The New Civil War

A civil war has begun.

This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.

The left has rejected the outcome of the last two presidential elections won by Republicans. It has rejected the judicial authority of the Supreme Court when it decisions don’t accord with its agenda. It rejects the legislative authority of Congress when it is not dominated by the left.

It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning.

It was for total unilateral executive authority under Obama. And now it’s for states unilaterally deciding what laws they will follow. (As long as that involves defying immigration laws under Trump, not following them under Obama.) It was for the sacrosanct authority of the Senate when it held the majority. Then it decried the Senate as an outmoded institution when the Republicans took it over.

It was for Obama defying the orders of Federal judges, no matter how well grounded in existing law, and it is for Federal judges overriding any order by Trump on any grounds whatsoever. It was for Obama penalizing whistleblowers, but now undermining the government from within has become “patriotic”.

There is no form of legal authority that the left accepts as a permanent institution. It only utilizes forms of authority selectively when it controls them. But when government officials refuse the orders of the duly elected government because their allegiance is to an ideology whose agenda is in conflict with the President and Congress, that’s not activism, protest, politics or civil disobedience; it’s treason.

After losing Congress, the left consolidated its authority in the White House. After losing the White House, the left shifted its center of authority to Federal judges and unelected government officials. Each defeat led the radicalized Democrats to relocate from more democratic to less democratic institutions.

This isn’t just hypocrisy. That’s a common political sin. Hypocrites maneuver within the system. The left has no allegiance to the system. It accepts no laws other than those dictated by its ideology.

Democrats have become radicalized by the left. This doesn’t just mean that they pursue all sorts of bad policies. It means that their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology.

That’s why compromise has become impossible.

Our system of government was designed to allow different groups to negotiate their differences. But those differences were supposed to be based around finding shared interests. The most profound of these shared interests was that of a common country based around certain civilizational values. The left has replaced these Founding ideas with radically different notions and principles. It has rejected the primary importance of the country. As a result it shares little in the way of interests or values.

Instead it has retreated to cultural urban and suburban enclaves where it has centralized tremendous amounts of power while disregarding the interests and values of most of the country. If it considers them at all, it is convinced that they will shortly disappear to be replaced by compliant immigrants and college indoctrinated leftists who will form a permanent demographic majority for its agenda.

But it couldn’t wait that long because it is animated by the conviction that enforcing its ideas is urgent and inevitable. And so it turned what had been a hidden transition into an open break.

In the hidden transition, its authority figures had hijacked the law and every political office they held to pursue their ideological agenda. The left had used its vast cultural power to manufacture a consensus that was slowly transitioning the country from American values to its values and agendas. The right had proven largely impotent in the face of a program which corrupted and subverted from within.

The left was enormously successful in this regard. It was so successful that it lost all sense of proportion and decided to be open about its views and to launch a political power struggle after losing an election.

The Democrats were no longer being slowly injected with leftist ideology. Instead the left openly took over and demanded allegiance to open borders, identity politics and environmental fanaticism. The exodus of voters wiped out the Democrats across much of what the left deemed flyover country.

The left responded to democratic defeats by retreating deeper into undemocratic institutions, whether it was the bureaucracy or the corporate media, while doubling down on its political radicalism. It is now openly defying the outcome of a national election using a coalition of bureaucrats, corporations, unelected officials, celebrities and reporters that are based out of its cultural and political enclaves.

It has responded to a lost election by constructing sanctuary cities and states thereby turning a cultural and ideological secession into a legal secession. But while secessionists want to be left alone authoritarians want everyone to follow their laws. The left is an authoritarian movement that wants total compliance with its dictates with severe punishments for those who disobey.

The left describes its actions as principled. But more accurately they are ideological. Officials at various levels of government have rejected the authority of the President of the United States, of Congress and of the Constitution because those are at odds with their radical ideology. Judges have cloaked this rejection in law. Mayors and governors are not even pretending that their actions are lawful.

The choices of this civil war are painfully clear.

We can have a system of government based around the Constitution with democratically elected representatives. Or we can have one based on the ideological principles of the left in which all laws and processes, including elections and the Constitution, are fig leaves for enforcing social justice.

But we cannot have both.

Some civil wars happen when a political conflict can’t be resolved at the political level. The really bad ones happen when an irresolvable political conflict combines with an irresolvable cultural conflict.

