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CAN THE DIVIDE BE BRIDGED? 19 Nov. 2017 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

CAN THE DIVIDE BE BRIDGED?

19 Nov. 2017

Dear Friends and Patriots,

 

          If you’re listening to those yapping dog, self-styled political pundits you’ll hear more and more about “divided America.”  They’ve been on this line of dialog for a bit now.  Have you figured it out?

          The divisions being pointed out are real.  People all across our land are divided.  But, I suspect a lot of those people have no idea of what it is that divides them or how committed they should be.  They may think in terms of party or economics or geography, but those are all convenient and obvious representations.  They’re easier to grasp than the underlying philosophic points of view that feed the battle that’s raging in our land.  It may well be that the divide can only close when most people begin to grasp the truth of the battle and not just fall prey to the endless babbling of shallow thinkers who pose as intellectuals and analysts.  Even then, it can’t close until one side or the other prevails in a convincing way.

          The essentials of “divided America” are actually simple.  The divide is a gaping chasm that defines the difference between government according to the principles articulated and referenced in our Declaration of Independence, and a government according to the philosophy espoused by progressives, who now dominate almost all aspects of our national government.

          Our nation was not founded upon flawed logic or flawed principles.  It has always been flawed, though, and continues to be flawed, and perhaps always will be.  Mankind always strives toward perfection, but it’s difficult to believe imperfect creatures are truly capable of any such thing.   The beauty of life is in striving toward perfection.  If we were to ever actually achieve it, what would be left?

          Because it always helps to give concrete examples, allow me to offer one.  Allow me to briefly examine one principle stated in the Declaration of Independence and how that statement has factored in our nation’s history.

          Who among you does not accept the principle that “all men are created equal”? If one of you doesn’t, perhaps you need to understand the meaning of the statement.  As a principle of natural law it means we are all born with the same natural rights.  It never was meant to be taken literally.  Humans are obviously not born and destined to live as equals, except in one respect – our government was set up with the intent to treat us all as equals, even though nature does not.  Just look around you.  Look at your friends, family, and neighbors and the truth that we aren’t literal equals is immediately obvious.  But, the principle of our Declaration of Independence is about equal treatment by government and according to law, not by nature.  

          Just how has America dealt with the principle of equality?  Has it been a guiding principle of our national existence, or is it still an unrealized goal?  Has it been a uniting principle, or one that has been perverted and misused to divide?

          Think for a moment or two about Native Americans.  We called them Indians for many generations, then American Indians.  But, it’s not what we called them in our history that reveals how equal they are or aren’t.  No, it’s the history of what our government did to them that tells that tale.  As a preamble to that discussion, take some time to read and understand the Northwest Ordnance of 1787.   That federal law mandated treatment of the natives of the Northwest Territories according to lofty principles of equality and justice.  Compare the Ordnance to The Indian Removal Act of 1830 and try to understand the mindset that set the latter law in motion. 

          The major point to understand in America’s first 137 years regarding Native Americans has to do with legal standing.  The US government held that Native Americans were not citizens of the US, and only granted them the right of citizenship by the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.  From the very beginning our government contrived a legal status for natives, declaring them members of separate and sovereign nations, as they had been all during colonial times.  Because they were considered aliens among us, they weren’t afforded the same protections assumed to apply to an average citizen.  Whenever natives were considered to be “in the way of progress” our government treated them as nuisances that had to be removed.  The perceived needs of the growing nation always prevailed; the natives were always the population to yield.

          Our federal government thought to solve some aspects of the “Indian problem” by creating reservations of land and assigning tribes to them.   History documents that those reservations disappeared as the “needs” of westward expansion created countless opportunities for clashes between the natives and American settlers. 

The most egregious period in the history of the government and native tribes was in the 25 year post-Civil War era when the actual policy of the nation was to exterminate tribes that would not relocate upon demand.  In effect our government had strayed so far from the language and intent of the Declaration and Ordnance of 1787 that Native Americans were hardly considered human.  I will refrain from listing the many massacres of natives by US cavalry troops.  And, I don’t assign any particular blame to anyone.  It’s just the truth of our history.  It’s all a sorry tale, but one that reveals the difficulty of governing according to essential principles.

Some may think of this as revisionist history, but it’s all documented fact.  I will agree with anyone who complains that I’ve been simplistic and ignore a lot of other factors that were also real.  I bring the subject up just to illustrate how problematic the principle of “all men are created equal” truly is when in conflict with popular sentiment and accepted norms.  My context is purposefully narrow.

Our other founding principles have also been in occasional conflict with evolving cultural norms.  That’s the rationale behind the notion of the “living Constitution” and the progressives’ belief that the Constitution and Declaration are archaic relics that only retard our nation’s forward progress.

The very real divide we’re discussing is truly driven by two competing sets of values and principles that cannot be reconciled.  While we conservatives and Constitutionalists may believe in equal application of justice as a principle, progressives believe in fairness.  We believe in equality of opportunity, while progressives espouse belief in equality of outcome.  We believe in the value of hard work and achievement according to merit.  Progressives believe in sharing achievement and wealth regardless of merit.  We see nothing wrong when those who are actually the best at what they do come out on top.  Progressives believe in participation trophies.  We believe in logic and objective truth.  They believe in the supposed superior value of feelings.  Our vision is one based on universal truths, while theirs is of a mythic utopia.

The chasm cannot be bridged.  Too many people on each side are invested in the ultimate outcome of this struggle.  We are battling over the future of this nation.  We conservatives and Constitutionalists want to return to lawful rule according to the Constitution we understand.  We want to see our government turn into one guided by our founding principles, where those principles are universally applied.  We want a meritocracy.  We want a sovereign republic.   We want true justice for all.

So, what do the progressives want?  They want America to become a socialist democracy.  They want our country to become integrated into international combines. They want the power and authority to take from whomever they choose and grant benefits to whomever or whatever purpose they choose, without any constraints.  It’s actually much worse, but to describe the totality of the progressive vision isn’t a short article, it’s a book.  It may be several books.

This is the true nature of divided America, in a nutshell.  One side wants to see a nation that abides by our Constitution, with laws made according to the timeless, immutable principles referenced in our Declaration of Independence.  The other side wants to ignore all aspects of our founding and commit to pursuit of a socialist utopian vision.  Everyone needs to understand the battle according to its real objectives.  Everyone needs to understand the difference in the visions of the adversaries. Then, everyone must get off whatever fence they’ve perched themselves on and commit.  You can commit to one vision, or to the other. But, you cannot commit to both, and you can’t afford to ignore the truth of the divide.

My personal belief is we have plenty of good Americans who would get on the right side of this divide if only they understood it better. Our job as patriots is to reach out to them; to educate them so they’ll understand they’re needed on the front lines of this fight. 

Is this the ultimate fight for the future of America?  Who knows?  Does it really make any difference?  Whether this is the ultimate or just another phase in a protracted fight that’s already been going on for the past 60 years is hard to say.  What is obvious, though, is “divided America” will be a permanent condition until this is over.  We are past any point of no return.  Everyone has to learn the truth of it.  Everyone has to commit. Everyone has to do their part.  Everyone has to decide what kind of American we’ll leave for our future generations.

 

In Liberty,

Steve