Our Divisions Can’t Be ‘Healed,’ But They Can Be Managed

America is clearly and deeply divided. Will we ever be united again? In seeking to answer that question, former newsman Walter Shapiro wrote recently, “What America, and not just the Democrats, need most of all in 2020 is a presidential candidate who can begin to heal the nation’s deep wounds.” He opines that a good president would not only give “an inspirational appeal to our better angels as citizens,” but would also possess “that half-forgotten virtue called competence—the ability to understand how government works and to know how to use the levers of power to recover from the wreckage of the Trump years.”

He started out sounding so nice he but just couldn’t resist ending with yet another digging of the knife into America’s open political wound. By ridiculing the president chosen and loved by half the nation, Shapiro demonstrates he has no desire to understand them. And this calls into question his sincerity about “healing” the nation.

Still, talk of “healing the nation” is in vogue these days. Several, though not all, of the 2020 presidential contenders have made it a hallmark of their campaigns. Last summer an article reported that former Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak was running for president to “heal this nation’s soul.” A November 8, 2019 headline announced that Senator Cory Booker “wants to heal the nation,” and a July 12, 2019, New Yorker headline touted “How Andrew Yang’s Robot Apocalypse Can Heal a Divided Nation.”

Dr. James J. Zogby, in a November 12, 2019 article, asked, “Will 2020 elections heal or deepen the divide?” Zogby then claimed, “There can be no doubt that, by any measure, Donald Trump has been the most outrageous president in our history . . . It isn’t just the policies Trump has pursued. It is how he has exacerbated the polarization of our society and coarsened our political discourse.”

Who Is Exacerbating Divisions?

What is seldom fully acknowledged by many on the Left is that our society was already deeply polarized years before Trump came down the escalator. Trump is merely supporting and responding to those who elected him—as almost all politicians do. As far as exacerbation is concerned, half of America believes the far-Left—which has falsely alleged that President Trump and his supporters are racist, greedy, fascists—is responsible for almost all of the exacerbation and violence that has occurred.

Indeed, there is a strong case to be made that it is not conservatives who are courting fascism, but progressives. While progressives insist that Christians are dangerous, unlikeable, and controlling people, they gloss over the ways they themselves embrace strict societal controls designed to prevent Christians from living out their faith. This is interesting because four centuries ago in what is now the state of Massachusetts, the Puritans, who founded the New England governments, were devoted to Jesus Christ but governed in a very strict, controlling manner. According to historian Perry Miller, Puritans “disliked individualism” and believed government should not only “interfere and direct and lead as much as it could, in all aspects of life,” but also that it should “discipline and coerce” when necessary.

Liberals in the extremely progressive state of Massachusetts today might not believe in the God that motivated their Puritan forebears, but they, along with other East Coast liberals, continue to believe that government has a duty to control the masses. Many young liberals, in fact, strongly believe government should police free speech, free assembly, and free expressions of Christian religion.

Moreover, Democrats always seem to underestimate how strongly conservatives will resist this—as well as to underestimate how strongly conservatives felt about many of President Obama’s policies. As long as the Obama Administration was enacting policies that liberal America embraced, progressives closed their eyes and pretended the opinions of the rest of America didn’t matter. President Trump, on the other hand, stepped up and told them that they do matter.

Who Matters?

Zogby admits that President Trump “speaks directly to” conservatives, but then wrongly claims President Trump “has convinced them that he alone understands them and will fight for them.” What Zogby misses is that President Trump didn’t “convince” conservatives of this. Liberals did. One only has to listen to a liberal for a few minutes to hear the condescension and derogation dripping from their lips when it comes to middle America in general and Christians especially. Democrats and their 2020 candidates consistently denounce conservatives as idiots, racists, sexists, or just plain evil white people. If they aren’t doing it overtly, they do it subtly.

