“A republic, if you can keep it,” was Ben Franklin’s famous reply to the breathless folks waiting outside Independence Hall in 1787 who had asked him, “Well, doctor, what have we got—a republic or a monarchy?”
If you can keep it? Let’s just say it’s not looking good. And that isn’t good. For America-- or the world at large.
As Washington was the “one indispensable man,” the U.S. is the one indispensable nation. The less its leaders and its citizens believe that, the more it is proven to be true, as the world situation deteriorates. Yet many Americans are experiencing a crisis of faith, deeper and more sinister than the “malaise” with which Jimmy Carter said we were afflicted in the late 1970s.
Truth be told, the United States has been in the midst of a “Cold Culture War” for several decades. That war is essentially over. The progressives won. In 1993, Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) coined the phrase, “defining deviancy down,” to describe the re-defining of deviancy to exempt conduct previously stigmatized and brand behavior previously considered abnormal and/or abhorrent as normal and mainstream. (He was vehemently against this practice). Can anyone imagine a Democrat saying such a thing today? Shortly thereafter came the “trickle-down immorality” of the Clinton Years. In more recent times, gay marriage has been legalized, approved and celebrated, the LGBTQIIA+ community has been holding public “PRIDE!” parades all over the fruited plain, and men who claim to be women have won the “right” to excrete or compete in any bathroom, locker room, or venue their transgendered hearts so desire.
The left never gives in, never tires, never waivers, always presses on. The Ten Commandments are banned from public spaces. Conservatives are prevented from speaking on college campuses. Or shouted down if they are “allowed” to speak. Those wearing “MAGA” hats are the targets of bullying and violence. Statues of Civil War figures and former presidents are removed as statues of Baphomet are unveiled. Christianity is boldly mocked in movies, on television and by “entertainers” and academics. Anti-Semitism is on the rise. Private business owners are forced to make cakes for gay weddings or Satanic rituals even as many who espouse traditional values are banned from social media platforms, slandered and smeared. Pro-life and Christian content is considered “pornography” by the very same social media giants that fail to take down videos of ISIS beheadings and live-steamed suicides. Schools allow drag queens to read to their young students, cover every sexual deviancy imaginable, and encourage the kiddies to act on their “gender fluidity,” but send them home for passing out Bible passages or wearing shirts that support President Trump or the border wall. The death penalty for mass murderers is considered barbaric by those on the left even as they promote unfettered abortion.
Then there are the little things. People are expected and/or coerced to pay for others’ birth control. The reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance is being discontinued in some schools. Many athletes are not standing for the National Anthem. There has been talk of removing “In God We Trust” from our currency. Sometimes the Devil is in the details.
An extreme tolerance of some things has been accompanied by an inordinate intolerance of other things. Tolerance of the banal and the perverted has led to a concurrent rise in intolerance of the traditional, the good, the elegant, the holy. Snark and ennui has replaced reverence. Faith, hope and love has been replaced by atheism, hopelessness and free-love. The ideal of marriage between one man and one woman, able to procreate and united in holy matrimony, has been cast aside as so much white, patriarchal, Christian pablum. Today an unholy game of anything goes is the default standard, a twisted Twister of gender, kink and sexual fluidity. Tolerance is not a virtue, per se. It can be-- and often is-- a good thing, but it can be bad as well. It needs to be remembered, however, that we get more of what we tolerate.
It is no longer enough to be an American. One has to be a Two-Spirited transvestite or a black bilingual bisexual, for example. American pride has been replaced by gay PRIDE!, Transgender PRIDE!, Bisexual PRIDE! or Polyamorous PRIDE!
We have literally replaced one flag on the national pole with many. Our foundational belief in “E Plurubus Unum” has somehow been replaced by a virulent and growing strain of identity politics.
We have balkanized ourselves at the altar of multi-culturalism.
When a society loses faith in itself, something must fill the void. Bizarrely, we have lost faith in what demonstrably works and brings the most freedom, prosperity and happiness to the largest number of people— a mix of free-market capitalism and Judeo-Christian values-- and are now supplanting that faith with “faith” in what demonstrably doesn’t work—socialism— an economic and governing philosophy that has brought only death, tyranny, poverty and despair to all who have lived under it. The federal government has usurped states’ roles and rights. And now Democrats want to dispense with the Electoral College.
It is exceptionally difficult for a rational person to reconcile what is occurring right now: people averring that socialism is better than capitalism, even as Venezuelans are killing and eating their pets to avoid starvation. Or stating: “Pregnancy kills, abortion saves lives.” It is certainly no coincidence that loss of traditional religious faith has occurred simultaneously with the loss of faith in Western economic systems, history, culture, and values. One begat the other.
I am well aware that some will doubt or disparage me for saying this, but it is increasingly clear that what we are witnessing in many respects is simply a battle of good versus evil. The “final battle?” I don’t pretend to know. But the alliance of Russia and Iran, the rapid rise in anti-Semitism, the raising of man above God, the obliteration of genders and the disdain for life are not signs of the Age of Aquarius.
Sadly, Dr. Franklin, it does not appear that we will be able to keep the republic you and your contemporaries bequeathed to us after all. But thanks for trying.