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MATTHEW BOOSE: The left won’t let America prosper
At his State of the Union, Trump attempted to strike a conciliatory tone and appeal to the Democrats to work with him to make the country great again.
But the talk about cooperation proved to be purely rhetorical when Trump turned to the border crisis, eliciting boos from the Democrats. When he condemned late-term abortion, they responded with stony silence as Republicans erupted into applause.
Trump’s speech, like his governance, was contradictory and divided. In his State of the Union, as with his administration, he was working with a split purpose: to push back against, and also unify the country with, a leftist faction seeking to undermine the nation.
National unity and virtue can’t emanate from a president alone. They need to be ingrained within a solid social and political foundation, a foundation that the left is working to destroy.
The intersectional left seeks the opposite of unity. With open borders, they reject national sovereignty for a borderless marketplace. With cultural and moral relativism, they dissolve the social ties that make a strong and prosperous society possible.
The left envisions a society that is totally “open” — to outsiders and outside cultures, but also to transgression and subversion of the social fabric within. The result of these ideas is not a country, but barbarism.
The left’s platitudinous “unity” and morality are defined by exclusion of the very things that make America united and moral: a coherent cultural heritage, a virtuous bedrock, and a sovereign polity.
For the left, “the people” is not a national demos but an unstable political alliance of identity-based factions. This coalition is not internally comprehensible. Its sole unifying thread is a shared set of enemies: whites, men, Christianity, and the nation itself.
The left’s intersectional politics replaces peace and social trust with restless political war and resentment. There can be no unity on the left where “bigoted” Christian schools, and prohibitions on abortion, exist. The oppressors are not invited to share in the left’s coalition without ample demonstrations of guilt and shame.
When the left accuses Trump of being divisive and immoral, they are looking for capitulation to their ideas of unity and morality. To the left, unifying the country means putting it last. Morality means recognizing the necessity of late-term abortion and the evils of America and Christianity.
Rather than unity and stability, the left values difference and incoherence. Their ideal polity is one which they (and only they) belong to an “inclusive,” mutually unintelligible, multicultural hodge-podge with no identity, borders, values, or culture.
To the left, the things that make America great — like sovereignty, history, and a common heritage — are exclusionary and therefore immoral. If these things are illegitimate, then what is left to hold the country together?
The left isn’t interested in this question. For the left, society is not tied together by a thick set of bonds, but an idea, a heady individual universalism. Rather than a delicate thing to be sustained, society is a playground where individuals, freed from obligations, should pursue their desire with minimal concern for consequences.
The left’s immoral “morality” subordinates all things to the goal of liberating individuals from social ties. Infanticide would seem pretty black-and-white, but for the left, it’s a shrug-worthy sacrifice for the higher goal of autonomy. With infanticide, the left’s theology of personal liberation reaches a grim new stage. Even the creation of life must be subjected to restless individualism.
To the left, “community” is a political term rather than a social one. It does not describe the social fabric, but solidarity among the marginalized in a political war against “oppression.” To the extent that the left emphasizes collectivity, it is for the purpose of political action to secure privileges for individuals within their preferred groups.
Moreover, to the left, a “community” is a political faction representing an identity group, not an organic, delicate thing to be cherished and sustained by virtuous stewardship. Society is a hodge-podge of these “communities” — the LGBT “community,” the immigrant “community” — seeking their political advantage, with a greater or lesser degree of cooperation against the “oppressors.”
Seeking to liberate the “marginalized” from forms of hierarchy, the left erases traditions, institutions, and cultures that impose limits on individual self-expression, and in doing so ends up with such strange alliances as intersectional feminist Muslims, at once “traditional” in appearance while militating against their own culture.
As the left fractures society into competing identity groups, their project of liberation dissolves deeper social and cultural ties that might otherwise sustain society. Morals are oppressive, so infanticide is no big deal. Values that encourage responsible behavior are more stuffy remnants of bourgeois “white supremacy.”
Arbitrary barriers to movement need to be demolished. Borders aren’t real. There is no reason to deny entry to anyone seeking opportunity in America, which is really a marketplace to seek one’s fortune and desire, nothing more, nothing less. Culture, to the extent that there is any, exists as a set of secondhand commodities on the market. Standards of conduct are likewise acquired second-hand from consumer culture.
The left’s support of open borders, hostility to culture and tradition, and restless individualism come together in a thin “society” which is really a borderless market of fungible labor with little meaning, purpose, unity, or identity. In this “society,” what matters most is mobility, desire, and convenience.
To handle the resulting social anomie, the left looks to more mindless consumption and hedonic “liberation” as a narcotic. The left understands that numbing the population with drugs and entertainment will be necessary to keep the peace in the deracinated world they want to create.
If society is just a big marketplace of people enjoying themselves, then the left finds nothing wrong with this “solution.” For the left, the biggest sin is to judge or expect anything of people anyway. If there are no standards, then sustaining society isn’t a problem in the first place. Let the market take care of it.
It’s unreasonable to expect any president to unite a country with an enemy that seeks that nation’s demise. Abraham Lincoln did it, but it took a war. Even at the height of the Civil War, North and South shared a Christian heritage.
For a time, America had enough shared values and social trust to make a certain level of division possible without tearing the nation apart. That is no longer the case. How much longer can things hold together against a faction that seeks to unravel them?
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