Zogby himself frames liberals as good and conservatives as bad, describing Democrats as reaching out to “young voters, ‘minorities,’” and “educated professional women,” while Republicans reach out to “the wealthy, of course, and white, ‘born again,’ non-college educated, and rural voters.” He applauds Democrats as having “condemned inequality, promoted diversity and tolerance, and proposed a range of social programs designed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable,” then scorns Republicans—alleging that they chant a “mantra” for “smaller government, lower taxes,” and “social issues (from abortion to anti-gay rights) to appeal to their voters.”

So much for healing.

The Democrat’s apparent “Alinsky” assumption is that if they ridicule people enough, those people will change. News flash to Democrats: Ridicule is only making conservatives angrier and less likely to “submit.” When Obama made his derisive comments about Americans who “cling to guns or religion” and Clinton contemptuously consigned millions of Americans to a “basket of deplorables,” conservatives embraced the terms proudly.

Zogby asserts that conservatives have latched onto President Trump as their “last, best hope” and feel attacks on him are a threat to their well-being. This is partially true. President Trump currently is the best, but he will not be our last hope. It is true that attacks on him, while indeed recognized as threats to our well-being, are not going to stop conservatives. Even if the Left is successful at unseating the president, the divide will remain, and conservatives will find another brave soul to fight for them. For them to think otherwise is delusional.

While Zogby advises the 2020 Democratic contenders to “appeal to their base, while also speaking directly . . . to the left-behind working class—of all races . . . recognizing the hurt, acknowledging the frustration, and sharing the anger of the right,” he does not seem to understand that this is impossible for them. His words may appeal to leftist elites, but conservatives recognize them as inherently and insufferably paternalistic.

Sure—share the anger. But we know now that they will go ahead and do what they’re going to do anyway. They don’t listen. They don’t care.

Democrats, including those who claim to want to heal the country through “unity and civility,” always assume that those they see as inferior will be satisfied with any token appreciation they might give. After years of maligning conservatives, there is no reason to believe the 2020 Democrats will suddenly care now.

Zogby admits that “Winning and transforming American politics means adopting a ‘both/and’ instead of an ‘either/or’ approach to politics” and “Ignoring or just trying to get more votes than the ‘other side,’ will only perpetuate the divide.” He also concedes that “lame calls for unity and civility fall flat when people are hurting, frustrated, and mad.” But his advice to unify the nation “around an agenda that speaks to all Americans across the divide” is naïve at best.

Our nation is not split on minor points of policy, easily compromised. It is split on primary, fundamental beliefs—core to everyone’s identity.

The Impasse and Its Denial

Liberals think conservatives are deplorable? Conservatives think liberals are insane. Attacking our faith in God and our commitment to the Constitution and the Second Amendment wasn’t enough for them. Apparently they want to rob Americans not only of who they have been as a society for centuries but also of the very essence of who they are as human beings.

For example, when a Democrat reads that many Americans will never—ever—be comfortable with or accepting of biological men in women’s restrooms, do they accept that fact as a political reality requiring respect? Or do they instead experience a churning of their stomachs as their lips curl into a sneer? If the latter, then we need to accept that outside of a war that unites Americans in defense of their lives, there is no longer an agenda that will speak to both sides.

The Left is quick to condemn any man who might have given the slightest perceived offense to a woman, yet it is comfortable ignoring the deep perception of violation both of privacy and safety many women feel with a biological male in the bathroom with them—especially those women who have been sexually assaulted in the past.

This is just one example, but there are several questions like these that cannot be wished or compromised away. Too many Democrats have said they want to make children who are just days away from birth disposable. The large number who staunchly embrace this agenda will need a transformative experience with God before America will ever be united—because conservatives will not cease condemning the cold-blooded murder of infants.

