It is time to be brutally honest about America: As a country and as a nation, it is at the point of no return. Anyone who believes the current political tribalism and open animosity are just a phase and that the nation will eventually heal and come together again is delusional. It’s not going to happen. The question is, then, where do we go from here?
To be sure, a lot of conservatives hope and perhaps truly believe that this political and cultural divide can and will be overcome. No doubt, many Americans who identify as “liberals,” vote Democrat, and dislike the Republican Party believe the same thing. Both groups are utterly wrong, and their refusal to see the writing on the wall is part of the problem rather than being the solution to it.
Let us not forget that Hillary Clinton, while campaigning for the presidency is 2017, described Trump supporters as “deplorables.” That wasn’t by any means the most telling comment she made: Clinton went on to say, “Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”
It’s only fair to quote Clinton accurately. She described “half of Trump supporters” as deplorable, rather than all of them; but she really meant all of them and all conservatives – she just couldn’t afford to generalize in a public speech because no one can reasonably expect to be elected president after directly condemning half the nation’s voters. As it is, that speech was a big factor in Clinton’s defeat.
“[I}rredeemable and not part of America.” Think about that because that is exactly how the progressive left views conservatives. The case may be made that this is how conservatives should think of progressives. However, not everyone who leans left and votes Democrat should be included in this group.
Democrat or Progressive?
Across the South and Midwest – if not so much in the Northeast or on the West Coast – millions of Democratic Party supporters still believe in individual liberty and checks on excessive government interference; they carry guns, display American flags, and proudly sing the national anthem. Those people are still Americans, but many on the extreme left, the progressives and the socialists, it could be argued, are not Americans in spirit nor do they want to be.
More importantly, those people do not want to return America to what it was meant to be. It appears to this writer that they have no interest in healing wounds or living in peace with those whose political views they despise.
We should not let all “moderate” Democrats off the hook, though. They may be American patriots, but they have allowed the party for which they vote to be overtaken by fanatics who seem intent on erasing the founding principles, the traditional values, and the spirit of freedom and self-reliance that make up the very cornerstones of America.
Endless War of Ideology
Within the past few weeks, we have seen an uptick in social media-driven calls for boycotts of any private business whose owners have donated money to President Donald Trump (or who have simply been accused of doing so) or just demonstrated support for him. There also has been a rise in the tactic of exposing (including doxxing) conservatives in order to both intimidate and mark them for potential physical assault.
It is important not to trivialize this trend. It is true that these boycott campaigns may not be effective and that, in some cases, they backfire and actually boost the businesses they target, as the managers of Chick-fil-As will confirm. Unsettling about these boycotts, however, is the mentality behind them.
If an individual refuses to do business with a company whose owners and/or employees support causes or political agendas with which that individual does not agree, that is a personal decision that conservatives are guilty of, too. When that individual takes to social media to incite a boycott, the intent is to destroy the success of that business – by extension, to destroy the lives of the people who created that business or who rely on it for an income. Make no mistake, this describes the progressives’ mentality: Disagree with or oppose us, and we will destroy you.
Like a mortal wound or a fatal disease, there is no cure. There are no bridges to be built, no aisles to be reached across, and no campfires around which we can all gather to sing Kumbaya.
Just consider a recent opinion piece from Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. His Aug. 30 column encapsulated the intent of the modern American left: Everything must change, and there can be no negotiation.
The headline of this column was “At this point, returning to ‘normal’ isn’t good enough. We need a president to make us better.” Basically, Pitts argued that nominating Joe Biden to challenge Trump in 2020 would be, essentially, a missed opportunity for Democrats as the former VP is not campaigning on radical change but a more moderate agenda aimed at returning things to normality (if one imagines that “normality” means how things were before Trump).
“The fact is,” Pitts wrote, “people voted for Trump, not because they felt neglected, but because for many, he reflected their prejudices. That’s according to empirical evidence. So what Biden intends as a plea for political amity is actually an act of political cowardice.” The columnist didn’t offer any “empirical evidence” of the prejudice of Trump supporters, of course, but his message reflected how leftists view Trump supporters and all conservatives: They are beyond redemption and unworthy of acceptance as good people, now or at any time in the future. For a Democrat to pretend otherwise is unacceptable, and compromise is cowardice.
The ‘Reasonable Right’ Has Failed
No matter what the Ben Shapiros of the world say, these extremists cannot be won over by logic or reason or debate. The Ben Shapiros of the world fail to understand that, if you are a conservative, the left considers your opinions unworthy of even a moment’s consideration. You can never win a debate against an opponent who considers you so ignorant, so repulsive, so morally and intellectually inferior that your position on any issue is simply not worth serious examination.
To drive the point home, think of the most civil, reasonable, and rational conservative pundits and media figures – the leading voices of what has been described as “the reasonable right.” Does the left admire them for their fairmindedness and unerring ability to politely champion the conservative worldview? No, not at all. The left labels them fascists and Nazis.
For the political right, it is time to wake up to reality: The left doesn’t want to patch things up and find common ground so that we can all be friends again. Compromise is now a pointless word. This is a fight to the death (of either conservatism or progressivism). The America of which progressives dream has no place for conservatives.
As long as progressives dominate the public education system and the national establishment media, they will not be defeated. The options then, as distasteful as they may be, are the dismantling of public education and its political indoctrination, a peacefully negotiated division of the United States into two or three separate countries, or civil war. The first two are equally unlikely, and the third would be a tragedy not soon forgotten that would probably change the character of America for decades to come.
For conservatives, then, the uncomfortable truth is that the ideological battle must continue against an implacable enemy. Clinging to “principles” and “values” and making vacuous statements like “we’re better than that” have not proved a winning strategy. A new, radical, unapologetic, in-your-face conservatism is the only thing that will save America from drowning in the sewer of progressive ideology. Perhaps one could call that “Trumpism,” and perhaps that is exactly why The Donald was elected.