It is no secret that different “worlds” exist within our society. The book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” was a classic take on these differences. Certainly, there are vast differences across this nation as we look at different regions such as the South, West Coast, New England, and so forth. Additionally, within those regions are the differences between metro and rural areas.
I saw an op-ed that really defined this. A gay, Muslim, Pakistani immigrant traveled to Alaska the week before the election to see the “other side.” It was eye opening to him, and his revelation opened mine, as well. See his full story HERE.
Post election, I had an exchange with a former high school classmate. He is a retired doctor and is quite progressive. We have frequent discussions that are always thoughtful and never devolve into name calling, and mostly end with an agreement to disagree. This one was about the electoral college vs a popular vote for the president. He sees the electoral college as “unfair,” and I see a popular vote as “unfair.”
Much of the time “our side” sees progressives as basing everything on feelings, but do we not often do the same? I have written in the past how conservatives are the worst communicators. We do ourselves and the republic a great disservice if we do not learn to do a better job of articulating our principles. As we learn to do so, we may also discover we are not the constitutional conservatives we envision ourselves to be.
It is interesting that in the past few years when there was talk of secession in Texas, the progressives were outraged. However, post election there is now talk of “Calexit,” and suddenly it is okay.
We see that exact thing on our side as well. I have always said, we all hate a tyrant, unless it is OUR tyrant. Notice how the left that normally hates and protests war has been silent during the Obama administration? The left railed against Bush and his departure from presidential power, yet was silent during the Obama years.
We, for the most part, did the same. Bush gave us the bailout, Patriot Act, Medicare Part D and on and on. Did we have a conniption fit over it? Actually, I did, but few others.
For the most part, both sides are hypocrites- because people are hypocrites.
Why is there talk of a Calexit? They do not like the idea of central power with Trump in the White House. Guess what? That is constitutional, no matter who is in the White House. However, neither California nor Texas should have to consider secession. What they, and the rest of the states should consider, is a return to the Enumerated Powers outlined in the Constitution. The states are each to be in charge of their own destiny and the powers restrict what Washington could do for or to us.
So how do we articulate that a return to constitutional principles is a benefit and an advantage rather than a penalty? In my discussion with my friend, I tried to explain that in a constitutional America, the president is not all that powerful. That since we are a republic rather than democracy that the electoral college is a way each state votes for the president. The president was not to be the leader of the nation, he was to be the leader of the government, and that government served at the pleasure of the states.
First, we have to be able to have a dialog with each other. Both sides are abusive of the other, and there is no love displayed in either direction. As long as that exists, we will be as estranged spouses- hurling insults at each other and using the children against each other will never lead to reconciliation.
This division serves the interests of both parties and their positions of power, but does nothing but destroy the people and their lives. We are not free. We are slaves to parties, politicians and the fight itself. We have the power to break free.
Consider Christmas 1914.
Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points, the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.
At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed, they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.
Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no man’s land between the lines.
The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.
During World War I, the soldiers on the Western Front did not expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but even a world war could not destroy the Christmas spirit.
There are many distinct reasons our founders detested a central government. Aside from the tyranny they knew would come, they also understood each state should govern as they better understand the needs and desires of its people. To think a “one size fits all” government will work is to ignore essential facts- facts as concrete as 2 + 2 = 4.
Perhaps we should all step back, take a deep breath and reevaluate where we are, where we should be and how best do we get there…and take others with us.
Education and love will get us there. Shouting and digging in our heels will speed our destruction.