Has our second civil war begun in Berkeley, driven by corruption in DC?

Our politics have long since passed the point of conventional punditry and are now well beyond parody.

Today, all of the media and opinionmakers - not just the fever-swamps of the left nor the back corners of the Internet, and not just one far-out media organization, but nearly all of them - are in full battle cry against a President who fired a senior executive of the executive branch.

Yes, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.  So what?  As a executive branch political appointee, Mr. Comey, like every other executive branch political appointee, serves exclusively at the pleasure of the President.  Period.

He, or any other cabinet officer, can be fired at any time because of wrongdoing or incompetence.  He can also be fired at any time because he has bad breath, or the President doesn't like the color of his trousers, or the President got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  It doesn't matter - the President is the boss and can fire whomsoever he pleases from the list of political appointees.

And for that, we have calls for impeachment and warnings of Constitutional crisis!  Yes, the FBI is investigating any number of things - though not, according to Mr. Comey's sworn testimony, President Trump himself.  Do these supposed professional journalists actually believe, or expect us to believe, that Director Comey was personally running around digging through filing cabinets to investigate Russian interference in our election?

That's as preposterous as thinking, or imagining anyone else to think, that President Obama was personally crawling around the telephone cabinets of Trump Tower with a pair of headphones and alligator clips, tapping Donald Trump's phones.  Whatever investigations the FBI or anyone else is conducting will continue however long they need to, with the same staff of gumshoes, regardless of who is sitting in the leather chair in Washington, DC.

The flaming crazies in the media are half right, though - we do have a Constitutional crisis, a long-metastasizing one, which has now reached the point where it does indeed truly threaten the stability and continued function of our government.

Why We Have a President

When our Founders were writing the Constitution, they had two primary objectives.

First, they knew they did not want a king who could ride roughshod over the rights of the people.

Second, and just as importantly, they knew that they had to create a governmental structure which was strong enough and cohesive enough to do what needed to be done.

Actually, we are not accurately representing the opinion of our Founders: as far as significance, they put those two points the other way 'round.  Let's listen to the voice of James Madison, the author of the Constitution, in Federalist 51:

In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

The United States had fought and won the Revolutionary War as a loose confederation of independent states coordinated to a degree by the Continental Congress.  Under the pressure of war, this kind of worked, but as soon as peace came, the states went their separate ways because the central government did not have enough power to keep the states working together.  States cut separate deals with foreign lands, refused to follow treaties already made, set up private pacts with neighboring states against other neighbors, got into trade wars and almost even shooting wars with each other.  In short, there was nothing United about the United States and everyone knew it.

The Constitutional Convention was called to solve these obvious problems, which were so glaring and notorious that the people themselves demanded a solution.  Our Founders knew full well the dangers of a too-powerful and unresponsive government; they'd more recently learned that a too-weak government is just as unresponsive and nearly as bad.

What was Madison's solution?  We famously refer to it as "checks and balances."  The idea is that the Senate will provide a partial check on the House; Congress as a whole will provide partial check on the Executive Branch; the Judiciary will provide a partial check on the other two; the various states will provide a partial check on the Federal government, especially as the original Constitution had the federal senators elected by state legislatures; and ultimately, the people have a check on the whole works.

The election of 2016 and its aftermath has showed just how badly this brilliant system has broken down - or, more accurately, been willfully destroyed by good intentions as well as bad.

First, voters who chose to participate in the Democratic primary largely preferred Bernie Sanders, who for all his lunatic policies is apparently an honest man who cares about this country.  Instead of paying attention to the voters, the party elders cheated and manipulated the primary system to nominate Hillary Clinton, probably the most corrupt person, and certainly one of the least accomplished, ever to be nominated by a major party.  The Democrat voters were flipped the bird by their presumed betters, they know it, and some of them resent it.

Second, on the Republican side, much the same thing was attempted.  Being the Stupid Party, the party leadership is no more honest but a lot less competent than their Democrat equivalents.  They were unable to gift the nomination to an establishment candidate; it was won fair and square by Donald Trump, the antithesis of everything the party elders approve of but a loud voice for the side of the common man.

