five or six paragraphs of muddle.

    On the other hand, even though Tiger Woods can do no wrong, Kevin Williamson has gotten to the heart of it in a spectacularly succinct and clear article lacking only (of course…as such things ever do) a call for what to do about it (descriptive consevatism is all we can muster): The Left Embraces Political Violence.

    Unlike the Jonah Goldberg, I have no quibble with Dennis Prager stating that we are in a civil war (and not just a culture war).

    More interesting morning reading. I thought David French nails the essence of the apologists for Trump: To Defend Trump, the GOP Is Becoming a Party Bill Clinton Would Love

    Perhaps my favorite read this morning (which produced the best quote) was Michael Dougherty’s Tim Farron’s Resignation and the End of Liberal Christianity

    Farron’s [Christian] beliefs are subject to casual public ridicule. If Tim Farron wanted his religion to be unreservedly praised in the British media, we all know what he had to do: Convert to Islam and blow up a few teenage girls. 2017 is the year we learned every Farron interview inspires people to kick Christianity and every terrorist attack starts a wave of public proclamations about the beauty of true Islam.

    It’s interesting that his attack of conscious came only after electoral losses, which the author sort of points out. So this man without a chest says he’s learned something. It’s possible but I’m not betting on it. Still, a good read.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      One thing that annoys me is the moral equivalency argument that blaming leftist hate-mongering for the attack on Scalise is equivalent to blaming rightist rhetoric for the Giffords shooting. This ignores the fact that Loughner was a nutcase who wasn’t much influenced by either side, whereas Hodgkinson (like Floyd Corkins at the FRC) was a leftist activist. Bernie Sanders is not the guilty party here, but he and other leftists are guilty of incitement.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Agreed. The “conservative” press defangs itself even before its starts. Williamson at least (in my opinion) had a sober view of things. But, again, because there is no call to action, he might as well have said nothing. Is analysis what we need? No, we need people to push back. That can come in many forms, mostly peaceful. But at some point, we have to be willing to give as good as we get.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One difficulty is that a lot of the rioting takes place in areas where law enforcement is highly partisan, like Berkeley. In that case, the only way to fight back is directly, though groups such as Bikers for Trump defending conservatives.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Well, I guess “better late than never” would apply. The question arises, “Why did he let his sons stay in the BSA given its recent policy changes?” Oh, maybe I am wrong and he didn’t learn. He says a new BSA chapter was formed the next day. He still doesn’t get it.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, with the Boy Scouts as with the Episcopalians, there are some who haven’t been corrupted by liberalism and still follow their traditional values. Wright’s analysis of the Left is certainly very familiar.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Good points, Mr. Kung. I think one of the most underrated phenomenons regarding why people so easily cave to the culture is the “Little Johnny must have everything” mindset. “Soccer moms” was likely the first time this aspect came to our attention. The world is full of parents who have re-ordered their lives to take their kids here and there and everywhere. It’s not wrong to provide for kids, of course, but today’s parents have got it into their head that they will severely damage little Johnny if he experiences even one moment of discomfort or deprivation. So any shortcomings of the BSA are very very easy to overlook. Little Johnny must have his scouting.

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