Like all pit vipers, a copperhead is generally an ambush predator. — Wikipedia

Not since 1860 has the losing presidential campaign so systematically refused to accept the verdict of the American people. Like the pro-slavery party in their long-forgotten past, today’s Democrats are throwing up a multitude of political, legal and extra-legal barriers to the implementation of the pro-defense and free market agenda that elected Republican Donald Trump. But while the Democrats back then split North and South upon the ascension of Abraham Lincoln, the current crowd is united in its die-hard opposition.

Those old Northern Democrats meekly watched as their Southern brethren resorted to out-and-out treason against our Republic. But they soon settled into a complementary form of that crime by largely refusing to support the Union in its full-scale military response to the attempted secession by 11 state governments. Republicans called these anti-war Democrats “Copperheads” for their relentless attacks on the Lincoln Administration. That label couldn’t be more up to date.

Now we are engaged in a different kind of war against a vicious enemy that lacks the capacity to make a full-scale assault on the Western (and largely Christian) world, and no less on the peoples of the Muslim world that resist radicalization; so its leaders and followers resort to selective murdering and maiming of both civilians and military personnel. The issue for us is to account for the Democrat party’s reluctance to give the effort to defeat Islamist terrorism the full attention and commitment it deserves.

The most telling similarity that concerns us now is the past and present Democrat party’s determination to control government at all levels by keeping millions of people in a state of perpetual dependence on the superintendence and support of their alleged benefactors. Just as slave masters asserted that blacks were better off on the plantation than in the “cruel” marketplace of free employers and employees, so governmental bureaucrats today insist that they must maintain and expand the welter of welfare programs that discourage people from working.

Of course, in both cases Democrat politicians provided, and still provide, the legislative, fiscal and rhetorical tools to keep both the real (pre-1865) and the virtual (post-1965) plantation system in place as an integral part of our way of life. Foreign wars, even when they come to our shores, are seen as a distraction from the important business of bundling up their fellow citizens, and no less immigrants, into a lifetime commitment to the Democrat party.

It is no surprise, then, that Democrat (Copperhead) judges should strike down indispensable travel bans on persons from hostile nations on the flimsiest of grounds. Nor is it surprising that Democrat (Copperhead) Senators and Representatives should constantly warn us not to jump to any negative conclusions about what every sentiment being knows is a terrorist attack.

The Northern press kept up a spirited debate about the Civil War, but today’s “mainstream” media hound Administration officials about extraneous issues, such as whether it has had contacts with the now–despised Russian government. (Remember the Obama-Clinton “reset?”)

An unfortunate response to the deadly serious Islamist war against our people and our way of life has been to take refuge in sentimental and self-serving pap. How many times have we heard the “politically correct” judgment that, if we alter our daily routines to any extent, “the terrorists will have won?” We have endured a heavy hand in our airports ever since the massive terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, not to mention federal surveillance of communications here and abroad. So let’s not kid ourselves about the price we must pay to defeat our enemies.

Of course, these defense tactics are subject to abuse, and are not immune from criticism, but such is the case with all of them. Indeed, because of undue deference to Democrats’ political imperatives, necessary surveillance of Mosques and detention and/or deportation of potentially hostile refugees and expatriates have been suspended in too many cases. Each time a terrorist attack occurs, the two in England being the most recent, we wonder how the perpetrators got away with it.

We don’t have enough law enforcement personnel to track, much less intercept, all those who, whether by ISIS direction or propaganda, fire weapons, explode bombs or crash vehicles for their deadly purposes. We cannot ignore that reality simply for fear of establishing an authoritarian state. But more than this, we must take our all-fronts war to the enemy headquarters and their enablers, both governmental and commercial.

These solutions are not taken seriously enough largely because a faction masquerading as a political party is more concerned about its power and its clients than the public good. One does not have to be an out-and-out traitor to weaken the war effort. Just remember the Copperheads.

Richard Reeb taught political science, philosophy and journalism at Barstow Community College from 1970 to 2003. He is the author of "Taking Journalism Seriously: 'Objectivity' as a Partisan Cause" (University Press of America, 1999). He can be contacted at rhreeb@verizon.net