Americans have fought one another in two civil wars. That first civil war we now call the American Revolution. Why did so many of the colonists revolt against the mother country? To determine the causes, we need only read the Declaration of Independence. The American colonists were trying to throw off an odious tyranny.
Our second civil war goes by the name “civil war,” The American Civil War. We still argue over the causes of this war, but plainly the enslavement of blacks of African descent had something to do with it. Northern abolitionists wanted an end to the practice of slavery. Southerners wanted to spread the practice of slavery. Therefore, when Abraham Lincoln, the leader of a new political party opposed to slavery, became president, southern slave-owning states violently seceded from the Union.
Could it happen again? Could we have another civil war? The answer is “yes.” So long as the United States exists, there is a chance we will experience an irresolvable conflict that leads to war. Although we may look back at the issue of slavery and wonder why Southerners would not free their slaves, the plain fact is that the South fought with dogged determination to keep blacks in bondage. Even though they might have increased the number of their soldiers by offering enslaved blacks their freedom in return for service in the Confederate Army, the South would not do so. Some blacks served in the Confederate Army, but few had a role in direct combat. Official policy never supported the use of black soldiers in the Confederate Army.
However, blacks did serve in the Union Army (see Military history of African Americans in the American Civil War). Some were even awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
So what would the next American civil war be about? Since we cannot know for certain when or whether this war will be fought, we can only guess. How can we guess? What if we went to war with each other in the near future? What issues divide us today?
- Abortion: Some people consider what they do with “their body” their right. Many of these even insist that they have the “right” to use government funds to pay for their abortions. Others see the rights of the unborn as far more important, and they are horrified by the prospect of being forced to pay for the “right” of other people to have an abortion. Thus, “Pro-Choice” advocates would impose their beliefs upon those who believe in Life.
- Unconstitutional Taxation and Spending: Look at the Constitution. Then look at the Federal Budget. Don’t we have numerous large Federal programs unmentioned by the Constitution. Yet what was one of the major arguments for seceding from the United Kingdom? Was it not taxation without representation? Today our government officials routinely take money from taxpayers and give that money away to buy votes. In fact, the cost of government seems increasingly out of control. Thus, taxpayers are represented, but not in a meaningful way.
- Secular Public Schools: Although they are suppose to be run by local and state governments, our nation’s schools have acquired many of the characteristics of a nationalized system. That includes our universities as well as K-12 education. And as the Federal role has increased, government has inexorably secularized what is taught in our nation’s schools. What the schools teach children too often conflicts with what their parents believe. Instead of being taught Christian values, government teachers preach multiculturalism, environmentalism, liberalism, humanism, socialism, and so forth. Thus, government interferes with the right of parents to educate their children in their own beliefs.
- Immigration: According to Elements of international law: with a sketch of the history of the science by Henry Wheaton:
A sovereign state is generally defined to be any nation or people, whatever may be the form of its internal constitution, which governs itself independently of foreign powers.
Yet even children can swarm across our borders, and our dubious leaders will ensure these illegal aliens receive the “free” benefits of our welfare state. Thus, because we will not protect ourselves from even the weakest attempts at invasion, we risk national sovereignty.
- Abuse Of The Powers Of Government Agencies: The power of Federal Government has grown beyond what was originally conceived in the Constitution. Here are a couple of examples.
- At this point there is little doubt that during the last presidential campaign, leaders of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used their organization’s powers to stifle Conservative organizations.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), using Global Warming as an excuse, is being used to destroy the coal industry. Yet, no new legislation has been passed to justify this, and the legislation Congress has passed never envisioned carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
Thus, because government leaders have so blatantly abused their authority, we risk both our freedom and our prosperity.
- Dishonorable Judges: Our nation’s courts no longer adhere to what is plainly stated in the law. Our judges have weirdly decided: (1) taxpayers must pay for the education of illegal immigrant children, (2) states must “marry” same-sex couples, (3) government can force citizens to buy health insurance, and so forth. Thus, because the meaning of the Law can no longer be discerned from what is actually stated in writing, we risk chaos and tyranny.
- Dishonorable Elected Officials: When elected to executive positions, our officials no longer believe themselves obligated to either enforce the Law or adhere to the letter of the Law. This All-Star Panel: Has President Obama abused his authority? explains the problem. President Obama is essentially rewriting laws, threatening to combine legislative with executive authority. Thus, because the combination of executive power with legislative power is so easily abused, we risk tyranny.
What is the peaceful solution for these issues, one that might avoid a civil war? Because the United States is suppose to be a federation, we still have three identifiable levels of government: federal, state, and local. In the past, we exercised most of the power of government at the state and local level. Therefore, if the people of a city, county, or state were sufficiently unhappy with their government, they could leave and go where they could find a government more to their liking. Unfortunately, Federal Power has grown so immense we can no longer vote with our feet. In fact, we now have cause to wonder whether We The People have a government or the Federal Government has a people, and that should cause all of us to consider what we need to do to fix this problem.