(National Sentinel) Culture & Society: Without question, Americans are the most divided — culturally, socially, and politically — that we’ve ever been, but few political observers and analysts seem to understand just how bad the divide really is.
Well, in a single column — one of many great ones he’s written over the decades — conservative author, commentator and former presidential contender Pat Buchanan nailed it this week with the question of our era: “What still unites us?”
Behind the Trumpian slogan “America First” lay a conviction that, with the Cold War over and the real ideological nation, the USSR, shattered into pieces along ethnic lines, it was time for America to come home.
Contra the neocons, traditionalists argued that, while America was uniquely great, the nation was united by faith, culture, language, history, heroes, holidays, mores, manners, customs and traditions. A common feature of Americans, black and white, was pride in belonging to a people that had achieved so much.
The insight attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville – “America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great” – was a belief shared by almost all.
What makes our future appear problematic is that what once united us now divides us. While Presidents Wilson and Truman declared us to be a “Christian nation,” Christianity has been purged from our public life and sheds believers every decade. Atheism and agnosticism are growing rapidly, especially among the young.
Traditional morality, grounded in Christianity, is being discarded. Half of all marriages end in divorce. Four-in-10 children are born out of wedlock. Unrestricted abortion and same-sex marriage – once regarded as marks of decadence and decline – are now seen as human rights and the hallmarks of social progress.
Tens of millions of us do not speak English. Where most of our music used to be classic, popular, country and western, and jazz, much of it now contains rutting lyrics that used to be unprintable.
Where we used to have three national networks, we have three 24-hour cable news channels and a thousand websites that reinforce our clashing beliefs on morality, culture, politics and race.
He goes on to note that most monuments to men and women we once revered as a nation — Christopher Columbus, Joan of Arc, and, yes, some Confederate generals along with other “white men” like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — are also being expunged from the public square, angrily denounced by those as ignorant of history as they are angry at Americans who seek to preserve it:
Taken together, we are seeing the discoverers, explorers and missionaries of North America demonized as genocidal racists all. The Founding Fathers are either slave owners or sanctioners of slavery.
Our nation-builders either collaborated in or condoned the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans. Almost to the present, ours was a land where segregationists were honored leaders.
Bottom line for the left: Americans should be sickened and ashamed of the history that made us the world’s greatest nation. And we should acknowledge our ancestors’ guilt by tearing down any and all monuments and statues that memorialize them.
This rising segment of America, full of self-righteous rage, is determined to blacken the memory of those who have gone before us.
To another slice of America, much of the celebrated social and moral “progress” of recent decades induces a sense of nausea, summarized in the lament, “This isn’t the country we grew up in.”
Hillary Clinton famously described this segment of America as a “basket of deplorables … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic … bigots,” and altogether “irredeemable.”
So, what still unites us? What holds us together into the indefinite future? What makes us one nation and one people? What do we offer mankind, as nations seem to recoil from what we are becoming, and are instead eager to build their futures on the basis of ethnonationalism and fundamentalist faith?
We are witnessing the fall of our society or, at the very least, a concerted effort to destroy it by a large (and growing) faction on the Left.
The very best thing to do in order to avoid the coming violence and destruction is to simply go our separate ways — recognize that what divides us today are irreconcilable differences and agree to a peaceful divorce.
Will we be wise enough to take that course, or stupid enough to repeat the mistakes of the past and kill millions in a vain attempt to force one half of us to accept and be governed by another half for which we share no commonality?
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