I posed a challenge on Twitter not long ago. It was this: Name one fundamental ideal shared by all or most Americans. Over 200 people attempted to come up with one. Sadly, none of the answers were convincing.
I’ve thought a lot about this over the past several days. I had time to stew over it as I was unemployed for two weeks. It came surging back to the forefront of my mind when I heard John McCain’s speech on Monday decrying what he calls “spurious nationalism.” He proclaimed: “We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil.”
A land made of ideals? What ideals? Tell me exactly which ideals unite and define the United States in 2017? I don’t want to hear about what ideals united us in 1776 or 1890 or during WW2. Those days are gone. Tell me about today. This moment. Give me one ideal — just one — that can be said to unite nearly all Americans right now. After all, if we are a country made of ideals, yet we share no common ideals, then we are not really a country. Remove the bricks from a house made of bricks and you’re left with rubble. Remove the essence from something and you end up with nothing. So, what are our bricks? What is our essence?
Most of the people who attempted to answer my Twitter challenge suggested that our common ideal must be “freedom” or “equality.” But we are only united by “freedom” and “equality” in the sense that we all like the words “freedom” and “equality.” If you look at what we consider these words to mean, and how they ought to be applied, you find that my notion of freedom is no more similar to my neighbor’s than it is to the average citizen of China or Iran. You won’t find very many people on Earth who profess to despise freedom and equality in principle. You will find many who despise it in practice. And I think many in that category live in this country and work for our government.
I can easily disprove the freedom and equality thing right off the bat by pointing out that our wonderful nation under God legally exterminates a million children a year. And it does so with the approval of over half of its citizens. If your love of freedom and equality excludes babies, then you do not love freedom and equality. You love it about as much as Pol Pot loved it.
But it doesn’t end there, of course. Our free and equal country also happens to be one where Christian business owners can be forced to participate in gay wedding ceremonies against their will. 60% of Americans agree that Christians ought not have the right of religious expression if such expression would hurt the feelings of a gay person. 60% of all Americans support some version of socialized medicine. Over half of all Americans think their fellow citizens should continue to be forced to fund the abortion industry. A majority believe businesses should be forced to provide contraception to their employees.
The situation gets even worse when you look at the younger generations. 40% of millennials think we ought to limit speech that offends minorities. Over half of adults in their twenties don’t believe in free market capitalism. Over 30% are avowed socialists. 50% of millennials would give up their right to vote in order to have their student loans forgiven. The other half couldn’t respond to the poll because they were busy throwing molotov cocktails at cop cars over a conservative speaker on a college campus.
I could go on. But you’re sufficiently depressed at this point, I’m sure.
Get 100 random Americans into a room and you won’t find even half who actually care about freedom. Or they care about a freedom that doesn’t include the unborn, Christians, business owners, and taxpayers. Basically, they want freedom for lesbian atheist unemployed college students and few others.
I think the above examples pretty much wipe out “equality” as a uniting principle, but let’s take a closer look. It seems that many of us oppose equality where it should exist and insist upon it where it cannot. While unborn children are not considered equal to born childen, men in dresses pretending to be women are viewed as equal to women. Polls show that only 20% of Americans correctly identify “transgenderism” as a mental illness. 40% believe cross dressing men have the God given right to use the bathroom with my daughter. This is what millions of our fellow citizens mean when they extol the virtues of equality.
So, we do not share these principles. Not in any meaningful way. What do we share, then?
Americans used to be united by their common belief in a creator God from whom all rights originate. No longer. America today is home to a record number of atheists and a record number of empty or emptying churches. Even Americans who call themselves Christians — a record low number, of course — cannot come to an agreement about what “being a Christian” means. Many attend churches with blasphemous rainbow flags draped across them, where they hear about a God who loves homosexual marriage and doesn’t care if we dismember babies. As it turns out, their love for their faith is about as authentic as their love for freedom.
What else do we have? We used to value family, but it’s hard to say we have that in common in a country where the average family consists of three people, a record number of women have no kids at all, divorce is rampant, fatherless homes are endemic, record numbers of young people are putting off marriage or swearing it off completely, and we can’t come to an agreement about what marriage means and how you define it anyway.