Whether he will, can, or intends to fulfill his promises is irrelevant; what matters is he made the promises that nobody else would, but which the people had wanted for years.  So he won.

The Revolt of the Elites

The result is what we see: Everyone who is anyone in the power structure is kneecapping the Trump administration in any way possible.  Sometimes The Donald's inexperience and mercurial temperament makes it easy for them, but it's clear to everyone that President Trump has absolutely no allies that he can trust beyond his own family and perhaps Vice President Pence.

You can run a successful Presidency this way; President Abraham Lincoln famously presided over a cabinet of bitter rivals, each of whom were the best at what they did and thought they ought to be in the Oval Office themselves, and the overall results were fairly satisfactory - he won the Civil War.

President Lincoln, however, had an advantage President Trump does not: he could hire and fire any federal employee at will.  As we've discussed at length many times, stripping the President's ability to fire even ordinary civil servants has unbalanced the system and made it extremely difficult for any conservative president to actually get his policies put into practice.  But at least he can appoint the top few layers.

Until now.  Confirmation of President Trump's cabinet appointees has been the slowest in American history.  While he does finally have a cabinet in place, there are hundreds of lesser appointees still to go and progress is historically slow.

Mr. Trump has said he doesn't think all these appointees are needed - and he's certainly right about that - but for every appointee, there are thousands of civil-service bureaucrats who are also not needed.  The only way to start cutting down the bureaucracy and draining the swamp is by appointing the people he can, and give them the clear remit of slashing and burning.

Our new President may not completely understand how to go about doing this, but everybody else in Washington does - which means, as one man, that they are acting to make it impossible.  They know full well that Mr. Trump ran on a platform of "Drain the Swamp" and "Build the Wall", both of which ultimately mean an end to their power - so by hook or by crook, they won't allow it, regardless of party.  As the perceptive Prof. Angelo M. Codevilla writes,

Well-nigh the entire ruling class—government bureaucracies, the judiciary, academia, media, associated client groups, Democratic officials, and Democrat-controlled jurisdictions—have joined in “Resistance” to the 2016 elections: “You did not win this election,” declared Tom Perez recently, the Democratic National Committee’s chairman. This is not about Donald Trump’s alleged character defects. The Resistance would have arisen against whoever represented Americans who had voted not to be governed as they have been for the past quarter-century. It is a cold civil war against a majority of the American people and their way of life. The members of the Resistance mean to defend their power. Their practical objective is to hamper and otherwise delegitimize 2016’s winners. Their political objective is to browbeat Trump voters into believing they should repent and yield to their betters.

In effect, what has happened is that the American people have voted their rulers out and their rulers have refused to leave.

Consent of the Governed

America was founded on the principle that government can only legitimately rule by consent of the governed.  In theory, we should attempt to determine the measure of consent and honor the principle whenever we have an election.

What happens when the government loses the consent of the governed?  In a democracy, the rejected government is supposed to get voted out.  We've tried that repeatedly over the past decade, and it doesn't seem to be working.

Today, for the first time in American history, we are seeing an even worse problem: our rulers no longer consent to be governed by us.  In other words, they know perfectly well that the American people have rejected their globalist, multicultural, secular-humanist, open-borders agenda - that's what Mr. Trump's victory means - and they don't care.  They refuse to give up power.

What happens when the government no longer considers itself bound by the will of the people?  The easy solution is to try, as wrote German poet Bertold Brecht:

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

This is the objective of open borders and illegal immigration.  Mr. Trump hammered on this nerve with his calls to Build the Wall, and even more so with his accusations of illegitimate voting.

As with most things Trump, he failed to explain the precise problem, but had the gist of it right.  The millions of illegal immigrants encouraged to remain in our country by Democrat sanctuary cities and Democrat states bring about illegitimate votes even if they themselves never enter a polling booth.

How?  Because our districts, representation, and the flow of government money are controlled by census totals, and our census has always counted people regardless of whether they belong there or not - and the Supreme Court recently ruled that's OK.

Consider two jurisdiction, a mostly Republican one and a mostly Democratic one.  If the Republican area has ten million residents and the Democratic one only eight million, you'd expect Republicans to hold the balance of political power because they represent more people.

