So, exactly 161 years and 4 months after the first cannon was shot at Fort Sumter, the second Civil War has begun. The first battle started last week when a group of patriots wielding their handguns and assault rifles showed up at the FBI office in Phoenix over the weekend to protest the Mar-a-Lago raid.
In addition to carrying their guns, the first group to initiate the Second Civil War also carried signs which said ‘Abolish the FBI’ and told reporters they were protesting the ‘illegal’ search of Trump’s home.
Of course, the FBI team which showed up at Mar-a-Lago had a properly executed search warrant. They also knocked on the front door and waited to be let in.
But so what? If the protestors want to believe that the FBI was behaving in an illegal fashion, they can believe whatever they want to believe.
And if they want to start a civil war, it won’t be the second civil war. It’ll be the first. Which is why we don’t need to indulge in such ‘second civil war’ nonsense at all.
A civil war means that there are two groups vying for control of a government and the contest ultimately involves lots of violence, as in a war.
But the contest which started on April 12, 1861, wasn’t a battle or a series of battles between two groups who wanted to control the federal government of the United States. The soldiers who shot off the cannons at Fort Sumter were members of an army which had been formed by an independent country named the Confederate States of America, which had its own national legislature, its own Constitution and its own President, a guy named Jefferson Davis, who had taken the oath of office on February 18th.
There would have been no Fort Sumter, no Civil War, no four years of fighting which left more than 600,000 combatants dead if Lincoln had just ordered all the Union troops to withdraw from Confederate territory and signed over to the Confederate government all the post offices, military fortifications and other property which was owned by the United States of America up to that time.
But Lincoln didn’t take that path. To the contrary, he invented the idea that once a state entered the Union it could never leave. Even though there was not a single word in the Constitution about secession or whether the states which comprised the United States could stay within the Union or leave when they chose, the Republican Party was not about to manage a half-baked government after its national candidate – Lincoln – was inaugurated in 1861.
Even though Lincoln’s inaugural address delivered on March 4, 1861, included the words that the Constitution was created “to form a more perfect union,” ‘perfect’ and permanent are not the same thing.
That being the case as regards the first civil war, I have an idea for how we can avoid a second civil war.
We should do what we should have done in 1861, which was to let them go. That’s right. Every state can hold an election to decide whether to stay or to leave, and those states which decide to leave, as Grandpa would say, ‘a be gezunt” (read: enough.)
I really don’t want to listen to dopes and shitheads like Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gaetz lecture me on what being an American really means. I really don’t want to read one more goddamn story on whether Orange Shithead is going to run again in 2024.
Trump wants to run again? Fine – let him run in the first Presidential election held by MAGA America or whatever they want to call the country which will be formed by those patriots strutting in front of the FBI.
But before you take seriously what Trump said this morning about how the country has never been so divided, just remember this. Most of us, almost all of us didn’t take out our assault rifles and go marching around anywhere at all.
We got up, went to work, will go back home this afternoon, sit in front of the television, eat dinner, and watch the Fake News.
That’s why we’re not headed for the first civil war.