What else? Language? No, we haven’t shared a common language in many decades. What’s left? Nothing of substance: Physical proximity. Zip codes. And, I guess, our vices. We all love to buy things. We watch too much TV. Most of us are pretty excited for Stranger Things 2. Is that enough to make a country? I doubt it. That’s enough for a Reddit community or an after school club, but not a nation, especially not one built upon ideals.
It appears that I’m not imagining things when I get the feeling that I no longer live in the same country as my fellow Americans. Many of them exist in a place where there is no God; there is no such thing as a man or woman; there is no truth; there is not objective morality; babies aren’t people; marriage is a social construct; the whole point of life is to make money and go on nice vacations, and the government’s job is to take care of our every need from cradle to grave.
I do not relate to a person like this. He is foreign to me. I share nothing at all with him. Ideals? We don’t even share a universe.
But, hey, we both have iPhones. So that’s something.
Now, this is the part where I’m supposed to offer an answer. People will be angry at what they’ve read, and if I don’t wrap it up with a neat little bow, they’ll take out their anger at the state of things on the guy who made the observation. “Why are you so negative?” “Why did you make me sad with all of these unhappy facts? I don’t want to be sad!” “Don’t just complain! Give us solutions!”
Well, I don’t have solutions. Not easy or definite ones. Who has ever been able to “solve” a societal implosion while in the midst of it? The Romans couldn’t manage it. Neither could the Mayans or the Mesopotamians.
The left in its rabid attempt to destroy our country has made no grey areas, its A or B. Unless all A you are for B, no logic, compromise, no common sense. They push and push and force it into your lives any way possible, school, tv, workplace and sports.
Progressively making even the most insane ideas everyday and you are not allowed to question or reject these ideas. Ok let them have heir way, the idea fails and its your fault. A good part of the country has stopped giving in they were labeled in a New York minute, KKK Nazis White Nationalists many (not every)voted Trump so lets all toss them into the deplorable bin. Cause its only A or B.
Read the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our uniting ideals are eloquently expressed therein.
You might then want to look up the definition of ideals, before going off on a tirade about the Second Amendment and your guaranteed right to own a machine gun, or how people are being deprived of their religious freedoms by being required to treat gay bakery customers the same as anyone else, or how people should be forced to stand at attention when the national anthem is played.
@Greg: A liberal is never quite as inane as when they try to tell you about the Bible or Constitution. Neither of which they understand but are experts in.
When Prayer was declared unconstitutional in the public schools America began its long decline as a Nation under God.
President Kennedy was assassinated our urban centers decayed dug culture and antiestablishment reigned The Vietnam War ensued leading to further Division The sacredness of life ended with the Roe versus Wade decision nuking abortion on demand. The disbelief in Moral absolutes and the rise of situational ethics and moral relativism has eroded any semblance of Ideal and unity. The Left has won the culture war we need a renewed direction or this Nation is doomed.
I don’t accept Matt Walsh’s statement that “The United States Of America No Longer Exists.”
What he’s actually saying is that the nation does not conform to his personal ideas concerning how things should be.
To quote a line from a song stolen by Donald Trump, “You can’t always get what you want.” Welcome to the human condition.
America actually gives Matt Walsh more freedom and opportunity to be the Matt Walsh he wishes to be than nearly any other nation on earth at any other time that has ever been. You would think a person would be satisfied with that.
Unless, of course, what he requires is that other people be forced to behave and think as Matt Walsh believes they should. In which case, he’s not going to be a happy camper. But that would be no one’s fault but his own.
I think it has not existed (as you describe “exist”) for almost 28 years. It clearly has not since ’01!
America is fine, the censorship of conservative voices and news is rampant. The schools are infiltrated. Even the Conservative movement has been infiltrated. KKK and Nazis were never and never will be our movement. The large cities have fallen cesspools of crime. Universities the average IQ of graduates has dropped.
We are here holding our local festivals, camping with the kids, proud of our flag and country, despite the noise of MSM, and the censorship on google, twitter and facebook. Nothing is A or B look for a basic online logic course.
