Ben Shapiro’s essay, We Have Nothing Left Holding Us Together, says it well. Read the whole thing below (emphases added). Despite what they say, liberals/progressives/the Left are not pursuing unity.
On Friday, a South Carolina high school stopped students from bringing American flags to a football game against a heavily Hispanic rival school. Why? The principal was presumably worried that waving the flag might offend the Hispanic students. According to the principal, “This decision would be made anytime that the American flag, or any other symbol, sign, cheer, or action on the part of our fans would potentially compromise the safety of all in attendance at a school event.”
This isn’t the first such situation. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that a public school in California could ban students from wearing a shirt emblazoned with an American flag on Cinco de Mayo thanks to fears over racial conflict at the school. The lawyer for the children complained, “This opens the door for a school to suppress any viewpoints that are opposed by a band of vocal and violent bullies.”
Meanwhile, has-been San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been widely praised in the media for refusing to stand for the national anthem during football games. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” explained the man earning an average of $19,000,000 per year for sitting on the bench. He continued: “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
We’re watching the end of America in real time.
That doesn’t mean that the country’s on the verge of actual implosion. But the idea of America required a common definition of being American: a love of country on the basis of its founding philosophy. That has now been undermined by the left.
Love of country doesn’t mean that you have to love everything about America, or that you can’t criticize America. But loving America means understanding that the country was founded on a unique basis — a uniquely good basis. That’s what the flag stands for. Not ethnic superiority or racial solidarity or police brutality but the notion of individual liberty and equal rights before God. But with the destruction of that central principle, the ties that bind us together are fraying. And the left loves that.
In fact, the two defining philosophical iterations of the modern left both make war with the ties that bind us together. In President Obama’s landmark second inaugural address, he openly said, “Being true to our founding documents … does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way.” This is the kind of definition worshipped by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has singlehandedly redefined the Constitution. He said, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
But this means that liberty has no real definition outside of “stuff I want to do.” And we all want to do different stuff, sometimes at the expense of other people’s liberty. Subjective definitions of liberty, rather than a common definition, means a conflict of all against all, or at least a conflict of a government controlled by some who are targeting everyone else. It means that our flag is no longer a common symbol for our shared definition of liberty. It’s just a rag that means different things to different people based on their subjective experiences and definitions of reality.
And that means we have nothing holding us together.
The only way to restore the ties that bind us is to rededicate ourselves to the notion of liberty for which generations of Americans fought and died. But that won’t happen so long as the left insists that their feelings are more important than your rights.
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From Breitbart (emphases added):
Frank Gaffney, founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington D.C., defended 2016 presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson for saying Sunday on Meet The Press that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”
Appearing on Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot Radio, channel 125, the former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration first defended Donald Trump. He asserted, “It is not anybody’s duty to opine, define or defend what the president’s religious beliefs are.”
“What does matter,” said Gaffney, “and what is our moral duty to address, are the policies that the president is pursuing.”
Gaffney, a man that Breitbart News’s Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and host of BNS called an expert on everything Jihadist, said, “Sadly the president’s policies aren’t much different than those policies that a sharia adherent Muslim would espouse in terms of advancing an Islamic supremacist program.”
The holder of a Master of Arts degree in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Gaffney recounted that “Whether it’s with the Muslim Brotherhood, or emboldening the Taliban, giving a pass to Boko Haram, not pursuing effectively operations against Islamic State; whether it’s giving Iran the Nuclear Bomb, and $150 Billion to boot, I don’t know what Obama would be doing if he were a Muslim that he is not doing right now.”
Gaffney believes that Obama’s policies should be the “subject of very concerted debate.” He is hoping that what Dr. Ben Carson did on Sunday with his comments brings to light the fact that a president can not “uphold, defend and support the constitution of the United States” and adhere to Sharia Law. “It cannot be done. Because Sharia says, ‘No it’s not the Constitution of the United States that must govern. It is God’s law. It is Sharia. It is this repressive totalitarian, misogynistic program that must govern.’”
Adherence to the Sharia is completely antithetical to the Constitution, Gaffney argues, and he asserts that it should disqualify one from being president of the United States.
Let’s be clear here. The problem most people have is the notion that Islam is just another religion that should have the freedom all religions enjoy in this country. To the extent that a mosque were to restrict itself to the worship of Allah, however wrong I believe that to be theologically, and exhorting its adherents to obeying the laws of the land wholeheartedly, they should, indeed, have that freedom. Unfortunately, true Islam is more than just a religion; Islam is an entire geopolitical system in addition to being a religion. It’s goal is to set up a theocracy (just Google the word “caliphate” if you don’t believe me); there is no separation of church and state in Islam. This is diametrically opposed to our Constitution and the laws of our land.
