Friday, 25 August 2017

USA Today

Situation Review.

So what is our situation in the West in a few brush strokes?

The U.S.A.? … A nation divided. True, there has long been a two party state with the inevitable division of half (more or less) supporting Republicans and the other half Democrat. But now it is different, deeper and not along party lines

The difference now is between two totally different mindsets

The old labels don't serve us well. Left, Right, Fascist, Socialist are slung about – usually as insults – with very little regard to their meaning. But what they actually mean is anyone's guess and they are either useless or downright misleading as applied to current political positions.

So how can one name the opposing camps the US is dividing into.
Progressives” I think will do for one side. For a start they self describe that way. It then remains to fill in this term with an accurate description.
There is a spectrum from beyond Bernie Sanders through Hilary Clinton to … to something middle-of-the road. In “-isms” they cover a vast array, but with a recognition of kinship between the particular groups. So our task becomes a bit like trying to do facial recognition on a Hydra!
I think the recognition of kinship between progressive groups springs from features they typically have in common. 
These are notable ones:

State rights above individual rights;
State controlled re-distribution of wealth (at one end of their spectrum)
Censorship of opposing news and views
Rejection of democratic process if it does not give the results they want
Rejection of America's historical roots
Rejection of the role of Christianity in shaping the good things in the nation
Rejection of the role of universal “fallen” human nature in shaping the bad things.
Bias against males, whites and Christians
Utopian dreams, but a man-made utopia without God and without recognition of warped human nature. So a utopian dream that is just a phantom leading to hell-on-earth!

On the other side there is an embarrassing lunatic fringe claiming the limelight – Neo-Nazi's, white supremacists, KKK, and even some of the “alt-right”. But I think (and pray!) they are quite a separate phenomenon to the bulk of people opposed to Progressive ideology. At most they may be just a tail trying to wag the dog.

Hilary's “Deplorables” are I think the dog itself! Ordinary hard working people. People who struggle through life: work, marry, raise families, take part in their community and otherwise try to mind their own business.

On the whole, by-and-large they cherish:
America's Christian roots and the ideals of the Founding Fathers
American society (which on a world standard is pretty impressive),
Freedom of the individual - not tyranny by the government.
Freedom of Speech
Individuals being rewarded according to their ability and efforts.
Rule of law


I can't think of a name that does not carry baggage or mean other things as well. In Australia we can turn intended insults into badges, for instance Rommel abused the Australian soldiers holding out against his siege of Tobruk by calling them “rats”. Ever after they proudly wore the title “the Rats of Tobruk”. In that vein I thought “Deplorables” might do as a name – but I'm not sure Americans have the same sense of humor. For now the best I can do is “Conservatives” because it is already popularly applied to this group, even though it does not describe them all that well.

If my assessment if the key points of the two sides is correct, these represent opposite and largely irreconcilable belief systems. Moreover each side cannot even comprehend how a sane person could think what the other side believes!

Now we are seeing signs of violence:
To take the example of the violent progressive protest group Antifas: they say that their opponents are “fascists” and so not real human beings worthy of being allowed to have, let alone propagate, ideas. This is the age old perversion that gave us: “Jews are not real people – so we can exterminate them” by the Nazi's; and “Blacks are sub-human - so we can enslave them” by the nineteenth century Democratic Party and so forth!

In conflict with them at the moment is an equally lunatic fringe of extremists who have an even more ruthless penchant for violence. Surely the riots and murder in Charlottesville recently has brought this home to us. Between them these violent extremists on both sides could drag the rest into violence.

There is, tragically, a real possibility of the nation descending into another civil war. Please God, this must not be allowed to happen!

Can the nation be re-united about some compromise position? I truly pray that it can. However to give a successful solution this must be a position that recognises the real world, not a misguided utopian dream nor a return to past errors. For this I think two things are vital.

1. Free speech: let words not bodies be the battleground.

2. Christian revival: “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”

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