The Left has been attempting to subvert everything Americans have always known and understood about life and their culture. Democrats demand the right to teach a left-wing illusion to the children who have been allowed to live—including the lie that they can be another gender or no gender at all. Children are then confused into believing not only that can they change sex—which is a biological reality—but that they can choose from dozens of “genders.” But because nothing is what it seems, they had better not make the mistake of assuming that what a person looks like is what that person really is, and heaven forbid they call a person by the wrong pronouns—which have multiplied exponentially along with the genders. Liberal educators have even shamed and punished children who, confused by all this, state the obvious.

Leftists have told children that God isn’t important and probably doesn’t even exist. They tell young girls it is OK to kill their babies if they want. They have infused this far-left agenda into children’s schoolwork, cartoons, movies, and toys.

Claiming that sexually explicit “pride” parades are family fun and drag queen story hour at the library is educational, liberals called conservatives uptight and homophobic, and suggested more drugs be legalized so everyone could just get high and relax.

The Left Is Blind to Obama’s Real Divisive Legacy

President Obama broke the proverbial camel’s back when he mandated schools open up bathrooms, locker rooms, and even motel rooms on field trips so children the Left had allowed to survive but worked diligently to confuse could more effectively stress and confuse other children. In just eight years, Obama had forced so many changes on to our society that many citizens over the age of 40 felt they had lost their own culture. This was no longer “your parent’s America.” Many who were losing their children to the leftist distortions could see this wasn’t going to stop. It was only going to keep getting worse.

All of that—along with the economically destructive policies of the Obama Administration—made people grieve for a lost America. This is why the phrase, “Make America Great Again,” spoke to so many.

Unfortunately, Democrats successfully convinced many young people that the phrase was all about “race.”

It was not about “race.” It also had much less to do with the economy than many out-of-touch elites supposed. While everyone wants better cash flow and those who recognize the president’s economic achievements are very grateful for them, the anger Obama provoked during his tenure wasn’t about jobs as much as it was about social issues.

The liberals had gone after our children.

Hands off our children.

This is not a village and you do not get to raise our children.

Conservatives have been pushed too far. As men, women, mothers, fathers, and grandparents, they will not let the far Left undermine and destroy their families any longer.

Liberals are enraged at President Trump precisely because of his conservative social policies—yet they still don’t get that half of America loves President Trump precisely because of these conservative social policies. They want to make it about anything but that.

There can never be a uniting of these two, diametrically opposed worldviews. The divide is irreconcilable. Accept it. No president can “heal” this nation. Leftists have been clear they intend to extend the craziness further, and conservative have been clear they intend to stop them. Both sides have been increasingly disgusted by the policies of the other’s successive administrations over the past 30 years.

No Call for Fear

Nevertheless, don’t worry. It does not need to come to blows and one side does not need to push the other side out of the country. We do not need to have a civil war. While we cannot heal the divide, there is a way for this nation to survive.

We must genuinely honor the 10th amendment—just as the Founders originally envisioned. For while there are only two sexes, we really do have many different states to choose from—perhaps we’ll have 51 or 56 if California eventually has its way.

The original colonies were jarringly distinct from one another. Each had its own manner of government and was highly protective of its territory. They had separate histories, specific religions, distinguishable cultures, and unique commercial interests. They were often in competition or conflict with one another.

Nevertheless, while they wanted to retain their individuality, the states desired to form a national government for purposes of providing common defense, overseas commerce, national infrastructure, and a small number of other issues best handled in unity. Our nation was created, its Constitution written—and over the years, civil rights better protected—under the premise that each state should be able to maintain its own internal policies.

Today, if a state decides it wants to be socialist, let it be so—with the understanding that the federal government has no power and the other states are under no obligation to bail it out when it fails. The federal government must finally limit itself to those powers vested in it by the people under the Constitution and perform only those tasks it was created to do. Each state must be free to determine its own internal policies as allowed under the federal constitution—including how long a new resident must wait before receiving state benefits. The president must return to a more limited role as chief executive. It is only in this way—the way originally established by our Founding Fathers—that this nation can survive under two disparate world views.

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