But supposing that there are four million illegal immigrants also present, evenly split between the two?  The Republican jurisdiction will attempt to enforce national immigration law, whereas the Democratic one declares itself a sanctuary?  Where do you think the illegals are going to go?

And then, what do we see come the next census?  The Republican jurisdiction now has eight million residents but the same number of American citizens, and suddenly the Democrat jurisdiction has the ten million.  The political power, and the money, shift to the Democrats even though a majority of actual citizens, supposedly the only voters, are opposed to them - eight million to six.

What's happened is that the Democrat jurisdiction has become what the British used to call a "rotten borough" - a place with political clout far out of proportion to the number of citizens living there.  Yes, we still have all the forms of democracy - elections, representatives, voting, and so forth - but somehow, the views of the citizens never make any difference to what is done.

Yet there is still no proof of illegal voting, because next to none of the illegals actually try to vote illegally.  They don't have to; as long as they are counted in a Democratic domain, the result is the same.

Who Fires the First Shot?

History shows that people will put up with an awful lot of abuse for an amazingly long time before they take action - but eventually comes the last straw, and people won't take it any more.  That's when the true colors of the government show in their full fury.

We are seeing this begin in Berkeley, California.  Berkeley has been a bastion of far-left liberalism for many decades, and everybody knows it.  The vast majority of the students at the University of California in Berkley are far leftist; the vast majority of the residents of the surrounding city are also far leftists; so, naturally enough, virtually all the professors, administrators, and local politicians are far leftists.  Thus far, that's nothing more than democracy at work.

Berkeley is still part of the United States though, at least last time we checked, and the Constitution is still supposedly the ultimate law of the land.  This includes the right to free speech, and two well-known conservatives have recently attempted to exercise these rights.  Neither were allowed to.

Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to give speech by the half-dozen Berkeley College Republicans.  They have a Constitutional right to invite him, he has a Constitutional right to come and speak, and the rest of the residents of Berkeley have a Constitutional right to refuse to attend, or to express their disagreement through vocal protests.

What they don't have a right to do is set fire to the place and assault the attendees - but that's what they did, while the Berkeley police stood by and did nothing.  The speech, needless to say, did not take place, and the fascist leftist rioters who ironically call themselves "antifa" for "antifascist" got away with it.

So the College Republicans tried again, inviting Ann Coulter.  But the left had learned what they could get away with: the university waffled, threw down obstructions, tried to refuse a venue, warned of violence, and refused to provide protection even though American tradition and even the Supreme Court has said that they must.  Ms. Coulter and the College Republicans, understandably concerned for their skins, canceled the event.

There were thousands of conservatives who wanted the event to take place and gathered anyway.  But this time, something was different: they knew that they would be attacked by armed, violent, masked leftist thugs, and they knew the police would do nothing to protect them.  They came prepared for combat.

What happened?  This time, instead of staying neutral, the police waded into the fray and arrested Trump supporters.

Hitler, Hitler Everywhere

Comparing your political opponents to Hitler has become so commonplace as to be laughable.  Despite the overuse of the trope, though, there are still useful lessons to learn from the rise of the Nazis.

In the early 1930s, the Nazi Party was, like the modern "antifa", a recognizable and uniformed gang of street thugs who used force and violence to assault their political opponents, the Communists.  Being human beings themselves and not liking to get beat up, the Communists formed their own armed gangs, and the streets of Germany were intermittently filled with running battles between the two private armies.

For a while, the police attempted to maintain order, as our own police have done in numerous riots over the past few years.  Eventually, though, it became impossible to keep the two sides off each other.

The police had a choice to make: Just go home and let the two sides fight it out?  But that would likely lead to the town getting burned down.

Instead, the German police decided to take one side, hoping that the combination would be enough to finish off the other side and bring peace.  The plan worked beautifully: the police sided with the Nazis against the Communists, the Communists were swept from the streets and into concentration camps, and peace returned.  Yes indeed, a totalitarian police state is very peaceful, because if you step out of line once it's the last time as well as the first.

