There Are Two Irreconcilable Americas
The Left want whatever America ISN'T
by Dennis Prager
It is time to confront the unhappy fact about our country: There are now two Americas. Not a rich one and a poor one; economic status plays little role in this division. There is a red one and a blue one.
For most of my life I have believed, in what I now regard as wishful thinking, that the right and left wings have essentially the same vision for America, that it's only about ways to get there in which the two sides differ. Right and left share the same ends, I thought.
That is not the case. For the most part, right and left differ in their visions of America and that is why they differ on policies. Right and the left do not want the same America.
The left wants America to look as much like Western European countries as possible. The left wants Europe's quasi-pacifism, cradle-to-grave socialism, egalitarianism and secularism in America. The right wants none of those values to dominate America.
The left wants America not only to have a secular government, but to have a secular society. The left feels that if people want to be religious, they should do so at home and in their houses of prayer, but never try to inject their religious values into society. The right wants America to continue to be what it has always been -- a Judeo-Christian society with a largely secular government (that is not indifferent to religion). These opposing visions explain, for example, their opposite views concerning nondenominational prayer in school.
The left prefers to identify as citizens of the world. The left fears nationalism in general (this has been true for the European left since World War I), and since the 1960s, the American left has come to fear American nationalism in particular. On the other side, the right identifies first as citizens of America.
The left therefore regards the notion of American exceptionalism as chauvinism; the United Nations and world opinion are regarded as better arbiters of what is good than is America. The right has a low opinion of the U.N.'s moral compass and of world opinion, both of which it sees as having a much poorer record of stopping genocide and other evils than America has.
The left is ambivalent about and often hostile to overt displays of American patriotism. That is why, for example, one is far more likely to find American flags displayed in Orange County, Calif., on national holidays than in liberal neighborhoods in West Los Angeles, Manhattan or San Francisco.
The left subscribes to the French Revolution, whose guiding principles were "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." The right subscribes to the American formula, "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." The French/European notion of equality is not mentioned. The right rejects the French Revolution and does not hold Western Europe as a model. The left does. That alone makes right and left irreconcilable.
The left envisions an egalitarian society. The right does not. The left values equality above other values because it yearns for an America in which all people have similar amounts of material possessions. This is what propels the left to advocate laws that would force employers to pay women the same wages they pay men not only for the same job but for "comparable" jobs (as if that is objectively ascertainable). The right values equality in opportunity and strongly believes that all people are created equal, but the right values liberty, a man-woman based family and other values above equality.
The left wants a world -- and therefore an America -- devoid of nuclear weapons. The right wants America to have the best nuclear weapons. The right trusts American might more than universal disarmament.
The left wants to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples for the first time in history. The right wants gays to have equal rights, but to keep marriage defined as man-woman. This, too, constitutes an irreconcilable divide.
For these and other reasons, calls for a unity among Americans that transcends left and right are either naive or disingenuous. America will be united only when one of them prevails over the other. The left knows this. Most on the right do not.
by Thomas Sowell
One of the oldest phenomena of American elections-- criticism of one's opponent-- has in recent times been stigmatized by much of the media as "negative advertising."
Is this because the criticism has gotten more vicious or more personal? You might think so, if you were totally ignorant of history, as so many of the graduates of even our elite universities are.
Although Grover Cleveland was elected President twice, he had to overcome a major scandal that he had fathered a child out of wedlock, which was considered more of a disgrace then than today. Even giants like Lincoln and Jefferson were called names that neither McCain nor Obama has been called.
Why then is "negative advertising" such a big deal these days? The dirty little secret is this: Liberal candidates have needed to escape their past and pretend that they are not liberals, because so many voters have had it with liberals.
In 1988, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts called himself a "technocrat," a pragmatic solver of problems, despite a classic liberal track record of big spending, big taxes, and policies that were anti-business and pro-criminal.
When the truth about what he actually did as governor was brought out during the Presidential election campaign, the media were duly shocked-- not by Dukakis' record, but by the Republicans' exposing his record.
John Kerry, with a very similar ultra-liberal record, topped off by inflammatory and unsubstantiated attacks on American military men in Vietnam, disdained the whole process of labeling as something unworthy. And the mainstream media closed ranks around him as well, deploring those who labeled Kerry a liberal.
Barack Obama is much smoother. Instead of issuing explicit denials, he gives speeches that sound so moderate, so nuanced and so lofty that even some conservative Republicans go for them. How could anyone believe that such a man is the very opposite of what he claims to be-- unless they check out the record of what he has actually done?
In words, Obama is a uniter instead of a divider. In deeds, he has spent years promoting polarization. That is what a "community organizer" does, creating a sense of grievance, envy and resentment, in order to mobilize political action to get more of the taxpayers' money or to force banks to lend to people they don't consider good risks, as the community organizing group ACORN did.
After Barack Obama moved beyond the role of a community organizer, he promoted the same polarization in his other roles.
That is what he did when he spent the money of the Woods Fund bankrolling programs to spread the politics of grievance and resentment into the schools. That is what he did when he spent the taxpayers' money bankrolling the grievance and resentment ideology of Michael Pfleger.
When Barack Obama donated $20,000 to Jeremiah Wright, does anyone imagine that he was unaware that Wright was the epitome of grievance, envy and resentment hype? Or were Wright's sermons too subtle for Obama to pick up that message? How subtle is "Goddamn America!"?
Yet those in the media who deplore "negative advertising" regard it as unseemly to dig up ugly facts instead of sticking to the beautiful rhetoric of an election year. The oft-repeated mantra is that we should trick to the "real issues."
What are called "the real issues" are election-year talking points, while the actual track record of the candidates is treated as a distraction-- and somehow an unworthy distraction.
Does anyone in real life put more faith in what people say than in what they do? A few gullible people do-- and they often get deceived and defrauded big time.
Barack Obama has carried election-year makeovers to a new high, presenting himself a uniter of people, someone reaching across the partisan divide and the racial divide-- after decades of promoting polarization in each of his successive roles and each of his choices of political allies.
Yet the media treat exposing a fraudulent election-year image as far worse than letting someone acquire the powers of the highest office in the land through sheer deception.
Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's Goddess of Vote Fraud: "When even the Democratic press release digest known as The Columbus Dispatch expresses dismay at the Ohio Secretary of State's partisan antics, you know things have gotten really out of hand. Jennifer Brunner, whose business card reads "Goddess of Voter Registration Fraud" (or so I've heard), took a well-deserved bludgeoning in today's editorial. ...Brunner made a serious blunder by failing to give county elections boards the names of new voters whose registration records don't match state and federal data. She should comply with a federal court order to release the information within a week instead of appealing... In addition to discrediting herself, Brunner's attempt to withhold the data undermines the integrity of the election system"
It's easy to see who the haters are: "We've seen considerable left wing hyperventilation over an alleged "mob" mentality at McCain-Palin rallies. It is worthwhile taking a look at this five minute video by Oleg Abtashian of McCain-Palin supporters marching through Manhattan. Note the level of civility among the most urbane and sophisticated of blue state urbanites."
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH (2), TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)