And note who is leading the charge against Dr. Carson and his statements: an organization that is associated with terrorists (despite what your PC friends might tell you). Sorry, they have no, as in zero, nada, credibility.
Forget about post-modern. We are now post-American. These were my thoughts post-Friday, and I was planning on expanding on them here. But Mr. Prager beat me to the punch, so to speak. I think his analysis is totally accurate and of such significance that I am reproducing it en toto below. It coincides with much previous commentary and analysis I’ve presented regarding the regrettable lack of critical thinking currently taking place in this country (as well as the rest of the world).
The Formal End to Judeo-Christian America
Dennis Prager | Jun 30, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the redefinition of marriage seals the end of America as the Founders envisioned it.
From well before 1776 until the second half of the 20th century, the moral values of the United States were rooted in the Bible and its God.
Unlike Europe, which defined itself as exclusively Christian, America became the first Judeo-Christian society. The American Founders were Christians — either theologically or culturally — but they were rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures. Even Americans who could not affirm traditional Christian or Jewish theology affirmed the centrality of God to ethics. Americans, from the Founders on, understood that without God, there is no moral truth, only moral opinion — and assumed that those truths were to be gleaned from the Bible more than anywhere else.
Beginning with the Supreme Court’s ban on nondenominational school prayer in 1962, the same-sex marriage decision has essentially completed the state’s secularization of American society. This is one thing about which both right and left, religious and secular, can agree. One side may rejoice over the fact, and the other may weep, but it is a fact.
From WallBuilders (with emphasis added):
In the wake of the heart-rending massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a cry has arisen for gun control. But such calls are misdirected. The lessons of Scriptures and history are clear that the key is controlling what is in one’s heart, not what is in one’s hand. As the great Daniel Webster reminded a crowd at the U. S. Capitol:
[T]he cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness . . . inspires respect for law and order, and gives strength to the whole social fabric. Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.
The Founders understood that the inside was the most important focus, not the outside. This is why Thomas Jefferson believed the teachings of Jesus were so effective, explaining:
The precepts of philosophy, and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only. He [Jesus] pushed his scrutinies into the heart of man, erected his tribunal in the region of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head.
While civil law prohibits murder, the Bible addresses it before it occurs—while it is still only a thought in the heart (see Matthew 5:22-28). As John Quincy Adams explained:
Human legislators can undertake only to prescribe the actions of men: they acknowledge their inability to govern and direct the sentiments of the heart. . . . It is one of the greatest marks of Divine favor . . . that the Legislator gave them rules not only of action but for the government of the heart.
The Founders were clear that only the Scriptures provide effective “rules for the government of the heart” and thus help prevent the crimes which originate internally:
Love to God and love to man is the substance of religion; when these prevail, civil laws will have little to do. John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration
Without the restraints of religion and social worship, men become savages. Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration
I have always said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands. Thomas Jefferson, President, Signer of the Declaration
In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses. James McHenry, Signer of the Constitution
Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. Robert Winthrop, early Speaker of the U.S. House
So . . . if Congress and the media want to have a debate, let it be over what is put into the heart, not the hand – over returning instruction in moral and religious principles to schools and the public arena. In the meantime, there are already some measures that are completely legal and which you can help expand across the country:
As shameless idiots rush to make political hay from Friday’ tragedy in Connecticut, a republishing of this previous post seems appropriate. The senselessness of an alleged “gun control” response can be readily seen if one asks, would not the body count have been significantly decreased if someone (trained and legal) in that school had had a gun?
It happens every time there is a tragedy in which guns play a part. Since this knee-jerk response is so predictable, it behooves us to review some telling points against it even if they have been published before as their validity still holds today.
Previously, I have described the "Fecklessness of Multiculturalism" at some length. Multiculturalism is only one aspect of the liberal left that produces feckless behavior and policy, endangering us all. To review, to be feckless is to be "ineffectual, feeble, unthinking, and irresponsible." The recent tragedy in Tucson has begun, after the initial plunge into the abyss of irrationality by the leftist mainstream media and progressives in positions of pontification, to bring out a particularly virulent strain of liberal leftist fecklessness known as "gun control." We will now dissect this strain of fecklessness to identify the false assumptions and outright ignorance that serves as its spongiformed foundation.
Possibly first and foremost is the assumption of the ability to universally enforce a law prohibiting the carrying of guns. Yes, if only the police and military had guns, then homicide at least by gun (ignoring that the truly homicidal will find alternate means of accomplishing their ends as there are many ways humans can be killed) would be eliminated – problem solved. Unfortunately, there is significant and undeniable truth in what only appears to be a trite saying that "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns." Unless you can guarantee swift and thorough disarmament of everyone (in violation of the 2nd amendment of the Constitution, of course), it is an ineffectual, unthinking and irresponsible assumption to believe you can outlaw guns. To belabor the obvious because it isn’t obvious to so many,criminals, BY DEFINITION, do NOT obey the law. Hello?! So…if you have a law that says, "No, no, you naughty boy! Turn in that gun now!" who do you think is going to ignore it? That’s right, the very ones for which you created the law in the first place, the one’s you want to disarm, because they don’t obey the law by definition.
