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Monday, September 26, 2022

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Could United States be heading down road to civil war?

In this week’s “It’s Debatable” segment, Rick Rosen and Charles Moster debate whether our growing national disunity and heightened political tension could lead to a civil war. Rosen is the Glenn D. West Endowed Research Professor of Law at the Texas Tech University School of Law and a retired U.S. Army colonel. Moster is founder of the Moster Law Firm based in Lubbock with seven offices including Austin, Dallas, and Houston. 


Moster – 1The church bells pealed across the State of South Carolina shortly after the election of Abraham Lincoln celebrating its secession from the United States and entry into to a new union soon to be christened the Confederacy. Thisresounding battle cry was replicated by a bevy of other southern states devolvingthe great American Experiment launched by our forefathers into a conflagrationof blue and gray and a toxic exchange which killed over 620,000 people on both sides.Tragically, I am certain that we are retrograding fast into another civil warexchange characterized by the newly emerged colors of conflicting politicalideologies – red and blue. This polarization was unleashed by Donald Trump andhis cronies who had little concern about preserving the fundamental integrity andstability of our democratic institutions. Trump, a classic “Yankee Carpetbagger”fooled lots of folks in Texas including this columnist who recanted years ago. Ihave admitted my mistake in judgment much to the dismay of many of ourreaders who consider me to be a turncoat of sorts notwithstanding theprevalence of my other conservative views.Unfortunately, the divisive genie is already out of the bottle. A recent pollconducted by the University of California found that over 50% of Americansexpect a civil war to break out in the next few years. This frightening prospectwas reiterated in a recent article which appeared in The Atlantic – The DoomSpiral of Pernicious Polarization – which concluded that America “is moredangerously divided than any other wealthy democracy” in the world. On a scalewhere partisan polarization ranges from a low of 0 to 5 of extremism, we all get aresounding 3.8. A 2016 survey found that 60% of Democrats and 63% ofRepublicans would object to their children “marrying a supporter of a differentpolitical party.” Such emotional sentiment is incomprehensible and dangerous.Former President Trump and his Machiavellian supporters including TedCruz and Texas Governor Abbot have relentlessly attacked the very foundations ofour democracy and given credibility to the total falsehood that Biden stole theelection. This has been disputed by Trump’s inner circle including his formerAttorney General and recently his key White House counsel Pat Cipollone whoreiterated that no evidence of such fraud ever occurred or existed. He interjectedthat former VP Pence should get the Medal of Freedom for standing up to theselies and certifying the election of Joe Biden.The rub is that most Republicans and critically Americans still believe thatthe election was stolen as evidenced by the recent primary victories of candidateswho ascribe to such outright lies. Such has created a late-stage cancer in ourbody politic which led to the once unthinkable siege on the U.S. Capitol and anattempted coup staged and planned by Donald Trump which will, in my opinion,lead to his ultimate indictment and conviction for treason.All of this will tragically precipitate a new civil war which could break out assoon as Trump’s first criminal indictment is ratified by a myriad of grand juryinvestigations. Count on it and get ready for the church bells to ring out againacross the South.Very frightening, indeed.Rosen – 1I will not defend former President Trump. I never voted for Trump nor hisDemocratic Party opponents. Trump’s assertion that the 2020 election was stolenis baseless. To suggest, however, that Trump alone unleashed the nation’s divisions is flatly spurious.Trump is not the first candidate to falsely claim an election victory; his 2016opponent, Hillary Clinton, still refuses to concede her 2016 election defeat. Evenmore insidious, her campaign disseminated a wholly false narrative that Trumpcolluded with Russia to win the election. Using a phony dossier, the campaigninstigated FBI and Justice Department investigations of Trump, whichunquestionably undermined his presidency. This is the stuff of a “banana republic” (and I do not mean the apparel store).I agree there are dangerous strains on the fabric of American society. The January6, 2021, Capitol riot was intolerable and criminal, but well before that eventAmericans witnessed cities ravaged by brutal riots; a dramatic rise in violent crimeas blue cities cut their police and their prosecutors refused to prosecute andincarcerate the criminals responsible; a complete breakdown of security on thesouthern border; and a nation humiliated by an incompetently planned andexecuted withdrawal from Afghanistan. Trump’s divisiveness is certainly animportant factor, but the current administration has seemingly deliberately failedto meet its promise to unite Americans. Instead, the Administration has sought topunish those with opposing points of view, as parents protesting at school boardmeetings discovered when implicitly deemed domestic terrorists by the AttorneyGeneral.I also believe that Americans are increasingly intolerant of those holding opposingpolitical views. But this phenomenon has prevailed for decades, especially insome of the nation’s leading colleges and universities. For example, last monthdozens of University of Michigan medical students walked out of their “WhiteCoat Ceremony” because the guest speaker was personally pro-life, although thatwas not the subject of her talk. Many readers may not know that Charles is notonly a superb lawyer but also a brilliant author on subjects ranging from timetravel, to history, to space exploration. Despite his extensive expertise in amultitude of disciplines, Charles would be shunned at many schools simplybecause he is pro-life regardless of the subject of his presentation. And I sincerelydoubt that those who would shun him are Trump supporters.

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