Politics & Policy

America’s Second Civil War

Anti-Trump protesters march in Portland, Ore., January 20, 2017. (Reuters photo: Steve Dipaola)
We’re in a fight over basic values.

It is time that our society acknowledge a sad truth: America is currently fighting its Second Civil War.

In fact, with the obvious and enormous exception of attitudes toward slavery, Americans are more divided morally, ideologically, and politically today than they were during the Civil War. For that reason, just as the Great War came to be known as the First World War once there was a Second World War, the Civil War will become known as the First Civil War when more Americans come to regard the current battle as the Second Civil War.

This Second Civil War, fortunately, differs in one other critically important way: It has thus far been largely non-violent. But given the increasing left-wing violence such as riots, the violent taking over of college presidents’ offices, and the illegal occupation of state capitols, non-violence is not guaranteed to be a permanent characteristic of the Second Civil War.

There are those on both the left and the right who call for American “unity.” But these calls are either naïve or disingenuous. Unity was possible between the Right and liberals, but not between the Right and the Left.

Liberalism – which was anti-Left, pro-American, and deeply committed to the Judeo-Christian foundations of America, regarded the melting pot as the American ideal, fought for free speech for its opponents, regarded Western civilization as the greatest moral and artistic human achievement, and viewed the celebration of racial identity as racism – is now affirmed almost exclusively on the right and among a handful of people who don’t call themselves conservative.

The Left, however, is opposed to every one of those core principles of liberalism.

Like the Left in every other country, the Left in America sees America as essentially a racist, xenophobic, colonialist, imperialist, war-mongering, money-worshipping, moronically religious nation.

Just as in Western Europe, the Left in America seeks to erase America’s Judeo-Christian foundations. The melting pot is regarded as nothing more than an anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-Hispanic meme. The Left suppresses free speech, wherever possible, for those who oppose it, labeling all non-Left speech “hate speech.” To cite only one example, if you think Shakespeare was the greatest playwright, or Bach the greatest composer, you are a proponent of Dead White European Males and therefore racist.

Without any important value held in common, how can there be unity between Left and non-Left? Obviously, there cannot.

There will be unity only when the Left vanquishes the Right or the Right vanquishes the Left. Using the First Civil War analogy, American unity was achieved only after the South was vanquished and slavery abolished.

How are those of us who oppose left-wing nihilism – there is no other word for an ideology that holds Western civilization and America’s core values in contempt – supposed to unite with “educators” who instruct elementary-school teachers to cease calling their students “boys and girls” because that implies gender identity? With English departments that don’t require reading Shakespeare in order to receive a degree in English? With those who regard virtually every war America fought as imperialist and immoral? With those who regard the free market as a form of oppression? With those who want the state to control as much of American life as possible? With those who repeatedly tell America and its black minority that the greatest problems afflicting black Americans are all caused by white racism, “white privilege,” and “systemic racism”? With those who think that the nuclear-family ideal is inherently misogynistic and homophobic? With those who hold that Israel is the villain in the Middle East? With those who claim that the term “Islamic terrorist” is an expression of religious bigotry?

This is likely the last chance liberals, conservatives, and the Right have to defeat the American Left.

The third significant difference between the First and Second Civil Wars is that one side has been doing nearly all the fighting. That is how it has been able to take over schools – from elementary schools to high schools to the universities – and indoctrinate America’s young people; how it has taken over nearly all the news media; and how it has taken over the entertainment media.

The conservative side has lost on every one of these fronts because it has rarely fought back with anything near the ferocity with which the Left fights. Name a Republican politician who has run against the Left, as opposed to running solely against his or her Democratic opponent. And nearly all American conservatives, people who are proud of America and affirm its basic tenets, readily send their children to schools that indoctrinate their children against everything the parents hold precious. A mere handful protest when their child’s teacher ceases calling their son a boy or their daughter a girl, or makes “slave owner” the defining characteristic of the Founding Fathers.

With the defeat of the Left in the last presidential election, the defeat of the Left in two-thirds of the gubernatorial elections and in a majority of House and Senate elections, this is likely the last chance liberals, conservatives, and the Right have to defeat the American Left. But it will not happen until these groups understand that we are fighting for the survival of America no less than the Union troops were in the First Civil War.

— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com. © 2017 Creators.com

Dennis Prager — Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His second volume of Bible commentary, The Rational Bible — Genesis: God, Creation, Destruction, is published by Regnery.  He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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