Our Nation Needs a Chill Pill
And coming from your dear columnist, that's saying something.
We've been rioting since April and we all hate each other, probably because we have been more or less locked down since March.
These are, unquestioningly, our darkest days since the Civil War. Both the right and the left are ratcheted up so far that even those willing to attempt to work on behalf of the nation's good are unable to do so--their own allies will exile them first.
There is a lot of blame for this, but that is not the purpose of this writing. Nor is the purpose to bury one side, nor is the purpose to play "both sides are guilty" however true that may be. The purpose is to put forward steps we must take to actually, tangibly heal and move forward. There are certain irredeemable groups on both sides, however, to whom this is not addressed. The AOCs, Lin Woods, Reza Aslans, Kraken Worshippers, and Allah Pundits of the world.
This is for the rest of us, for the Americans.
Democrats and The Broader Left
1. This is simply a new manifestation of an old warning that classical liberals have made to the radical left for years: "Sorry, you made the rules." However justified or unjustified your feel the January 6 protests were, the reality is that the Left made these rules all summer. They declared war on Minneapolis. So too on Portland. So too on Chicago. So too on New York. So too on D.C. So too on Seattle. These and so many other cities across our great Union were subjected to an ongoing assault of actual violence and insurrection. You cannot turn now and decry this same kind of violent political upheaval as somehow an existential crisis for the Republic, when you spent an entire summer informing the world that the protest were not only good, but that it was necessary for them to be violent.
Not only did protest need to be violent are recently as December, but in fact, fighting the violent protests made you a stormtrooper. Rules and norms are important for reasons, and they must remain in place and apply broadly, or they cease to be tools for freedom, and instead turn into weapons of oppression for whomever so wields them.
2. Suburban Democrats must join the right in condemning the chilling restrictions now being placed on free speech. You cannot heal, you cannot lead, you cannot function if you seek endless retribution. They must join hands with the righter halves of the spectrum and end the hegemony of Big Tech. Any gloating on Suburban Democrats' part now is short sighted, for if this continues, they will one day be those being silenced. So is the natural progression of fascism.
3. Finally, they must retain the successes of the Trump administration. For all of his flaws--and they were numerous in nature--the man achieved some wonderful, incredible things in four years. Choosing to undo them, at the expense of the American people, is a far darker kind of treason born of the utmost malice. The reality is that Trump's policies put money in Americans' pockets, put jobs in America's towns, put pride in Americans' work, and put safety in the lives of America's troops by not entangling our boys in another pointless, foreign war.
Republicans and The Broader Right
While Democrats and the Left need to begin to be good winners and good stewards of the Republic, Republicans and the Right need to be gracious in defeat, if for no other reason so they can productively build moving forward. I do not relish the next few years any more than the rest of you, but impotently pouting about it will do nothing.
1. Accept that Trump likely lost legitimately. While I understand that there is frustration on the part of Republicans, this is the reality. No matter how much results in PA, WI, AZ, and GA do not pass even the most cursory smell test, Trump was plagued with issues which could have turned voters away. His administration was in a constant state of flux. He never learned how to tailor his message to go beyond his base. He couldn't stay off Twitter. He bit on the COVID hysteria.
2. Accept that Republican leadership is what cost the Senate. Socialism is still a hard sell in much of the country, but when the magic money machine is allowed to run off hundreds of billions of dollars for foreign nations, it becomes legitimate to ask why American citizens are only to receive $600 each. People vote in their own self-interest, and when Republican leadership choose to stand its ground here at the expense of Americans, instead of doing so the hundred times before when it would have helped Americans, they shattered the legitimacy they carried.
For the first time in my 33 years, I am afraid--truly afraid--for our nation. We have become such as children without parents. We are without direction, we are without compassion, we are without love, we are without unity.
There is a power in this nation which seeks to destroy us, which seeks to reforge the shackles of oppression upon our free limbs. It seeks to confiscate all that our forefathers fought for, suffered for, died for. It cares not if you are man or woman, rich or poor, urban or rural. It loathes you with a seething passion of biblical proportions.
If we value our freedom, we must unite together and fight this foreign influence. We must cease our tribalism, and return to being Americans first, and ideologies second.
We must choose to preserve our Union--our glorious Union--lest it perish from our own childish, feeble neglect, from rot, from the poison of Leftism and the desire to be comfortable. And so, I close with excerpts from General Eisenhower's final address to the nation. May the Lord save our Union, and may he spare our souls.
Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology-global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle-with liberty at stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.
But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage-balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between action of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.