Second Civil War Brewing?
By John D. Turner
2 Feb 2017

In 1860, a presidential election was held. There were four candidates; Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Republican Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln won. He was the first Republican to be elected to the office of President of the United States; indeed, the party had only existed since 1854.

Democrats were furious. They refused to accept the election results. Lincoln, you see, was a Republican. And the Republican Party stood four square against the biggest sacred cow the Democrats had; slavery. Besides, even though he won enough votes in the Electoral College to be elected, he only won 40% of the popular vote; 60% of those who voted preferred someone else.

It was beyond the pale. The extremists had won the election. A president from the abolitionist party would be sitting in the White House. An abolitionist president would be making Supreme Court picks. It was not to be borne. A few weeks later, on December 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the United States. In their “Declaration of Causes of Secession,” which is quite lengthy, they stated:

On the 4th March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced, that the South shall be excluded from the common Territory; that the Judicial Tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

The Guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.

Abraham Lincoln had yet to take office; he would not be inaugurated until 4 March 1861. In fact, by the time he was inaugurated, the states of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas joined South Carolina in secession. They were followed by Virginia in April, and Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina in May. And so the Confederacy was born, and the nation lived through four agonizing years of conflict pitting brother against brother, father against son. New data shows that at least 750,000 soldiers on both sides gave up their lives, more than have died in all the other wars our nation has fought put together, before the South surrendered at Appomattox and the country was reunited, albeit bearing scars that are still hideously visible today. This represents 2% of the population of the United States at that time; and that was just dead soldiers. That didn’t count civilian dead, or all those wounded and maimed.

In 2016, a presidential election was held. There were two major candidates; Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Donald J. Trump. Trump, the Republican candidate, won that election, 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232.

Democrats were furious. Though they had excoriated Trump before the election when he said that he might not accept the results of the election, after the election they refused to accept the results. Trump after all is a Republican. He wasn’t supposed to win. Hillary had the election in the bag. All the polls showed it, the media believed it – it was a done deal -- except it didn’t work out that way. What a disaster! The Progressive Democrats of the 21st century have way more sacred cows than the Democrats of 1860, and the Republican Party stands four square against just about all of them. Besides, even though he won the Electoral vote by a commanding margin, he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes; 53.9% of the population preferred someone else over him.

It was beyond the pale. The extremists had won the election. A president from the “extreme right” party would be sitting in the White House. An extremist president would be making Supreme Court picks. It was not to be borne. Just days after the election, the protests began. Attempts were made to subvert the Electoral College. Many well-known personalities of the leftist persuasion talked of leaving the country. Much was made of the popular vote total, despite the fact that we are a Republic and not a Democracy. Talk of impeachment was bandied about, even before he officially took office on 20 January 2017. Secession talk was not far behind.

In fact, two days after Trump’s shocking election win, a petition was filed in Oregon for a ballot initiative calling for secession, because “values held by Oregonians are not the same as the values held by the rest of the United States, as shown by the outcome of the election." Funny that. We here in Texas and other states could have said the exact same thing concerning the election of Barack Obama, particularly his re-election in 2012.

California has begun a drive to get secession on the ballot. The entire state, a hotbed of “sanctuary cities” has begun a move to declare itself a “sanctuary state” in defiance of a Trump executive order to withhold federal funding from cities that hinder efforts to capture and deport undocumented immigrants – in other words, cities that defy federal immigration laws and actively undermine them.

It’s funny – for years Democrats supported a national 55 mph speed limit, threatening the states with cutting off their federal highway funding if they did not comply. That was fine – after all, the 55 mph speed limit, enacted by President Nixon in 1973 in response to the Arab oil embargo, saved lives, right? Except of course, like all apocalyptic predictions made by Democrats when Republicans want to do something they don’t like, the predicted 6,400 increased deaths and 1 million additional injuries never happened.

But let the Republicans threaten to cut off their federal funding if they don’t abide by federal immigration laws? Why that’s unconstitutional, unconscionable and simply not to be born! Democrats throughout California – indeed, throughout the country are vowing not to send federal tax money to Washington in protest.

Washington State, Oregon, and parts of Nevada have expressed interest in joining California in seceding. Do they think that President Trump will simply let them go? President Lincoln didn’t. It would have been so much simpler had he done so. Think of all the lives that would have been saved, all the destruction that would have been averted. All he had to do was let the South go its merry way, allow them to keep those millions of slaves in chains, and the history of America and the history of the world would have been very different.

