The weekend before last, I spent the better part of an hour on the NARN with Walter Hudson, a longtime friend of the show (and someone who needs to be back on the air, one way or another). It’s one of the the better hours I’ve had on the air recently (and I’ve been proud of a lot of my recent shows).
Which isn’t to say it was an easy subject to talk about.
What IF this society’s differences are irreconcilable?
Dennis Prager points out – mostly correctly, I think, that Americans are more divided today than they were in 1861 . How do we know this? Because when the South split off, they formed a government that wasn’t a whole lot different than the one in DC.
But for four decades, “the Great Sort” has been going on. Americans have grouped themselves socially, economically and especially politically into at least two (I think actually three of four) major blocs, that not only have very little in common with each other (which isn’t all that new), but whose “rules” have made honest conversations about those issues impossible.
Part of America thinks – and is painstakingly training a new generation to think – that America, and Western Civilization itself – the nation and civilization that have brought more well-being and humanity to this planet than any other in history, combined – are evil and rotten to their core, and needs to be completely rebooted, by means that are, depending on who you ask, more or less revolutionary and intolerant of dissent. It’s not just “Anti”-Fa and the other militant revolutionary groups, either; some of our biggest, most respected institutions have been dragged on board. The New York Times has gotten full force behind not only the perversions of the “1619 Project”, but the idea that journalism itself needs to abandon its traditional role of “putting out the facts and giving the consumer the info they need to make up their own minds”, but to use their outsized bully pulpit to directly affect current events. That part of America believes that the Constitution – the contract that joins the several states together into a federation – is outdated at best, evil at worst, and needs to be radically overwritten, with the electoral college and the deliberative Senate and gun rights eliminated, and the majority disinhibited from absolute rule. They pay homage to the politics of Europe or the Pacific Rim nations, Japan at best, China at worst.
Part of America, sorry to say, believes that America’s first priority is prevailing over that first America. President Trump tapped in to that anger, and a lot more, four years ago, and might just do it again. We’ll see.
And part of America believes that America, imperfect as it (like all creations of man) has had its problems, and (say some of us) has strayed from its best political instincts over the past 100 years, but on balance has still been far and away the greatest bringer of freedom, of human dignity and the prosperity that make freedom meaningful, in all of human history, and has been the primary driver in the fact that the 21st century, so far, is the best time in history so far to be a living human being.
These divides aren’t “new”, per se. But Blue America’s intolerance for the rest of the country started becoming a serious problem after the 2000 election. And the other Americas started paying it back after 2010, when the establishments of both parties teamed up to slander the Tea Party – the most egalitarian, civil mass movement in recent history – back into the shadows. (Wanna know where Trump came from? Shut up about Racism, Putin, Xenophobia and Misogyny – millions of good-hearted Americans saw what coloring inside the lines and playing nice got you).
So – how do 2-3 societies that neither trust nor care for each other get along?
The *right* answer is “recommit this nation to Federalism – the system of checks and balances and shared but countervailing powers, from the federal down to the local levels, that made a “nation” of thirteen very diverse states possible in the first place. Of course, that first America doesn’t want to share power – the idealistic among them say “it doesn’t move America forward”, which shows the complete failure of civics education in this country over the past forty years, from a conservative perspective. The “revolutionary” part of that first America sees federalism as a bug, not a feature – if they know anything about it at all.
The wrong answer? Civil war – which would not be like 1861-65, with 2-5 groups of state withdrawing into their separate camps and starting over as nations. Although we may wish it were that simple. “Sorted” as America is, it’d much more likely look like Bosnia or Kosovo or Rwanda than Gettysburg and Appomattox.
The “right-ish” but likely fantasy answer? A civil divorce, with the 2-5 Americas staging an orderly breakup, each writing their own Constitution, each forming a new nation and rebooting the idea of (at best) self-government. That’s not going to happen – between the masses of people who mindlessly chant “we settled that in 1865, you traitor” and people in Blue America eventually realizing that Paul Krugman was full of, er, privilege and that the prospect of having to import all the food and materials that they currently get for domestic prices? And after that, when the “red” parts of “blue” states try to get out of the inevitable vassaldom (as, indeed, parts of California are already proposing)? Elegant and easy as it seems – I’d love to see the US281 Corridor and the rural west turn into an energy and food superpower – it’s just not happening without a fight. See the previous paragraph.
The middle way? As Walter puts it in the third segment up above, it’s time for Americans who care about freedom to start making it count, where they live.
Stop acquiescing to your schools teaching your kids crap – by pulling them out, if need be, with whatever sacrifices that entails.
When your local business defies Governor Klink’s hamfisted diktats, show up when Keith Ellison’s goons come out with their papers and show them what “defending freedom” really looks like.
Start taking freedom seriously – vote for candidates, ESPECIALLY locally and the state legislature, who actually care about freedom, and are chomping at the bit to start rolling back the madness at city hall and in Saint Paul. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, then ask. State Senate candidates like Alexander Buster Deputie – an immigrant from a war-torn country – and Diane Napper, who being from Philadelphia is about the same – are two great places to start.
Buy a gun (yes, I know – they’re scarce. There’s ways to get around that. And while all my guns fell in the lake, and they terrify me anyway, I do remember a thing or two). Learn to shoot. Join your local gun rights group. Show up. Be one of those numbers that terrify society’s ninnies. Because this is one area of the culture war the good guys are winning, these days. On all individual liberty issues, we can’t just “win” – we need crush it.
If you’ve got a representative who’s already made their stand for freedom – a county commission that’s declared themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary, a libertarian/conservative City Councilperson who’s made a dent in a DFL cesspool, a sheriff who’s said they’re not going to enforce Governor Klink’s latest “bring me a shrubbery!” outburst, a state legislator who’s fought the fight and has the smear pieces in the media to show for it? Don’t just vote for them. Call them to thank them. And then ask them how you can help.
Because it’s when good people see that there are other good people – other people who want that third America, above – that we start pushing the cultural needle back out of the red.
The alternatives? Ongoing collapse, or that First America taking power.
But I repeat myself.