One Nation Divided by God
And this is coming from a temperamental optimist. America is the world's "last best hope." Lose America, and there is no hope for the world. Simple as. If the left prevails, it is the end of America as we know it. The geographical space will still exist, but not the idea, the vision, the project.
Yes, there is always the possibility of a divine intervention, but the left has not only passively frittered away the moral inheritance that would render us worthy of divine providence, but actively poisoned it. At the present rate of decline, we will have to ask ourselves: does America even deserve to live?
The left is hardly reticent in announcing its goals. Clinton will have the opportunity to name two, three, or four justices to the Supreme Court. We can certainly say goodbye to the first and second amendments. Recall that the Citizens United case was about whether the state had the power to ban a film critical of Hillary Clinton.
Of course it doesn't. Congress is specifically forbidden to make any such law. So, naturally the left would love to overturn that inconvenient barrier to its total control of information. It won't apply to left wing megaphones such as the New York Times (and virtually all big city papers), CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, academia, the entertainment industry, public education. Remember what was said yesterday about the intellectual brittleness of the left, such that they cannot tolerate a single light shining on their darkness. It burns!
The liberal media really is a fourth branch of government, and probably even more powerful than the other three. I mean, if the media decides to go after a politician -- or anyone else -- it's very difficult to survive with one's reputation in tact. With so much to work with, they certainly could have destroyed Obama if they had wanted to.
Look at the Khan kerfuffle, in which the media has devoted something like 75 times the coverage it has to Clinton's sleazy lies to the "gold star parents" of Benghazi. The media is a force of nature -- or supernature, rather, in that it speaks for powers and principalities that are not of this world -- and unfortunately, Trump doesn't seem to understand this, so he plays into their hands.
More generally, you can divide conservatives into two camps. There are those of us who see the left as quite manifestly evil, and those who think they are just dealing with different ideas about which it is possible to negotiate. Note that, unlike the left, I do not say the people holding the views are necessarily evil. Rather, it is the ideology that is evil, and when the ideology hijacks the personality, the person helps bring about evil despite the "best of intentions."
Of course, many of them are plainly malevolent and actively work toward the weakening and ultimate destruction of America (again, America as we know it). But even then, they are always coming from a self-styled "moral" plane. The Black Lives Matter vermin who call for violence toward police hardly think they are less moral than the rest of us. Rather, they are animated by the same confident moral superiority radiated by Obama.
So yes, we are living in a deeply Fractured Republic. The fracture is between "left and right," but that obscures much deeper sources of division.
The division is ultimately rooted in absolutely polarized visions that can never, under any circumstances, be reconciled. Just as in Lincoln's time, when it was impossible to reconcile slavery with the universal principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence, it is strictly impossible to reconcile liberty and equality, or the natural law of marriage with the state's imposition of an arbitrary redefinition, or (true) individualism and collectivism.
These things -- and many more -- cannot coexist. There is no compromise between what the constitution says and what the left wishes it said. There is no middle ground between biological man and woman (with trivial and generally pitiable exceptions). But in New York you are compelled by the state to recognize 31 genders on pain of a $250,000 fine "if establishments refuse to address someone by their preferred pronoun." These Orwellians call it a friendly "guide" rather than a totalitarian threat.
One point Levin makes -- and I think he's correct here -- is that "collectivism and atomism are not opposite ends of the political spectrum, but rather two sides of the same coin." The two "often coexist and reinforce one another," in that there are no mediating institutions between the radical, isolated individual and the massive state. Recall the infamous Julia of the liberal imagination, who, at every vital stage of life, was married to the state. They don't consider that pathetic, but rather, the ideal.
But human beings are not isolated monads, so the left has their anthropology all wrong. Rather, we are intersubjective right down to the ground. This intimate intersubjectivity is discovered and nurtured in the context of the tripartite family, which nothing can replace -- at least nothing invented by the state, and not at a psychic cost to the child and to society. We wouldn't mind Clinton's claim that it takes a village to raise a child, so long as she didn't conflate the spontaneously self-organizing, bottom-up village with the coercive, top-down state. One of these is not like the other.
Nevertheless, we are living in this new and unprecedented world, in which the unmediated individual is supreme. Now, a nation is bound by an implicit and collectively held vision of the world. Prior to the 1960s, the majority of Americans held to this ideal, so we were generally familiar to one another. But a nation of so-called individuals naturally erodes trust. Although my next door neighbors are American, they aren't American, so we have little in common. There's nothing to discuss. We live in different worlds.
Certainly neither Trump nor Clinton will be able to do anything to "heal" this truly ontological divide. Rather, regardless of who prevails, it will be four years of total war. Neither side will accept the other as legitimate. And the truth of the matter is that one side is illegitimate. Or perhaps neither side will be legitimate, depending upon how forceful Trump is in naming Supreme Court justices who will defend and uphold the constitution. We already know that Hillary won't.
Usually we are faced with a choice between the evil party and the stupid party, but this time around it is the evil party vs. the impulsive, undisciplined, and occasionally incoherent one. Nevertheless, the choice is still easy, in that we must reject evil and hope for -- and work toward -- the best. Death can't be avoided, but perhaps we can slow the disease.