By siding with the antifa thugs against citizens defending themselves, the Berkeley police have, in effect, not only taken sides in a civil conflict, but declared a new civil war.  For a long time, large chunks of our government have refused to bow to the wishes of the governed, refused to honor the rights of free Americans, and refused to defend those rights.  Now, armed and uniformed government agents are actively taking the side of oppression against those who would defend those longstanding rights, much as once did the racist Bull Connors of the Civil Rights era South.

In the 1960s, the federal government weighed in on the side of the American black citizens to defend their rights against oppressive local officials; we don't see that happening today.  This leaves conservatives, at least the ones in Berkeley, with exactly two choices: Give up and go home, or declare war on the police as well as on the leftist thugs attacking them.

Is this a choice we want to make?  Is this a choice we want to force people to make?  The whole reason we have police is so that people don't have to join armed groups for mutual protection.

For that to work, though, there must be "equal justice under law."  The police are supposed to at least attempt to protect the life of the homeless bum as of the millionaire; protect the property of the single mother as of the businessman; and, most importantly of all, protect the civil rights of small and great without regard to their personal beliefs.

As soon as the police stop even trying to be evenhanded, it is not merely inevitable but moral for people to take their own defense into their own hands.  This fast becomes anarchy, something suffered repeatedly in pre-Nazi Germany.

And modern history shows that anarchy virtually always ends in a fascist police state because ordinary people would rather be protected by someone strong and unjust but relatively predictable than be subject to the random violence of howling mobs.

Yes, our Constitution, our country, and our very way of life are under threat - not from Donald Trump, but from our elites who refuse to give consent to the will of the people and who are determined to use the force of government to prevent any changes that might threaten their power.  There's a saying that if disagreements are not resolved through politics, they end up getting resolved through means other than politics - that is, through force.

When choosing between ballots or bullets, ballots are preferable, but bullets are preferable to simply accepting leftist oppression and thought-policing.  That way lies Venezuela where "free lunch" policies have so ravaged the economy that citizens can't even afford toilet paper.

The left likes to boast about making American ungovernable, and they're working hard at doing just that - but they need to be very, very careful what they wish for.  They're much closer to achieving this goal than they think; they won't like what it entails or where it ends up one bit.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

This is the first article I've read that explains the true reasoning behind illegal immigration. Thank you.

May 15, 2017 11:34 AM

It seems to start with the Education system and their move to leftwing indoctrination as opposed to an education of free inquiry and challenging thought. It also includes the rise of the Obama inspired Dependency Class. This Class feeds the lefties core constituencies of government workers ( somebody has to dole out the welfare) and unions, educators ( govt subsidies for indoctrination) trial lawyers ( disability scams need a legal patina) and the welfare recipients themselves . They constitute a powerful core that is against anything that leads to " opportunity" or " work". They have the means an time to fight ...it will be tough.

May 15, 2017 5:49 PM

The big picture, which includes the invasions in Western Europe, is the destruction of nationalism. The government indoctrination centers have been disparaging and highlighting every single imperfection of America for decades while becoming completely incapable of articulating the things that make America unique in the world and history. I would bet not one "teacher" in five hundred can expound upon delegated powers and where the basis for that idea is formed. (First clause of the second sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence). The invasion of millions of unproductive, uneducated, unhealthy people who have exactly zero intention of assimilating and becoming Americans is the deliberate, tresonous act to erase American (and French, German, Swedish and Italian) culture in order to prepare the people to accept a global socialist government.

May 16, 2017 8:27 PM

I want to point out that Milo has repeatedly rejected being associated with the alt-right.

May 17, 2017 11:26 AM

Along with the discussion of the Berkeley police--that department has this on their website page "Event Planning Checklist"

"The Berkeley Police and City of Berkeley want to facilitate the safe expression of constitutionally protected speech...

"Contact the Police Department and Provide:

Purpose of protest
Date(s) and time of event
Route of march, if planned
Estimated attendance
Organizing person or group
Number of organizers
How to identify and contact organizers/monitors at the event (hats, shirts, armbands)
What will they be wearing?
Will they have mobile phones?
Do you want symbolic arrests?
If so, where and when?"


May 17, 2017 2:38 PM

@J. D. A. Liberals reserve the right to tar anyone with any label they deem will advance their interests.

May 17, 2017 3:08 PM
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