@Greg: You pretty much proved what he said, moron. Thanks.
We couldn’t pay you enough to be a solid supporter of the Right. God help us if you figure that out.
You’d think. Seems your not a happy camper either. Good thing you don’t want to force your ideals on us, Ace.
You sound more like a conservative every day…
thanks to Reagan, institutions for the mentally insane vanished-this is a good thing for liberals and demorats. by 2025 America will be a thyroid world country
Of course you don’t. Matt Walsh is a conservative.
No, what he is saying, to those as yourself who have a cognitive disorder, is that this nation no longer subscribes to those very ideals that were laid out in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. No where in those documents do they say that you are entitled to an Obama phone, or free health care, or even a place to live paid for out of the wallet of someone else. You know, all those Socialist ideals YOU subscribe to.
Instead, now people like YOU subscribe not to the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, but to the philosophy of Antonio Gramsci.
Actually, that was a LBJ initiative.
Does the Bill of Rights say somewhere that a person who quietly exercises their First Amendment right during the national anthem will be threatened with loss of their livelihood?
Is Donald Trump’s threat to pull the licenses of television news networks that broadcast “fake news” about him not a threat to abridge both Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press?
What gives constitutional authority to anyone to use government as a tool to meddle in a woman’s decision about whether or not to continue a pregnancy, based on religious views that she may not share?
One inevitable consequence of Constitutionally guaranteed rights is that people will sometimes say or do things that other people don’t approve of. Preserving that freedom is the entire point of having a document spelling out our rights. It’s the only point.
There are also limitations—another fact that many “conservatives” can’t or won’t process. Guaranteed religious freedom, for example, wasn’t intended as a license to discriminate, nor does it mean that you can do anything you wish under the cover of religion. You’re not going to be allowed to burn sacrificial animals alive in honor of the Fire God. The right to bear arms doesn’t mean you can arm your car with miniguns; freedom of the press doesn’t include a protected right to produce and distribute child pornography.
The corrosion of support for First Amendment principles started before Trump. He’s supercharged it.
That, from a President of the United States who some assert is a protector of the Constitution and American values and ideals. Nobody is making the story up. The quote is real and completely accurate.
@Greg: The media is a propaganda complex: they have real money, and real power. They are not impartial or unbiased. They work for the Left. A portion of our political system owns the news.
No one has the right to supplant the law.
Yes. The above is what the left has been doing for decades. Trump comes along and challenges that, turns the left’s primary weapons against them, then they accuse him of doing what they are doing?
There’s a reason Trump won.
He’s taking away the left’s arsenal.
Let’s see this again:
The quote is real and completely accurate. And it’s why Trump is winning at everything.
We don’t want CNN to decide elections any more than you want FOX news to decide elections. Problem is getting leftists to finally admit CNN et al are biased. They just don’t get it…
Define “quietly.” I think when you do a public display of your disapproval of a nation that has provided you the freedom to garner a multi-million dollar salary, those actions speak louder than words.
No one has threatened the loss of livelihood of NFL players since the only way they have of earning a livelihood is through ticket sales to their games. The beauty part of being a free people is that you also have the freedom to determine how you spend your disposable income, i.e. tickets to football games. Have you seen the pictures of half full stadiums from last Sunday, Gullible Greggie?
And if you want to talk about ” threatened with loss of their livelihood”, I would refer you to the left wing tactic of suing those, like bakers, who don’t subscribe to your brand of political correctness.
OMG, we all know that a “threat” is much more radical than Abraham Lincoln actually jailing reporter or FDR refusing to allow any reporter who did not agree with his Socialist agenda access to the White House press conferences. I would refer you to FDR’s actions toward William Randolph Hearst.
Anyone who is anti-abortion is generally going on the science now available. And anyone who agrees with abortion doesn’t want to talk about how the process is done. But then, I guess you support ripping a live human being out of its mother’s womb by inserting a needle into its heart with drugs that kill, crushing the skull to remove the infant and ripping it out piece by piece. Kermit Gosnell was not an apparition. He utilized standard abortion procedures, except when he used scissors to slice into the back of a baby’s neck severing the spinal cord, although the baby was born alive. Democrats support infanticide.
