How Did We Get Here?

I found Maria Gutzeit’s 28 November column “Watching the world burn” (link) to be very interesting and well-written. But I think her wish for a society free of partisan politics, though admirable and well-meant, is at its heart naïve and unrealistic.

The problem, I believe, is that we’re currently engaged in a cultural civil war in this country that’s every bit as profound and fundamental as the one that took place in the 1860s, though so far pretty bloodless. Thank God for that, at least.

Historically, political rancor, and even violence, is nothing new in this country. Elected representatives were known to whack one another on the head with their canes right on the floors of Congress; Burr killed Hamilton in a duel over politics; and, of course, there was the afore-mentioned Civil War itself.

World War II was the event that created a rare period of national unity which lasted well into the post-war era of the ‘50s and early ‘60s, when the world was rebuilding from that war’s destruction. That was the “Leave It To Beaver” era for which so many wax nostalgic, or mock mercilessly, depending on their political inclinations.

That era came to an abrupt and dramatic end with the riots at the 1968 Democrat Party convention in Chicago, which underscored the rise of the counter-culture that rejected the ethos of the later-named “Greatest Generation” – their parents’ generation – in favor of a radicalized vision of what American culture should be.

That counter-culture, firmly rooted in the ideology of collectivist socialism, ironically found its home in the very Democrat party it had so violently rioted against, and in the subsequent almost half-century rose to positions of prominence and power within that party. As a result of their de facto takeover of that party they’ve managed to radically alter its underlying principles to the point that they now reflect much of the agenda of those original radicals who rioted in Chicago.

We see much of its strategy deriving directly from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”, a primer for the counter-culture of the ‘60s and ‘70s, which is essentially a blueprint for political disruption and manipulation. This is evidenced by class warfare pitting the “haves” against the “have-nots”, and the demonization of the “one-percenters”, as well as the creation, proliferation, and perpetuation of “victim” groups, which then go on to even compete against each other for prioritization, leading to further fragmentation and balkanization of the society and culture.

In such a noxious and confrontational political climate, our national motto, “E Pluribus Unum” – meaning “out of many, one”, a message of unity – has been effectively reversed for all intents and purposes into its mirror-opposite, “out of one, many”.

In her column, Maria writes: “The win will come when we all sit down and acknowledge common goals and work on that without uttering the words ‘democrats’, ‘republicans’ or ‘politics’… Imagine if we focused on electing people to improve and implement good policy, rather than ‘win’ for ‘our side’.”

While I think that’s a very nice thought, I also think it’s about as realistic as a kid’s Christmas wish list as he tells it while sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall. The reality is that “politics” is how we determine public policy in this country, and there’s at least one very sizeable portion of the body politic that seems determined to completely redefine the social and cultural fabric of our society. To destroy it in order to replace it with a system that is completely alien to traditional American ideals and constitutional principles.

In consequence, we see the politicization of almost everything, even sports, which used to be one of the few remaining bastions of political neutrality. Instead, we see the NFL immersed in their “taking a knee” controversy. We see popular media – TV, movies, and even books – showcasing political correctness at the expense of entertainment value. Higher education has become, at many universities, a venue of indoctrination rather than enlightenment.

In this adversarial climate, I believe the wish for reconciliation and cooperation, though well meant, has very little chance of being realized.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2017

(Also published today in The Signal)

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8 comments on “How Did We Get Here?

  1. CW says:

    Can’t we all just get along?!

    No, we can’t, Maria. Not when some people are hell-bent on using the power of the government to rob the rest of us of our wealth and liberty. Not when one party openly touts “resistance” as its number one objective. The prospect of getting along under those circumstances is most definitely “naïve and unrealistic.”

    Trying to share a country with Democrats is like trying to have a marriage with a spouse who continually cheats. How can there be a marriage when two people have such different ideas about what marriage is? If there’s any hope of saving the marriage (I wouldn’t bother, personally) there first has to be a come-to-Jesus moment in which the cheater acknowledges and reaffirms his or her vows. Without that it’s useless to pretend that a happy marriage is possible. Likewise, how can Republicans and Democrats get along when at least one party treats the Constitution the same way the cheating spouse treats his or her marriage vows? I say “at least one party” because, while Democrats uniformly disregard the Constitution, many Republicans are guilty as well. These are the compromisers (the “raging moderates”) that Ms. Gutzeit thinks so highly of. In her view, anyone who attempts to adhere to the Constitution – as it’s written – is an “extremist,” to be lumped in with those who want to shred the Constitution altogether. So I am unmoved by her complaints.