I doubt Trump will be any more willing to let California secede from the Union than Lincoln was willing to let South Carolina and the other southern states secede back in 1861. I don’t even want to think about what the casualties of a modern civil war would be like.

Less than a year ago, during the primary season, a group of folks here in Texas were talking about secession and trying to get an independence resolution brought up at the Texas Republican Convention. Democrats hooted! They seemed to be split between laughing about the ridiculousness of the idea and telling us not to let the door hit us in the butt on the way out. For years they had been mocking the prepper movement, which gained steam to a large extent by the election of Barack Obama, a Democratic Congress, and fear over what they might do to the liberties we as Americans have enjoyed for centuries. There was talk of “FEMA camps” and the like, where those on the right would be interned. “Conspiracy theories” abounded.

Now we have the same thing happening on the left. Leftists are prepping. Leftists are buying guns. Leftists are worried about Trump “rounding them up” and putting them in camps. Leftists are talking secession. It would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

Leftist preppers – whoda thunk?

Unfortunately, I have noticed that demonstrations by people on the left are invariably more violent and destructive than demonstrations by people on the right. I don’t even have to go out of my way to look for an example; I just have to look at the current news, like this article about leftist response to an attempt made by a conservative to even speak at (where else?) the University of California Berkeley. Oh, excuse me. Not merely a conservative, but, rather, a “right-wing provocateur” according to SFGate. Left-wing “provocateurs” are of course welcome. Free speech and all, right? But someone on “the right?” Never!

Smashing windows, setting fires, and assaulting bystanders and police are the norm at such leftist displays of leftist ire. How dare someone have an opinion contrary to theirs? How dare someone speak words that they do not like? That’s hate speech after all. As one protester with a megaphone put it while inciting the crowd to violence, “it’s not a question of free speech; it’s about real human beings.”

These sorts of things make me a bit concerned when they start to take up arms because they think the right is out to get them. Never underestimate the destructiveness of a leftist behind a gun, as many a left-wing uprising in Central and South America can attest. On the other hand, if things do go to hell in a handbasket, the more folks that are prepared the fewer there will be that feel a need to come after my stash, such as it is. So lefties – welcome to the world of the preppers! I hope you buy a lot!

I am tempted to say the same thing to Californians that Californians said to Texans when the topic of session came up; “don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.” After all, if California and its 55 electoral votes exited the Union, it would be very difficult for Democrats to win the Presidency for a very long time. Heck, eliminating California and its popular vote would be enough to swing the popular vote in the last election from Hillary to Trump; not that matters a hill of beans anyway.

It would be interesting to watch California attempt to be the leftist “shining beacon on a hill.” Who knows, perhaps they would succeed. If nothing else, perhaps all the other fruits, nuts, and flakes in the country would immigrate to the Peoples Republic of California and leave the rest of us alone. They could hardly keep them out, being as open borders and free immigration seem to be a hallmark of their platform, at least when it comes to the United States.

On the other hand, most would probably stay put and instead foment insurrection in the state they currently reside. People are resistant to change. Typically they may talk about moving, like those leftist Hollywood stars who stated that if Trump won they would leave the country (and the ones before them that said the same about George W. Bush –some of them the very same people come to think of it) but ultimately don’t. When push comes to shove, it’s much easier to run your mouth than to actually do what you threatened to do.

Unfortunately, allowing California to leave would be extremely damaging to the country, both economically and militarily. As much as I hate to say it, the country would be better off losing Texas than losing California. And that is assuming you could limit the damage to California. If you let California go, it would be very difficult to stop Oregon and Washington State from following suit. Losing the entire west coast would be economically and militarily destructive to the United States. If they forcibly persisted in such folly, we would have to forcibly prevent them from doing so, as we did with the South during the Civil War. That could get real messy real fast, particularly as not everyone in the states in question support secession from the United States.

This is precisely the situation President Lincoln faced in 1861. I pray that President Trump doesn’t face the same in 2017.

Besides, does anyone really think that if California became the California Republic again that they would simply leave us alone and go about their business? Never! They would undoubtedly continue to push their agenda on us anyway, through willing accomplices still in the U.S., and of course, through the United Nations.

It would go against their nature to do otherwise.