A Bridge Too Far?

Fox News had an interview posted on Labor Day with conservative filmmaker and commentator Dinesh D’Souza.  D’Souza has a new film, Trump Card, which will be digitally released on October 9

The article’s headline was “Dinesh D’Souza says recent riots and political unrest could lead to ‘rise of citizen militias around the country.”  Anyone with a shred of common sense isn’t surprised. 

When Democrats neuter police, refuse to impose strict curfews, and refuse to call up the National Guard, lawlessness, involving violence, ensues.  Why should looters and rioters stand down when they routinely confront police whose hands are tied?  Why wouldn’t emboldened mobs take their violence and destruction out of Democrat cities?      

Marauders and thugs invading the ‘burbs have happened erratically, to date.  But suburbanites best not think their communities immune.  City riots are leftist arson.  Once sparked, they can spread like wildfires.  Mobs still have plenty to do torching Portland and other blue cities.  But as forest fires crown and spread rapidly, so, too, may mob action if not halted. 

Imagine firefighters being ordered to stand down when fires are raging.  What alternative do citizens have then?  Step into the breach or else.  If leftist mobs move out to menace suburbs, why wouldn’t we expect citizens to band together to form militias, neighborhood by neighborhood, if only?

It’s not a bridge too far to expect sober citizens to exercise their ancient right to self-defense when governments cannot or will not meet their responsibilities to protect and defend.  Government exists principally for that purpose.  When governments fail to do so their legitimacy melts away.  But that fact is too elemental, too grounded in the realities that govern human affairs. The upside-down morality that infects the Ted Wheelers and Jenny Durkans is a perversity, which has been rarely encountered so brazenly in America.  It informs Democrat policies and governance.  Right is wrong, wrong, right.       

As things now stand, citizens banding together for their safety isn’t a bridge too far.  It isn’t what anyone wants but may be.  On the other hand, the differences between left and right are dramatic and growing.      

D’Souza poses a critical question, one that patriots need to mull.  He asks, “The real question is, how do we coexist with each other. That's the real question of the future." 

That’s actually the question today.  Let’s backfill.  From Nick Gavis, who reported on D’Souza for Fox News:

When asked how the divisiveness today compares to the mood during the American Civil War, he [D'Souza] expressed optimism about the U.S. finding a way to unite again. [snip]

"The circumstances are very different from 150 years ago. In no way is civil conflict inevitable," D'Souza said. "There are many other solutions. There are different ways in which groups that are very different can coexist, but all these ways are going to be tested. The left is looking to create a coalition of minority victims that equals 51 percent so they can loot and oppress the other 49 percent. Our model is, one way or the other stop them from doing that... We will be essentially undoing 200 years of development of Western civilization.

D’Souza is right, in that civil war isn’t inevitable.  We have free will and make choices.  There were alternatives to the Civil War. 

The War Between the States would look tame compared to the carnage and destruction that would occur in Version 2.  Only fools are eager for conflict. 

While there are clear distinctions between the 1850s (which were the runup to war) and now, there’s a striking similarity: the gulf between Americans -- between patriots and leftists -- appears as unbridgeable as the chasm between the industrializing, generally anti-slavery North and the agrarian, slave-dependent South.  Perhaps the breach is greater.  Here’s why: despite profound differences over slavery and states’ rights, Northerners and Southerners shared similar values and beliefs.  Both having dinner table conversation would find much in common personally. 

As Lincoln said of citizens, North and South, in his Second Inaugural Address: “Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God[.]”  Not so today.  The left is increasingly godless and is hostile toward faith, while traditional America hews to faith.  There are other major differences.  Growing divides over abortion, free speech, gun rights, gender, family (the left deconstructs family), traditional morality, crime and criminals, capitalism, the meaning of America, and so on. 

Another distinction is that the South aimed to secede -- when it couldn’t prevail politically in slavery’s extension.  The left today wishes a revolution, in which America as conceived, and the Constitution that undergirds our experiment in liberty, are effectively scrapped.  The South, in part, at least, rationalized its rebellion as striving to be truer to founding principles and the Constitution.  For the left, both are anathema, the products of privileged white men, among whom were slaveholders.  The 1619 Project boldly and fraudulently asserts that America was founded for slavery.  

Lastly, this from the D’Souza article, which makes us wonder how patriots and leftists are to find an accommodation:

"This is why the Democrat party relies on force," he continued. "Ultimately, they can only win if they can force us to live their way. Now, I don't think we're going to. We are no more going to submit to them and change our ways then perhaps they are going to submit to us. This raises the deeper question of how do we find a way going forward... We don't want the America they want and they don't want the America we want. [snip]          

So, how might we coexist as a people?   

Consider a full restoration of federalism, involving significant devolution of powers and authority from the national to state governments.  That would allow states and localities to enjoy greater variation in policies and governance.  Trouble is, why would Democrats and the left agree to a new, robust federalism? 

The movement on the left since the Progressive Era has been toward concentrating power in central authority, in Washington, D.C., with top-down control of the nation.  Why would the left, given its lust for power, abandon so basic an aim?  Then, too, all Americans enjoy rights under the Constitution.  If California wished to create something like a “People’s Republic of,” it would violate citizens’ constitutional rights, even if only a minority objected. 

How about something approximate to the Articles of Confederation, wherein states are loosely joined?  But, then, where states are loosely joined, they can be more easily disunited.  How long before the nation dissolved, giving way to competing -- if not hostile -- nations where the United States once was?

Perhaps coexistence as one people is unachievable.  Maybe the best we can hope for is an amicable divorce, though that seems unlikely.  How would factions resolve differences over turf, resources, infrastructure, assets, and debts without conflict? 

Said Winston Churchill: "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia.  It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."

For the left, with its relentless march for power and dominance, we wonder what interest would compel it to honestly seek resolution with an American majority that supports the existing framework of law, government, and liberty? 

“We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth,” said Lincoln.  We wonder: What shall be the fate of our United States?                       

J. Robert Smith can be found on Twitter @JRobertSmith1 and Parler @JRobertSmith.  He also blogs at Flyover.                   

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