In a 2007 column, Mark Alexander notes Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria’s On Crimes and Punishment, to the same point:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
This brings me to the critical question one needs to ask those advocating legislative gun control: Just how would rendering me defenseless protect you from violent criminals and nutjobs? (HT: Rounds Out!) This can probably be phrased a number of ways, but this is the quintessential question for gun control advocates to answer before any validity may be ascribed to their position.
This question encompasses the second assumption made by gun control advocates, that we, the average, law-abiding citizens, are simply too incompetent, stupid, and untrainable to be able to use firearms intelligently and with discretion (of course, this begs the question, from where do the candidates for the police and military come if not from this same population of supposed simpletons, and why are they trainable and we are not?). Rather than promoting gun control, perhaps we should be promoting training in the proper care and use of guns? Let’s deputize the nation rather than criminalizing the nation! (To be clear, I am not advocating putting guns into the hands of children, or those too handicapped or insane to use them responsibly, or convicted criminals, etc., etc. It is not an all or none proposition. And for a very interesting discussion in this regard on the meaning of the 2nd and 3rdamendments, I will refer you here.)
Lastly, the aforementioned question also embraces the most far reaching assumption made by gun control advocates, that true evil embodied in the violent criminal element does not really exist and thus does not need to be addressed by the average citizen. Moving to an earlier example of a gun related tragedy, this inability to comprehend the presence of evil in the world leads to such disastrous legislation as that which disarmed the Virginia Tech campus and made it a prime target for Cho who apparently wanted to go out in "a blaze of glory."
Just how ineffectual, unthinking and irresponsible are gun control advocates in their pursuit of a gunless nirvana? Do we have objective evidence to support the effectiveness of gun control laws?
Consider the following facts compiled here (the entire article is lengthy, 76 pages in pdf printed from the website) and extremely well documented:
- During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower.
- Not counting certain anomalies detailed in the above link, the British homicide rate has averaged 52% higher since the outset of the 1968 gun control law and 15% higher since the outset of the 1997 handgun ban.
- Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the Chicago murder rate has averaged 17% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 25% lower, but, the percentage of Chicago murders committed with handguns has averaged about 40% higher than it was before the law took effect.
- Since the outset of the Florida right-to-carry law, the Florida murder rate has averaged 36% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 15% lower.
- Since the outset of the Texas right-to-carry law, the Texas murder rate has averaged 30% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 28% lower.
- Since the outset of the Michigan right-to-carry law, the Michigan murder rate has averaged 4% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 2% lower.
Not exactly a sterling record in favor of gun control or documenting the worst fears of gun control advocates.Going back to Mark Alexander’s essay, the faulty logic of gun control advocates is amply demonstrated by attempting to apply the same illogic to similar problems. If mass murder is a "gun problem" then we may similarly conclude that "cigarette lighters cause cancer, sex causes abortion, steering wheels cause car accidents, toxic-warning labels cause poisonings, ladders cause falls and bottles cause deaths associated with alcohol abuse.”
What is the real problem? Mr. Alexander notes the explanation of Cato Institute Senior Fellow Robert Levy (emphases added):
Many politicians have exploited a few recent tragedies to promote their anti-gun agenda. But gun controls haven’t worked and more controls won’t help. In fact, many of the recommended regulations will make matters worse by stripping law-abiding citizens of their most effective means of self-defense. Violence in America is due not to the availability of guns but to social pathologies – illegitimacy, dysfunctional schools and drug and alcohol abuse. Historically, more gun laws have gone hand in hand with an explosion of violent crime.
The fact of the matter is that gun control laws have not worked to halt gun related crimes.
Mark Steyn’s inimitable analysis in Let’s be realistic about reality points to the fundamental issue at stake and identifies why I called this a particularly virulent form of fecklessness (emphases added):
The ‘gun-free zone’ fraud isn’t just about banning firearms or even a symptom of academia’s distaste for an entire sensibility of which the Second Amendment is part and parcel but part of a deeper reluctance of critical segments of our culture to engage with reality. Michelle Malkin wrote a column a few days ago connecting the prohibition against physical self-defense with ‘the erosion of intellectual self-defense,’ and the retreat of college campuses into a smothering security blanket of speech codes and ‘safe spaces’ that’s the very opposite of the principles of honest enquiry and vigorous debate on which university life was founded. And so we ‘fear guns,’ and ‘verbal violence,’ and excessively realistic swashbuckling in the varsity production of ‘The Three Musketeers.’ What kind of functioning society can emerge from such a cocoon?