You can say anything you want. I can refuse to support you financially in your profession, i.e. the NFL and hypocritical Hollywierd players.
Gee, can you list the “conservative” burning sacrificial animals events? I seemed to have missed the announcements. Or the distribution of any pornography? Seems to me that Larry Flynt was a hard core Democrat.
The problem with you Socialists is that you think the U.S. Constitution is simply a tool to beat someone over the head with when it comes to pushing your Frankfurt Marxist agenda.
You’re still an idiot.
Did you miss the day when reductio absurdum was covered in logic class or debate class? It’s a logical argument that can be used to demonstrate to anyone who isn’t a complete idiot that no guaranteed Constitutional right can be absolute. The Bill of Rights is a bill setting forth our nation’s ideals, as the writers of the Constitution knew full well. That ideals are guiding lights, not something that can be attained and perfectly realized in the material world, is not a subversive idea. It’s a fact of life.
Regarding Larry Flynt, the example referred to child pornography, which he has never published or promoted. It fact, he has always strongly opposed it.
So, in your Socialist mind, it is OK to degrade women as long as you don’t degrade children? I thought you lefties were all about women’s “rights” which, BTW, would include not reducing women to nothing more than a sexual object. Guess that is just another one of the left wing’s smoke and mirrors mantra.
No surprise you would attempt to defend Larry Flynt.
Wrong. The Bill of Rights is actually a blueprint for the government of a free society. Much like the architect’s blueprints are a design for a building that if not followed will not be well built.
Wrong, again, Greggie Goebbels. They are not “ideals”, they are absolutes. And no where in the Bill of Rights does it give you access to the services of others (free medical care, free cell phones, free housing, free food, free anything) but it does guarantee you the right to obtain those things which sustain life, and prosperity, earned on your own merit (labor).
Your understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights is tainted by your belief that Socialist can work. Perhaps that is because you’re an idiot.
Did I say anything that would make any rational person with a reasonable grasp of the English think that? You said that, not me.
You should get a hobby. Maybe knitting? You could start by knitting some new sock puppets.
The United States of America continues to exist—no thanks to Trump, or to the people who can’t recognize a con when they see one. This guy is obvious. So is the gullibility of the marks. They somehow think a guy who suggests the press should be muzzled for pointing out that he’s a habitual liar is a champion of the Constitution. Go figure.
If you’re only counting people with a reasonable grasp of [the] English, that eliminates you.
You seem to know a lot about sock puppets, being one yourself.
Ah, obfuscating again, Greggie Gobbels? So a guy who thinks the radical left wing press should be muzzled is not a champion of the Constitution? Would that also include Lincoln who jailed journalists or FDR who banned them from White House pressers when they wrote things FDR didn’t like? Were they against the Constitution? Or did you just ignore those reminders as you are so apt to do when an argument is not going your way?
Lincoln was president when a group of southern politicians who supported the patently racist institution of human slavery formed a confederacy and attempted to break the United States apart by force of arms. Their treasonous actions resulted in the deaths of at least 618,000 Americans, both north and south, before the union was restored and all slaves throughout the nation at last were emancipated—a number estimated to be in excess of 3.4 million.
That was over 150 years ago. Trump is current events. You should consider giving Lincoln a rest.
Which journalists did FDR jail simply because he didn’t like what they said? I don’t recall that incident. He did have his his run-ins with the right and Hearst’s media empire. Even with fellow democrats. He put Japanese Americans in internment camps during the war with Japan, which was entirely out of line and a blot on his administration.
However that may be, his final term ended over 70 years ago. Nothing anyone says or does can change the past. Trump is now.
You mean those slaves that were unloaded at Northern seaports like Boston Harbor? Or those slaves that were put on ships owned by Northern companies and had Northern sea captains?
And that has what to do with Lincoln jailing journalists?
Oh, that’s right…………………nothing.
Just as soon as you stop disparaging the South.
And I said that where? Perhaps a reading comprehension class would serve you well.