I really think we are at a breaking point. The more I read about the events that preceded the Civil War, the more I realize we are heading down the wrong path.
On the one hand, we have a group of power-crazed individuals who use government to provide for their lifestyle. I really wish the problem were only on one side of the aisle, but it’s on both sides and it’s infected perhaps a majority of America itself. The evil of this kind of thinking can only be explained by comparing it to slavery. While slaves of times past were of a different skin color, ethnicity, and national origin, and while all the slaves were extremely poor, the new modern slaves are the hardworking Americans who actually provides for themselves and sacrifice to serve the country as a whole. These slaves wear the uniform or work the ten hour shifts. These slaves pay their own way through college and build companies with raw effort and sacrifice. These slaves know the value of a dollar, because they paid for every dollar they have with their blood, sweat, tears and time. The slave owners in this modern system are the rest of America who leech whatever they can off these productive members and, in distributing it to other leeches who feed at the public trough, keep a little for their pet projects or their personal use. Anyone who accepts a check from the government, or who benefits from government action at the expense of others, is a member of this class of slave owner.
On the other hand, we have the patriots. These are people who love America for being America, meaning, the land of the free and the home of the brave. These are people who have read the constitution and understand it. They have read the Declaration of Independence and have that second paragraph burned into their hearts. They know what freedom is about, that man is elevated above all other creatures by God’s divine gift, and that we, as men, are to stand up and live life without taking from anyone else what is rightfully theirs.
The country is at a tipping point because neither of the sides is backing down. As the patriots rise up in open rebellion, the slave owners get more vicious. It is obvious that the patriots are out-gunned and out-manned. The patriots are under-funded and under-represented.
However, there was a group of people who, before the Civil War, had strong feelings about slavery. They felt that as long as the country was trending towards abolition, everything was going to be okay. Even if the country as a whole stalled for a few decades, that would be acceptable. Heck, if the country took a few steps in the wrong direction, that wouldn’t be so upsetting since it could easily be turned around the other direction.
I think this represents the views of the vast majority of the patriots. They don’t like the socialist and progressive programs the governments throughout the land administer. But as long as we tend towards eliminating these programs, or at least marginalizing them, then that’s ok. Take, for instance, Social Security. The 401k and Roth IRAs are a javelin through the heart of Social Security. See, as tools become available to people to actually accumulate wealth for their own retirement, they will understand the great disservice that the Social Security program actually is. The new generation of people would want out, and a negotiation between the old and new generations could be hammered out that would spell the end of Social Security without cutting grandma off the teat.
What happened before the Civil War was a series of appalling defeats for the anti-slavery people. Little by little, it became apparent that slavery was not going to be gradually abolished. Rather, slavery was going to be expanded. Not just in the Northern States, but in the West as well. This was, obviously, not what they wanted. And if things continued, there was the possibility that slavery would be an eternal institution in our culture. Of course, the anti-slavery people attempted political solutions to these problems. However, the slavery industry was so powerful and so pervasive that there was no hope of grabbing control of the federal government. Slavery had penetrated both parties to such an extent that the anti-slavery people had no place to turn.
What happened next was a matter for the history books. The anti-slavery people rose up in rebellion against the government, society, and culture of slavery. They built the underground railroad. They had raids and armed revolts. They turned their guns on federal agents and otherwise did things that today we would be appalled by. As the response by the pro-slavery government grew more and more menacing, the popularity of the anti-slavery group became more apparent. One thing lead to another, and a new, third party was born out of a desire to abolish slavery once and for all. This was, of course, the Republican Party.
Today, the patriots realize that they are not only losing ground, but losing it in such a way that makes any reversal all but impossible. This means they are going to grow increasingly desperate and begin outright rebellion against the government. Will America flock to the movement of individual rights and freedom, or will they protect the institutionalization of socialism?
We have, of course, a way to head off all these things at the pass. It is something we should have tried before the first Civil War. That is, we get a bunch of delegates into a room, and they renegotiate the very structure of our country altogether. The states, independent of the federal government, have the power to completely alter or abolish the current system of government.
I propose that we create a new federal government, one vastly smaller than the existing one. It would look somewhat similar to the one we have, except with razor wire and automatic gun turrets installed in the locations the people have deemed off-limits to the federal government.
Such a framework will allow individual states to experiment with socialism to their heart’s desire. It will also allow other states to experiment with individual liberty. This means that the right and the left will no longer duke it out in the national arena. Rather, local elections and politics will be the new battleground. Any loss, no matter how significant, will never mean the end of the game to anyone. Those who grow truly disgusted with one state’s policies can leave to another state, rather than being trapped under an over-reaching and all-powerful federal entity.