During the ’08 campaign, an essay written by Dennis Prager made a deep impression on me because it said out loud what increasingly was in my mind and heart: The left and right in America have become irreconcilable.
As Prager wrote then:
It is time to confront the unhappy fact about our country: There are now two Americas….
For most of my life I have believed, in what I now regard as wishful thinking, that the right and left wings have essentially the same vision for America, that it’s only about ways to get there in which the two sides differ. Right and left share the same ends, I thought.
That is not the case. For the most part, right and left differ in their visions of America and that is why they differ on policies.
Right and the left do not want the same America.
The latest pundit to say the same thing is Patrick Buchanan:
We seem not only to disagree with each other more than ever, but to have come almost to detest one another. Politically, culturally, racially, we seem ever ready to go for each others’ throats….
The question invites itself. In what sense are we one nation and one people anymore? For what is a nation if not a people of a common ancestry, faith, culture and language, who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays and share the same music, poetry, art and literature?
…Christmas and Easter, the great holidays of Christendom, once united Americans in joy. Now we fight over whether they should even be mentioned, let alone celebrated, in our public schools.
…One part of America loves her history, another reviles it as racist, imperialist and genocidal…. But the old holidays, heroes and icons endure, as the new have yet to put down roots in a recalcitrant Middle America.
We are not only more divided than ever on politics, faith and morality, but along the lines of class and ethnicity. Those who opposed Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court and stood by Sgt. Crowley in the face-off with Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates were called racists. But this time they did not back down. They threw the same vile word right back in the face of their accusers, and Barack Obama.
Consider but a few issues on which Americans have lately been bitterly divided: school prayer, the Ten Commandments, evolution, the death penalty, abortion, homosexuality, assisted suicide, affirmative action, busing, the Confederate battle flag, the Duke rape case, Terri Schiavo, Iraq, amnesty, torture.
Now it is death panels, global warming, “birthers” and socialism. If a married couple disagreed as broadly and deeply as Americans do on such basic issues, they would have divorced and gone their separate ways long ago. What is it that still holds us together?
I believe that there is a fundamental and irreconcilable difference between conservatives and liberals.
Conservatives truly believe that in 1776 something remarkable happened — the founding of the United States of America. The American republic, though far from perfect — given the shameful treatment of the indigenous “Indians” and black slaves — nevertheless was something special in human history. Conservatives therefore revere the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. We also believe that it is only because of American ideals as embodied in the Constitution that later reforms — emancipation of slaves and women, the civil rights movement — were even possible.
But conservatives are like the Ents in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Revering what the Founding Fathers instituted, conservatives are by our nature not revolutionaries. And so, we became complacent — while the Left infiltrated and took over every institution in American society.
Liberals, however, especially the far Left, fixate on America’s imperfections, past and present, and in so doing create and embrace Identity Politics with its narcissistic permanent sense of aggrieved victimhood.
More importantly, instead of faulting flawed men who did not live up to the Declaration of Independence’s promise that all human beings “are created equal,” the Left blame “The System” — the very essence and institutions of the American republic for our problems and imperfections. They do not think something very special happened in 1776. They do not revere the Constitution or the Founding Fathers and, worshiping at the altar of radical feminism, insist that the latter be referred to as gender-neutral emasculated “Founders.”
The Left mean to destroy and transform America.
What to do then?
I don’t believe it is productive to lament this reality. Better that we be clear-eyed, for we can’t fix something if we can’t even name what’s wrong.
And the last thing conservatives should do is play nice because the Left don’t. Being the revolutionaries they are, they actually had known our differences are irreconcilable long before we did.
What we must do is:
- Stand firm on our beliefs, ideals, and principles.
- Inform and educate the American people.
- Take back our schools, colleges, universities, and pop culture.
- And fight, fight, fight to win elections at the national, state, and local levels, so that the Left, who are a numerical minority in the population, never again seize political power.
The Ents were slow to anger and to action. But when they finally realized that the very continuation of Middle-Earth was in peril, led by the great Treebeard, the Ents went to war.
We have numbers on our side because recent survey data say conservatives are an ideological majority, at 40%. We simply need to be energized and mobilized to action — which we are.
Our labor will be hard and unrelenting and unending. To do otherwise is to consign the American Republic to the trash-heap of history.