Recently I came across two essays that are so good I wish I had written them myself:, “Trump 2020: A Man vs. A Movement” by Tom Klingenstein of the Claremont Institute (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/10/13/claremont_institute_chairman_thomas_klingenstein_trump_2020_a_man_vs_a_movement.html) and “The American Experiment Is on Life Support” by Andrew Michta in the Oct. 27, 2020, edition of the Wall Street Journal. I urge you to read them in their entirety. Here I will give their essence.
Both see the 2020 elections as critical contests between two competing and irreconcilable visions of our future. One vision Klingenstein calls “the traditional American way of life” which is “is based on individual rights, the rule of law, and a shared understanding of the common good. This way of life values hard work, self-reliance, volunteerism, patriotism, and so on.”
Michta puts it this way: “Few seem able to grasp the ... grand story of America — one that is an example of what a people committed to individual freedom can achieve. Instead, they have been indoctrinated to reduce American life to a racial binary of whites vs. “people of color.” It’s much like the communist binary of the bourgeoisie vs. the proletariat ... The American nation-state is a unique experiment, unparalleled in history: a political project ... that forged a distinct national identity strong enough to acculturate the many ethnic groups that have immigrated, while preserving a strong sense of its unitary creed.”
Michta continues that, “ ... the power of the American ideal offered millions something that no other culture could, namely the chance to reinvent and renew one’s life, advance one’s position, and create a better future for one’s children. The passionate nationalism of America has been rooted in the belief in exceptionalism as a people ordained for greatness, and that equality of opportunity under the law could constrain the base impulses of man.”
Klingenstein calls the antithesis of the traditional American way of life multiculturalism, identity politics or cultural Marxism while Michta uses the term “tribalism based on group identity.” Whatever label is used, it is pernicious and malignant. He continues, “The multicultural movement, which has taken over the Democratic party, is a revolutionary movement. ... It is not like a revolution; it is a revolution, an attempt to overthrow the American Founding. ...
“Multiculturalism conceives of society, not as a community of individuals with equal rights, but as a collection of cultural identity groups — defined by race, ethnicity, gender, and so forth. According to the multiculturalists, all these identity groups are oppressed by white males.”
This view sees the single, all-powerful element in our history as slavery and its contemporary manifestation, “systemic racism.” It is like a cancer that has spread all over the body which cannot be removed or reformed. The only course is death. Hence, revolution. Our society and our country, our entire way of life are “irredeemably sinful,” totally unworthy of respect, loyalty and allegiance, and should be dumped on the trash heap of history.
How is this to be accomplished and what will take its place? Destroy, reject or capture institutions such as the traditional family, the church, law enforcement, education, mass media and constitutional government and put in their place a plebiscitarian, conformity-requiring, no-dissent-allowed totalitarian mobocracy. Censor, threaten, intimidate with epithets and violence, terrorize, lie, loot, burn, destroy, yell, spit and scream. In other words, a real revolution like the French, Russian and German complete with reign of terror, purges and Kristallnacht.
This cannot be better illustrated than by Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-Massachusetts) vicious criticism of newly-confirmed Justice Barrett’s belief in judicial originalism as “racist, sexist, homophobic and a fancy word for discrimination.” In other words, if you believe the Constitution should be applied according to its original meaning, you are racist, sexist, etc.
Neither Klingenstein nor Michta overlook the sins in our history, but they see our positives surpassing our negatives by a large margin and they see any new regime as much worse than the present. Michta does not mention President Trump, but Klingenstein strongly supports his re-election. Both see tomorrow’s election as pivotal. It goes far beyond the candidates themselves.
It is obvious the Democrat Party has been captured by radical leftists whose vision of the future entails a significant loss of liberty and a significant redefinition if not eradication of our present culture and political system. They want to make our entire country like California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Oregon. God forbid!
Winfield H. Rose taught political science at Murray State University for 39 years and is now retired. He is active in the Calloway County GOP, but speaks here as an individual and not as a representative of either of these organizations. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.