Posted by: N.S. Palmer | July 29, 2018

How Does This End?

“How does this end?”

You need to ask that question.

Whether you’re a Trump-hater or Trump-lover, leftist or “Deplorable,” you need to ask it right now.

Because you’re hurting the very people and principles about which you claim to care.

If you’re a leftist

Leftists go first, but don’t worry. We’ll get to conservatives.

If you’re a leftist, you claim to care about the welfare of blacks, gays, women, and various “genders” too numerous to list.

Let’s talk about blacks. Compared to other ethnic groups, African-American unemployment is high and average wages are low. What do you think happens to American blacks when you bring in millions of Hispanics who compete for the same jobs? An increase in the supply of labor tends to decrease wages. More people competing for the same jobs means more black people will be unemployed, and even those who have jobs will make less money. You get a cheap nanny. Blacks get hurt.

What about gays? On average, American gays have slightly higher incomes and slightly higher IQs than straight white Americans. Gays are celebrated on television, in movies, and in news media. Anti-gay bias (real or imagined) is a career-ender in America. Do you know what they do to gays in Islamic countries? They terrorize them while they’re alive, and then they execute them. They throw them off the tops of tall buildings. They do the same to the gender-confused. And you want to bring more of those attitudes into the United States?

American women? They have more freedom than any other women in history. They drive. They vote. They hold political office. They’re welcome to do any job for which they have the ability. STEM fields are begging for more female applicants because not enough women are interested. And if any man hits a woman, everyone considers him a lowlife and a criminal.

Islamic countries think that feminism is insane and immoral. As left-leaning neuroscientist Sam Harris observed in Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, “under Islam, the central message is that women are second-class citizens and the property of the men in their lives.” And you want to bring more of those attitudes into the United States?

What about your own rights? America’s culture and legal system, at least what’s left of them, come mainly from the Western European Enlightenment and the British common law. If you were accused of a crime, would you like a right to trial by jury, and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty? Do you think you have rights that government shouldn’t violate? Do you think you should be able to criticize government officials without going to prison?

Then why are you determined to drown America under a tidal wave of people who don’t believe those things, from regions where they’ve grown accustomed to despotism? Where if a woman is raped and reports it, she is the one who gets punished? Why do you relentlessly slander America’s history, Founders, Constitution, morality, institutions, and legal traditions as a nonstop parade of horrors — when it’s those very things that gave you the freedom to do so?

If you’re a conservative

And you high-principled conservatives: Don’t sit there feeling smug. Now it’s your turn.

You claim to believe that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Relevant opinion polls are scarce, but it’s clear that a large number of people either no longer consent or never consented to the American form of government:

  • They do not consent to accept the results of elections unless their side wins.
  • They do not consent to law that applies equally to everyone regardless of race, sex, nationality, or religion.
  • They do not consent to tolerate opinions that disagree with their own.
  • They do not consent to any public expression of the Judeo-Christian tradition on which the country was founded.

The reasons are irrelevant. Some people are merely ignorant. Some have been brainwashed by universities to hate their own country and to believe that everything about it is evil. Some are migrants from barbaric regions who have never lived in freedom and don’t believe in it. And some are “Stalin’s grandchildren,” the biological or intellectual progeny of Marxists who have worked tirelessly since the 1930s to divide and weaken America from within. Ironically, they’re now doing it in the service of a Soviet empire that no longer exists.

I’ll tell you about a little experiment I did as an undergraduate student. I printed the U.S. Constitution’s first 10 Amendments (the Bill of Rights) and The Communist Manifesto’s 10 measures to transform a country’s economic and political system to Communism. Without identifying the sources, I polled other students about each list. More of them agreed with The Communist Manifesto than with the Bill of Rights.

Things are even worse now, as the rot in academia has eroded Americans’ knowledge of their own history and political ideals. And it’s not just knowledge: It’s our national character.

Conservatives claim to believe in the vision of the American Founders. De Montesquieu, whose book The Spirit of Laws influenced the Founders, observed that a nation’s government should be appropriate for its people. But is the American government appropriate for today’s population?

The American government and political system were designed for people who were self-reliant and proudly independent. Who took responsibility for their lives instead of blaming others. Who wanted an equal chance, not a guaranteed outcome. Who accepted life’s inevitable risks instead of trading their freedom for the false promise of a risk-free world. Who respected themselves and their history. Who despite their religious differences, accepted the Bible and the Judeo-Christian tradition as their shared foundation of life, morality, and government.

Those people still exist, but they’re no longer a majority. Too many people now believe that nothing is their fault. Instead, they blame racism, the patriarchy, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, arachnophobia, or cacomorphobia:

  • They believe that whatever they want is a Constitutional right, and that government should pay for it with other people’s money.
  • They believe that the purpose of government is to help them and hurt anyone they dislike.
  • They believe that “justice is the interest of the stronger party.”
  • They believe that words are violence and that physical violence is a legitimate response to disagreement.

Like it or not, a Constitutional American government is not appropriate for them.

The facts are what they are. In the short run, they’re not going to change. America can survive, but only confronting the truth instead of taking refuge in wishful thinking.

So how does this end?

Buckle up. There’s a rough road ahead.


Responses

  1. And so many of us think wishfully.

    Our society used to be in delicate balance thanks to essentially a ruling elite and a vast middle class. Nobody likes to admit that, but it’s true. There were problems, some shameful: racism, sexism, poverty. But the ruling elite largely intended to govern, and to largely follow a Judeo-Christian moral code.

    Now we have a ruling elite largely unmoored from any sense of universal right, and a vast underclass that is pissed off and tired.

    • Agreed. People want a perfect society, and in trying to make it, they usually destroy the good society that they already have. The tragedy is that some people are amoral because they think science has disproven the existence of God, but it’s done no such thing. I don’t know the solution, other than each of us trying to do what he or she can to improve the small part of the world we can affect.

  2. You raise some very good questions. I wish I had answers for them, particularly those questions posed to conservatives. I have been mulling a theory that our system was built for a religious people whose actions were kept largely in check by the fear of eternal consequences for bad behavior. If this is accurate, that component is becoming less and less present in American society.

    • I also wish that I had the answers. Our situation brings to mind a quote from an old television show I liked, “Touched by an Angel.” One of the angels says that God always answers prayers, but that sometimes, the answer is “no.”

      The answer might be that America is finished. I hope not, because that would be bad for almost everyone. But to deny the possibility is to hide from the truth, and our society does too much of that already. On the bright side, neither victory nor defeat is certain. Fortune favors the brave. We must keep faith and do what we can.

      In Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke described our predicament: “Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”


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