It’s Them or Us

Apropos the left’s unhinged and baseless attack on the Covington kids, the Audacious Epigone writes:

They [leftists] are incorrigible. There is no reformation, only destruction -– theirs or ours.

Theirs or ours. Them or us.

As Christopher Roach puts it:

The intensity of the friction has led, in recent times, to the suggestion we may be on the brink of a kind of civil war.

One solution proffered from time to time is a peaceful separation. Observers on the Right and the Left have suggested that the rift is simply too deep and serious to be resolved, and that the mutual interest of everyone concerned would benefit by a divorce, whether deemed secession or an invigoration of local autonomy or something else….

A peaceful national separation is probably a good idea. But those on the Right must face the most important obstacle: The Left would never ever let us leave.

Leftism is not simply one opinion among many. For the Left’s votaries, it’s closer to a religion. It’s not enough that one is himself a vegan, drives a Prius, doesn’t own guns, rejects the traditional family, or anything else that goes with the lifestyle. It is essential that everyone else does so. Any deviations are “backwardness” and “divisive” or worse.

… All disagreements are pathologized as moral failings and psychological defects, labeled with pseudoscientific terms like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and all the rest….

For all the talk of diversity and tolerance among the Left, this tolerance extends mostly to things most of us do not want to do. Most men and women do not want to change their sex or marry someone of the same sex. Most of us do not intend to leave the country our ancestors built. So the Left gives us the right to do things most of us do not want to do—gay rights, immigration—but takes away things that used to be commonplace, like supporting a family on a single income or governing our towns and cities without having to beg for the imprimatur of a hostile judiciary….

A peaceful separation requires some mutual respect and concern for the flourishing of the other. The Left, like crazed primitives engaged in honor killing, would instead exact revenge and command forced association rather than allow a divorce. The Left would be embarrassed and discredited if their ideology were rejected by the group it is supposedly benefiting with the promise of diversity, equality, and progress. Nailing shut the exits is a deliberate part of the Left’s utopian quest for uniformity and expansive labeling of all of its opinions and policies as nonnegotiable “human rights.”

Withdrawal isn’t an option either, as Bruce Frohnen observes:

[Rod] Dreher has been writing a good deal, of late, about what he calls the Benedict Option, by which he means a tactical withdrawal by people of faith from the mainstream culture into religious communities where they will seek to nurture and strengthen the faithful for reemergence and reengagement at a later date….

The problem with this view is that it underestimates the hostility of the new, non-Christian society [e.g., this and this]….

Leaders of this [new, non-Christian] society will not leave Christians alone if we simply surrender the public square to them. And they will deny they are persecuting anyone for simply applying the law to revoke tax exemptions, force the hiring of nonbelievers, and even jail those who fail to abide by laws they consider eminently reasonable, fair, and just.

The left simply will not abandon its desire to dictate to “the people”. It’s for their own good, you see.

Keep your powder dry.

“Cheerful” Thoughts

Fred Reed ends a recent column with this:

America is no longer “one nation under God” (who is, I suppose, an undocumented alien). It is an unhappy land of warring tribes, of peoples who have nothing in common and do not like each other. Blacks, whites, browns, Syrians, Somalis, Southerners, Yankees, Christians, mostly detesting each other. The battle lines are drawn. The question is what kind of battle it will be.

I agree with Reed’s “warring tribes” characterization. But mutual detestation will not lead to combat. It will lead to an increasing fragmentation of America into mutually loathing identity groups.

And, as Trumpania makes clear, one result will be more government, not less. Whichever coalition of warring groups is in power, government will expand to fulfill the wishes of that coalition. And the ascension to power of different coalitions will simply lead to the further expansion of government, without any shrinkage of the functions added under previous coalitions.

As I have written elsewhere, the aggrandizement of government in the United States can be characterized by three metaphors: the slippery slope, the ratchet effect, and the death-spiral (of liberty). The Tea Party movement is effectively dead; the true lovers of liberty are a minuscule fraction of the electorate; the thought police are at the door; and with diminished defenses and expanded welfare programs, America is a hair’s-breadth from an economically stagnant, morally bankrupt European-style “social democracy.”

The next administration — or the next one, at most — will finish the job of fundamentally transforming America. Barack Obama certainly did his part, but the transformation has been a long time in the making. And it seems irreversible.