by Billy Roper

During the first American Revolution, which for those of you who spent their Junior High School history classes trying to peek up the armhole of the girl sitting in front of you was as much a civil war as anything else, Americans were just as divided as they are now. Some combat military veterans of the French and Indian War became rebels and traitors, choosing domestic terrorism over loyalty, while others stayed true to their government and fought to defend it. Guess which side one. Okay, now guess why.

Give up?

Because of foreign intervention, silly. Not the Russians, back then, but the French and the Poles and the Prussians and the Spanish. Without foreign intervention on the side of the insurgents against the establishment, there would be no United States of America, today.Let that sink in for a minute. 3,2,1…

You will have rivals in the struggle who think, ridiculously, that they know better than you do how to win. Madison vs. Monroe, or Adams vs. Jefferson. Sometimes those rivalries will get very personal and vicious, as with Hamilton and Burr. There will be some along the way who feel slighted and abused and disrespected, and quit the game, or join the other team, like Benedict Arnold. Shakespeare wrote centuries ago that there was nothing new under the sun, and he was plagiarizing a long dead Greek when he said it. It’s human nature, deal with it. People, all people, will disappoint you from time to time. You will find that everyone is by turns lazy, egocentric, cowardly, foolish, rash, and disloyal. They will fail you, they will let you down. Get used to it. Because, our loyalty is not to any individual, fallible as they may be, but to our people as a whole, not measured by their lowest common denominator, but rather by those exceptional, superior examples of what we are fighting for which could not ever exist without the fecund mass lumpenvolk from which they emerge, every once in a while. Often enough to make it worthwhile. Because conversely, as overrated as our people may be individually, they’re still better than any other alternative, collectively.

Flash forward nearly a century to another time when America was just about as deeply polarized and divided as it is now. Once again, some military combat veterans, of the Mexican-American War, become anti-government rebels. Think of it as #SouthExit. Others called for unity and loyalty to the duly elected representatives. Both claimed to have God and the Constitution on their side. That one turned out differently, primarily because of the lack of foreign intervention. Notice a pattern, yet?

Keep that in mind as you read this new article by the Oathkeepers, a coalition of military combat veterans who are nominally in opposition to the establishment, about the coming civil war. They see themselves, mainly Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, as playing the role of the anti-government militia, don’t they? It’s quite clear that they’re ready to go to war against their brothers in uniform, if necessary. So, what’s missing from the powderkeg?

I know it’s hard for my readers to imagine, but I haven’t always been easy to get along with. Really, it’s true. Just suspend your disbelief for a minute, and play along, will ya? I got into a lot of fights in school. There’s a stage when boys will square off and say “you hit me first!”, daring one another to strike the first blow. Why is that? Well, it’s because they fear the punishment of the authority figure, the dad or the teacher or the principal, more than they fear their actual opponent. That’s why SO MANY people who have pissed me off are still alive today, not because I’m afraid of them, or because of some moral imperative of mine to not empty a gun in their face, but rather, because I don’t want to go to prison.

I bet, if we were all honest, that’s why Black Lives Matters protests aren’t turned into shooting galleries. That’s why we haven’t, every one of us, cleaned out our neighborhoods of child molesters, race mixers, and homosexuals. That’s why we haven’t taken out country back. It’s the morality of fear, and I’m not being judgemental when I say that, because honestly, I’m right there with you.

So, again, what will change that? Either A., a voluntary or involuntary abdication of power by the feared authority figure (the teacher gets called to the other side of the playground, or stays in the classroom, sick) or B., the intervention of a foreign power, again. Somebody’s dad walking up and saying, “okay, you boys fight it out, and may the best man win!”.

I love cool dads like that, don’t you?