Before we get started pondering this troubling question, let’s define exactly what a “civil war” is and is not. Following are some pertinent definitions:
- Webster’s Dictionary: A civil war is a war between opposing groups of citizens in the SAME country;
- Wikipedia: A civil war, also known as an ‘intrastate war’, is a war between organized groups within the SAME country;
- Collins English Dictionary: A civil war is a war which is fought between different groups of people who live in the SAME country.
Plainly, the determining factor is that violent, armed conflict must occur in the SAME country between the conflicting groups – the object of which is to wrest control (or maintain control) of the EXISTING government within ONE country. Armed conflicts that occur between opposing groups in two SEPARATE countries are not then properly defined as a “civil war.”
Using those definitions, it seems plain to me that our Glorious American Revolution of 1775-1783 does qualify as our first “civil war,” for one group of British “Americans” was trying to wrest control of the government of the British American colonies from the government of British “Britains” who also lived in those same British colonies. They used the authority granted to them by our country’s “Birth Certificate,” our Declaration of Independence, which states: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of government becomes destructive to those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government…”
Just as plainly, the conflict that occurred from 1861 to 1865 between The United States of America (The Union) and The Confederate States of America (the Confederacy) was NOT a “civil war,” properly defined, because seven Union States in the South had seceded from the American Union, as they were legally entitled to do, and by Feb. of 1861 had established themselves as a SEPARATE and INDEPENDENT country. (Four additional Union States joined the Confederacy later). It made no legal difference whether the CSA was “unrecognized,” or that separation was over the disputes regarding the maintaining of the evil institution of slavery, or over states’ rights, or over punishing tariffs imposed on the South. The Southern states had every right to secede for whatever reason, and they tried to do so legally and peacefully. That the Dictator, President Lincoln, would not allow this without resorting to war was a tragedy that still afflicts the American Union to this very day. To my mind, that totally preventable destruction of life and property was NOT a civil war, properly defined, but was an illegal INVASION of one country by another.
Which brings me to the troubling time we are living in as Americans. Recently, one of my fraternity brothers sent a penetrating article to me, titled HOW DO CIVIL WARS HAPPEN? This article is a summary of a 40-minute speech given by Daniel Greenfield, at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention in January, 2018. (it was mistakenly attributed to the late author, Jack Minzey, but this attribution is INCORRECT). Following is a synopsis of Greenfield’s very troubling comments:
How do civil wars happen? Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge. That’s the basic issue here. WHO decides who runs the country? When you hate each other, but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.
The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this. The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.
What do sure odds of the Democrats rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win. It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections. That’s a civil war. There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.
This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement. You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship. Your very own dictatorship! The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to Democrats, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate. The Democrats lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats. Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying the President of the U.S. can’t scratch his own back without his say so, that’s the “civil war.”
Our system of government is based on the U.S. Constitution, but that’s not the system that runs this country. The Democrat’s system is that any part of government that it runs gets total and unlimited power over the country. If the Democrats are in the White House, then the president can do anything. And I mean anything. He can have his own amnesty
for illegal aliens. He can fine you for not having health insurance. His power is unlimited. He’s a dictator.
NEXT TIME: The conclusion of Daniel Greenfield’s penetrating speech, and the author discusses whether or not the U.S. is heading for “Civil War No. 2.”