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Stretch, grab a late afternoon cup of caffeine and get caught up on the most important news of the day with our Coffee Break newsletter. These are the stories that will fill you in on the world that's spinning outside of your office window - at the moment that you get a chance to take a breath.
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Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

As many observers have noted, America is now embroiled in a de facto civil war in which the nation is being relentlessly attacked and disassembled from within, not by the conservative Right, as The New Yorker and other progressivist outlets irresponsibly lament, but by the domestic Left.

Reputable commentators like Kevin Williamson at National Review and John Podhoretz for the New York Post believe the nation is descending into chaos -- and place the onus squarely on the Left. In a prescient article for PJ Media about the potential result of a political coup orchestrated by the Left under the guise of the faux Mueller investigation, Roger Simon writes: “That word sounds hyperbolic but it isn't. We could see anything from civil war to social atrophy. Who knows if our country will survive it?” (As one commenter worries, “we are in some very real danger the next time a Democrat gets elected to the highest office” -- no paranoiac hypothesis.)

It is a state of affairs that, in its insidious way, is no less critical than the bloody civil war that split the nation in the 1860s. There’s no blood in the streets yet -- or maybe just a little -- but the nation is split pretty much in half. One half wishes to destroy the other through a series of destabilizing tactics: electoral fraud, fake news, negonomics, industrial dereliction, globalist doctrine, climate change scam, university indoctrination, Blue State model primary and secondary education, the divisive concept of a “living constitution,” trade deficits, pro-Islamic logrolling, radical feminism, gender dysphoria, pro-choice abortion favoring a sub-replacement fertility rate, runaway entitlements, censorship-prone social media monopolies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google, the abolition of the Second Amendment, open borders, caravan immigration, sanctuary cities, politically correct -- and in some places, compelled -- speech, judicial overreach, ubiquitous surveillance of American citizens,  foreign policy surrender and revolutionary advocacy.

This is about as serious as it gets. Sarah Hoyt at PJ Media -- along with a fair number of her readers -- believes America can recover its spirit without a “revolution” -- a term which muddies the waters somewhat. The revolution we are witnessing is a vendible of the Left; what is needed is a counter-revolution. “Let’s hope we can recover our liberty without [a revolution],” she writes in guarded optimism. “The other side will still win some battles, but we’re winning the war.” Were it only so. Hoyt uses the metaphor of the half-empty/half-full glass, opting for the latter. The trouble is, there is no glass. Since at least the time of Woodrow Wilson, the Left has been carving longer and deeper inroads into the culture and the political landscape, and is now occupying the citadel. It is not about to go away or shrivel into a benign archaism. Despite the election of a people’s candidate like Donald Trump, the Left’s power continues to grow and consolidate.

Realism must finally prevail. The battle for the nation’s survival as a constitutional republic cannot be won until the domestic Left is torn root and branch from the body politic. As David Horowitz writes, “It would be a healthy development for everyone, rich and poor alike, if future generations put Karl Marx’s manifesto on the same sinister shelf as Mein Kampf and other destructive products of the human soul.” One may justly view the Manifesto as a synecdoche for the Left in toto, itself, collectively speaking, a destructive product of the human soul.

Many refuse to recognize that the Left is not merely a political party across the aisle or that so-called democratic Socialism is not democratic. In his fact-filled volume The Psychotic Left, Kerry Bolton defines the Left and its adjuncts as “a psychological aberration having the same motivations as the mass murderer, the rapist and the thief.” The evidence he accumulates for his thesis is conclusive. The reduction of society in the direction of state control, a command economy, the policing of language, “equality of suffering” and mediocrity of existence as “happened in Bolshevik Russia and Jacobin France,” he argues, “is happening at more subtle levels today.” The drive to create such malignant utopias is the bane of civil society. They are an implacable enemy of free individuals and will not rest until they achieve the goal of our common ruin.

Writing in American Thinker, Brian Joondeph gets close to the heart of the issue, condemning the Leftist playbook as promoting “treason and sedition.” Warning that “as America approaches its 250th birthday, the U.S. Constitution is under assault as never before” (emphasis mine), Trump needs, he asserts, “to send a message so loud and clear that no one dares to attempt such a coup again.” Yet Joondeph does not specify how such a message could be delivered or what would comprise its decibels, no doubt for reasons of discretion. No one, it seems, wants to go the logical distance.

Clearly, the Executive Branch is profoundly compromised. Trump cannot rely on praetorian agencies like the FBI, the DoJ, the DNI and the CIA, which have gone rogue and are part of the swamp he promised to drain. Public sentiment is fractured. The Washington elites, as Peter Schweizer reveals in Secret Empires, are hopelessly corrupt and are more preoccupied with preserving their clandestine profits than with preserving the Republic. A decadent media would flood the nation with headlines, editorials, and reports claiming an alt-right takeover of the nation. The so-called Deep State continues to pursue a policy of conspiratorial subversion, conducting what is nothing less than a planned emeut; the intrigue “to undo the results of an election,” writes Patricia McCarthy, “is the most serious, most villainous political scandal in American history.”

What, then, are the alternatives? America now has a president who, despite his personal flaws -- and what president has been without blemishes of character? -- his tempestuous administration and the wall-to-wall barrage of denunciation, slander, lies, unmitigated hatred and surreptitious attempts at delegitimation, represents the best hope since Reagan for righting the foundering ship of state. As Thomas O’Malley fears, a racially diverse and politically divided country like the U.S. is not likely to survive, but may in time undergo a violent break-up into several independent demographic units, as happened in Yugoslavia. It follows that a nation in the throes of an infrared insurgency must act without hesitation to ensure its existential integrity. But Trump may not be able to do it by conventional initiatives or normal institutional means alone and certainly not by intemperate tweeting. The canker has gone so deep, penetrating to the very marrow of the nation, that there are few doable ways to “take back the culture.”

The president is sworn by his oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” And the domestic enemy is now arguably far more menacing than the external foe, intent of trading, in the formulation of Richard Weaver in Ideas Have Consequences, “a certain perilous freedom … for stultification” and the destruction of productive order. The country survived its War of Independence and its Civil War—albeit in the latter case with wounds that have not yet healed -- owing to the commitment of principled and unflinching leaders. Do any such exist today? It is moot whether America as we know it will survive its Second Civil War unless it adopts peremptory measures or restorative amendments -- a subject I canvass in Part 2.