That is what we have now.

The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country whom they despise.

The question is what comes next.

The last time around growing tensions began to explode in violent confrontations between extremists on both sides. These extremists were lauded by moderates who mainstreamed their views. The first Republican president was elected and rejected. The political tensions led to conflict and then civil war.

The left doesn’t believe in secession. It’s an authoritarian political movement that has lost democratic authority. There is now a political power struggle underway between the democratically elected officials and the undemocratic machinery of government aided by a handful of judges and local elected officials.

What this really means is that there are two competing governments; the legal government and a treasonous anti-government of the left. If this political conflict progresses, agencies and individuals at every level of government will be asked to demonstrate their allegiance to these two competing governments. And that can swiftly and explosively transform into an actual civil war.

There is no sign that the left understands or is troubled by the implications of the conflict it has initiated. And there are few signs that Democrats properly understand the dangerous road that the radical left is drawing them toward. The left assumes that the winners of a democratic election will back down rather than stand on their authority. It is unprepared for the possibility that democracy won’t die in darkness.

Civil wars end when one side is forced to accept the authority of the other. The left expects everyone to accept its ideological authority. Conservatives expect the left to accept Constitutional authority. The conflict is still political and cultural. It’s being fought in the media and within the government. But if neither side backs down, then it will go beyond words as both sides give contradictory orders.

The left is a treasonous movement. The Democrats became a treasonous organization when they fell under the sway of a movement that rejects our system of government, its laws and its elections. Now their treason is coming to a head. They are engaged in a struggle for power against the government. That’s not protest. It’s not activism. The old treason of the sixties has come of age. A civil war has begun.

This is a primal conflict between a totalitarian system and a democratic system. Its outcome will determine whether we will be a free nation or a nation of slaves.

[Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Sultan Knish.]

Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City; he is a  Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters. His daily blog column is at Sultan Knish.
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  • Howard

    Yeah, whatever. This is not written from anything remotely like a Catholic perspective; it is written from a Republican perspective. It is not possible to defend the misdeeds of the Democrats, but since the Republicans do the same things, they are not exactly virtuous paladins. What is presented to us is in fact a false dichotomy, much like the “good cop/bad cop” routine in movies. The two parties keep us so dazzled with rhetoric that we don’t notice that they really stand for the same things, and that when it comes to important decisions, they don’t really undo what the opposite party has done.

    • Pax

      Both parties are bad actors. Neither candidate has been one easily supported by Catholics in the last 5 presidential elections.

      On the other hand, only one party is outright anti-religious , with the word ‘God’ being booed by on the convention floor. Only one party has run a candidate who said , ‘any religion that does not accept LBGTQ as being good and normal needs to change’ — Hillary Clinton. Only one party has consistently and egregiously supported the expansion of genocide in the name of ‘rights’ and then used all it’s political power to remove from public influence and defund any group that disagrees with them.

      The sins of the republicans are certainly sins, less egregious, but sins none the less. They want to enforce existing immigration law without first considering how to do so mercifully. They often use tactics identical to those of the Democrats but for the opposite purpose when it comes to ‘women’s right to commit genocide’. They regularly fail to protect the environment from greed in a short sited fashion. They favor large business over consumer rights and the rights of workers rather then seeking a real and useful balance.

      However, from a catholic perspective , the enforcing of law is not evil. The laws themselves may be unjust and need changing or fixing , but enforcement itself is not a wrong.

      Profit is not evil, it is a good, but the just distribution of goods is something that while spoken of often is left internally ambiguous ( because it is outside church competence) with the exception of the fact we must always consider how our actions effect the poor and the those with less power.

      The difference is this , the Republican party has many sins and is far from perfect, however, it’s basic principles of law and order, and seeking the common good are sound.

      The Democratic party has embraced an agenda of

      1) the rejection of all authority especially God.

      2) the suppression and elimination of all religious influence from the political sphere.

      Let me put it to you this way. I think many of those who are in power in the democratic party ( being an x democrat myself) love the song ‘image’ by john Lennon and are impressed by how beautiful the song sounds. They sincerely believe the lyrics, which I’ve included below, and were written in a time many democrats consider the best time in America ( the 60’s) and as you case see should give any serious catholic pause before considering if you wants to empower someone who agrees with these thoughts.