The reality with which such a cocoon is refusing to engage is the reality of Evil in the world, and I mean that with the capital "E." As we have had repeatedly demonstrated for us, there are those who would go so far as to kill you if you stand in the way of their goals, and indeed, there are those that will do so no matter how good and kind and pleasant and appeasing you are, just for the sheer pleasure of killing you. We may, and indeed, should, recoil in horror at the existence of such sentiments, and fortunately, such individuals are in the great minority. But to deny their existence is a denial of reality that is tantamount to suicide.
So I conclude with this question, again, the quintessential question:
Just how would rendering me defenseless protect you
from violent criminals and nutjobs?
(HT: Hugh Hewitt)
I call it the Cooked Frog Syndrome (CFS). It’s the tendency to overlook the nature of an entity’s conduct because the evidence that forms the big picture is so spread out over time that one fails to formulate an objective picture of what’s really going on. Just as a frog thrown into hot water will immediately jump out, were all the data presented at once, the correct conclusion is much more readily achieved. But by throwing the frog into cold water and then slowly turning up the heat, the frog remains unconscious of the impending danger of its toasty demise. To the former end, Hugh Hewitt’s find which I’ve reproduced below tells a very sad tale of the assault on our Constitution under the current administration that liberals and the left don’t want you to realize. Hopefully this list will open some eyes. I’ve added bullet points to the list to make the examples clearer to read. The final question I’ve bolded for emphasis. Think about it.
The weekly column from Clark Judge:
The Constitutional Convention and The 2012 Election
by Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute
Today is Monday, May 14. In 1787, also on Monday, May 14th, in Philadelphia, the Constitutional Convention held its opening session.
Now, two hundred and twenty five years later, we are engaged in a great presidential campaign that, at its most essential level, is about the future of the governmental system the delegates to that convention wrought. For in the last four years we have seen challenges to the long accepted meaning of many of the features and guarantees of the Philadelphia constitution.
In no particular order, here are examples:
- The manner of recent presidential appointments including to the National Labor Relations Board challenged widely shared understandings about the constitutionally mandated advice and consent role of the Senate.
- The expansive and aggressive use of regulation – for example, EPA’s moves to reclassify CO2 as a pollutant because of its supposed impact on climate after Congress had repeatedly rejected similar proposals – has challenged the line between legislative and executive powers.
- By overriding bondholders, this administration’s federal auto bailout arguably challenged long understood constitutional limits to taking property without due process and upset the constitutionally mandated uniform rules of bankruptcy.
- By requiring Catholic and other religiously affiliated institutions to provide health coverage that violated basic denominational beliefs, federal Obamacare challenged the widely understood standards of religious liberty.
- In this year’s state of the union address, the president suggested that during a second term he would compel states to accept his spending priorities as their own, anticipating a challenge to the constitutional concept of federalism, as long understood.
- As former White House counsel Boyden Gray has pointed out, the framing of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill that the administration championed so vigorously challenges fundamental constitutional rules regarding judicial review.
- As Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested in the recent high court hearings on the administration’s signature health care legislation, the central feature of Obamacare challenges the long-established relationship between the government and the citizen, in other words, basic constitutional understandings of liberty.
Reading the record of the Philadelphia deliberations, you can’t help but be struck at how seriously the Framers took the purposes detailed in the Constitution’s preamble: “form a more perfect union… establish justice… insure domestic tranquility… provide for the common defense… promote the general welfare… secure the blessings of liberty.” These terms come up repeatedly in their debates as failures of government under the Articles of Confederation and as the goals for their project.
Would they have said that the Fast and Furious program is an example of establishing justice?
Would they have agreed that radically downsizing the Navy provides for the common defense?
Is a reelection campaign designed to stoke animosity between economic and social groups consistent with insuring domestic tranquility?
Most of all, perhaps, when our senior military officer names the national debt our biggest national security challenge… when bond rating agencies downgrade the country’s credit standing… when major federal trust funds are careening toward bankruptcy… when general fund deficits and debt are projected permanently to top levels previously seen only in the single most expensive year of World War II, thanks to spending beyond levels we have ever seen, at least in peacetime… is utterly refusing to address any element of this spending crisis an example of providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare or securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity?
These are not just my questions. In calls around the country over the last few weeks, I have repeatedly heard anxiety expressed about the future of America’s fundamental institutions: the open economy, the family, religious liberty, as well as the Constitution.
Yes, anemic economic growth and the lack of job creation are major worries, too. Many ask, how could the administration have spent so much money for, we were told, stimulating the economy and got so little for it?
Granting all that, still I wonder, is it too much to say that this election is shaping up into a new Constitutional Convention, in which we the people will decide the character of our country for generations to come?