    If you don’t like partisanship, Ms. Gutzeit, it might help if you didn’t regurgitate Democrat falsehoods such as the suggestion, on taxes, that “people at both ends of the spectrum [pay] zero.” How many times must we repeat that the top 10% of earners pay the lion’s share of taxes before Democrats will stop pretending it isn’t true? Right there, Ms. Gutzeit, is why we have a problem. Nothing can be fixed when the truth is intentionally suppressed, and it is Democrats like Ms. Gutzeit, by and large, who suppress the truth.

    Finally, Ms. Gutzeit bemoans that partisanship is “…ridiculously ineffective at getting anything done.” Tell me, how do we “reduce healthcare costs” when we don’t first agree on what the government’s proper role is, if any, in healthcare? How do we find the money for “reliable infrastructure” when Democrats insist on steering every dime towards ever-expanding social programs? And “rewarding jobs?” Since when is it the government’s job to create rewarding jobs – LOL? And she wonders why we can’t just get along. “Getting something done” is code for “Let’s just pretend the Constitution doesn’t exist.”

    Your comparison to “a kid’s Christmas wish list” is spot-on, Brian, as is every other point you made. Great post!

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, CW, and that “comment” is a column in and of itself, and it’s terrific. Thank you for taking the time.

      Needless to say, I agree with absolutely everything you wrote. I just don’t understand where these people are coming from when they bleat about, as you said, “can’t we all just get along?”. It’s a complete denial of human nature. As if “politicians” pop up out of nowhere, like weeds, to spoil an otherwise utopian society, and all we have to do is get rid of them to be able to return to singing “Kumbaya” in a sylvan setting.

      What the hell? Who thinks like that?

  2. CW says:

    It’s surreal, Brian, like the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where there are dead bodies everywhere and one king cheerfully says to the other: “Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who!”

    I’m sorry but if you’re trying to pass a law that makes me responsible for some deadbeat’s healthcare I’m not going to work cheerfully with you to “get something done” on healthcare, and I certainly wouldn’t want my state representatives to do so either. Democrats, as you wisely pointed out, have become the party of Saul Alinsky. That’s a declaration of war, but they want us not to bicker and argue as they destroy the country.

    You said it: What the hell?

    • BrianR says:

      Yup.

      What’s even more puzzling to me is the “moderates” on the not-Left who spout the same bilge. Where do people come up with such an idiotic idea of human nature?

      In the ENTIRE HISTORY of the species there’s never been such “peace”! Long before the advent of “politicians”.

      Crazy…

  3. Hardnox says:

    Excellent post Brian. CW’s comment is spot-on.

    In my view, the cause for all the vitriol is that the left (self-proclaimed wizards of smart) are completely devoid of curiosity and critical thinking. They simply swallow the talking points issued by their leaders then act like spoiled children if anyone disagrees with them. Meanwhile, those on the right lack the ability to have their arguments heard since the media is controlled by the left.

    Control the message… control the people.

    Until the media can be purged of leftists the problem will persist. Fortunately, the media is imploding on its own with allegations of sexual abuse and false news. How much damage that will cause will probably be minimal as they attempt to polish their own turd reporting while claiming to speak the truth. Sadly the lemmings will accept it as gospel because they can’t get their faces out of their hand-held devices.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, Nox.

      Great points! I agree about the lack of curiosity and critical thinking. That allows them to buy into the chimera of utopianism. You have to be pretty brain-dead to believe in unicorns, right?

      • Hardnox says:

        Thanks. It is stunning how brain-dead these lemmings are. On the other hand… lemmings all have their noses up the asses of the lemmings in front of them and thus go off the cliff. The lemmings upfront attempt to stop but get pushed off. Lol.

      • BrianR says:

        Hahahaha!

        I’m not even sure the ones up front try to stop. After all, they’re the ones leading the charge!

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