      John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band

      Imagine there’s no heaven
      It’s easy if you try
      No hell below us
      Above us only sky
      Imagine all the people living for today

      Imagine there’s no countries
      It isn’t hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

      You may say I’m a dreamer
      But I’m not the only one
      I hope some day you’ll join us
      And the world will be as one

      Imagine no possessions
      I wonder if you can
      No need for greed or hunger
      A brotherhood of man
      Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

      You may say I’m a dreamer
      But I’m not the only one
      I hope some day you’ll join us
      And the world will be as one

      Imagine no possessions
      I wonder if you can
      No need for greed or hunger
      A brotherhood of man
      Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

      You may say I’m a dreamer
      But I’m not the only one
      I hope some day you’ll join us
      And the world will be as one

      Songwriters: John Lennon

      • Howard

        I’m not sure what happened to my earlier reply, but in short, I’m not buying it. The Democrats may have spearheaded an evil agenda, but the Republicans have enabled it. The Republicans spend their political capital on what is really important to them, which are economic matters; to cultural conservatives they give empty speeches and symbolic gestures, but they happily accommodate themselves to the Brave New World ushered in by the Democrats. They may not be the bullies on the issues that matter to cultural conservatives, but they are the enablers.

        Meanwhile, don’t downplay the importance of their favorite sins. Their casual attitude toward war, torture, and building the sort of police state that in my childhood the USA willing to resist at the risk of nuclear holocaust disqualifies them, too.

  • Michele Marie

    “This is a primal conflict between a totalitarian system and a democratic system. Its outcome will determine whether we will be a free nation or a nation of slaves.” A totalitarian system squashes Catholics, Christians, and any system that does not completely submit to it. So yes, this is a Catholic issue too. I’ve not seen ANY Republican do to Americans, taking their rights away, what this past 8 years has done. For the sake of the minority, they take away the rights of the majority. Republicans are different. Thank goodness.

    • Howard

      Perhaps you should wait to see what, if anything, the Republicans actually do to reverse the last 8 years. My prediction is they will do like Obama did with regard to Guantanamo Bay: talk a lot, make a half-hearted effort for show, then say that their best efforts just were not enough, so we should return them all to office.

      • Michele Marie

        I hope the Republicans act with wisdom and restraint. In the past, that hasn’t always been so. I’m praying they make wise decisions.

        • Howard

          In other words, you are praying for their conversion. That is good. We should pray for the conversion of all sides.

          • Todd19731950

            Sorry, Howard, there is no equivalency here. The Democrat party has embraced an alien, Godless ideology, while a great many Republicans have remained faithful, not only to the Lord, but to the Constitution and all that America stands for.

          • Howard

            Nice fairy tale. Have you got another?

          • Howard

            If you had made an actual argument, it would probably have deserved an answer. You made no argument; you only made a dismissive assertion, which warrants no more than a derisive reply.

            I will, however, leave you with this: this is not a zero-sum game, in which the crimes of one party constitute the vindication of the other. You seem unable to provide any evidence of the virtue of the Republican Party, however defined — as the party bureaucracy, as candidates and elected officials, as registered voters, or as voters for Republican candidates. However you define the Republican Party, you merely assert its virtue.

            Oh, and you do this in response to my statement that we should pray for their conversion. Yeah, no need at all for that, apparently. Perhaps you think the GOP was immaculately conceived.

        • Howard

          Michele, I saw a comment from you which you have perhaps deleted. Let me make it clear that I am not supporting the Democratic Party in any way, and I am willing to agree that that party has used its power and influence to bring about a number of very evil things. However, I have watched over many years as Republicans have squandered their power and influence. Sometimes they have thrown symbolic bones to the pro-life or pro-family camps, but they have never done more than that, and they are also known for explicitly and deliberately downplaying what is most important to those who are pro-life and pro-family. They did this during the last election cycle, if you remember. They have deliberately hamstrung conservative candidates in favor of more liberal candidates. They have regularly put the defense of corporations and the rich — and more recently unjust wars, torture, and domestic spying — above the defense of the unborn. Do I have to give an explicit list of detailed examples? That would be like giving a list of examples of athletes making bad decisions at clubs after 2 a.m. — if you’ve been paying attention, you don’t really need a list of specifics, because you have heard the stories far too often.

          What I am saying is that when the Scriptures say, “Put not your trust in princes,” there is no exception for Republican princes.