But what happens when a large (but minority) portion of the population becomes convinced that the Federal government has abandoned the founding legal structure it supposedly "protects and defends?"
My answer at that time:
Our Constitutionally enumerated and protected individual rights are under constant legal assault under the aegis of the War on Crime, the War on Drugs, and the War on Terror, and all three branches of the government are complicit. The media - the unacknowledged Fourth Branch - largely is too.
What prevents another Civil War?
Thomas Jefferson predicted it long, long ago in his letter to William Smith concerning Shay's Rebellion of 1787:
And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it's motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The past which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive; if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.
And Jefferson was right, as we have seen. Jefferson continued, though:
We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure.
Seems that Jefferson counciled a bit of revolution from time to time.
Libertarian pundit Claire Wolfe wrote a while back, "America's at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." Claire had it wrong. The time to shoot the bastards is early on. Now it's too late.
What prevents another Civil War here isn't the Army or the fact that we hold a higher loyalty to our Nation than to our State of residence, it's ignorance and apathy.
The second piece by the same title came just last year, after the DHS released their report Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.
After listing off the groups that truly frighten those currently in power, I noted:
They missed the single biggest group out there: those of us who aren't anti-government, we just want our elected and appointed officials to do what they swear to do upon taking their offices: uphold and defend The Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic. As one ARFCOMmer put it:
This "homeland" shit that suddenly started up in the last couple years pisses me off. It reeks of the "fatherland" and "motherland" propaganda shit our enemies used throughout the 20th century. The Nazi regime was "father" to the German people. The Soviet regime was "mother" to the Russian people.
This guy is our uncle and that's as close as I want the fucker.
I don't need the government to be my big brother, my parent, my nanny, or my caretaker. It needs to maintain public services (roads, etc.), maintain foreign relations and the military, keep the states from squabbling, and stay the fuck out of my life.
This desire, apparently, makes us "antigovernment rightwing extremists."
So be it.
rest at the above link