As the world flattens, how do we handle matters of national identity?

As the world flattens, how do we handle matters of national identity?

A democracy is shaped by the values of its inhabitants. How do we protect our democracy if those with different values around equality and freedom join us as voters? Will all America turn into Dearborn, Michigan? I don’t know but the thought certainly scares me.

My fundamental belief is of equanimity, your pain is my pain. I want to end hunger for every person on this planet and allow people to love who they please. Every choice we make in our lives ripples out to all we encounter and those we don’t and those we never will.

I want to live in a world where we are allowed to speak our truth and be able to have an intellectual discourse on the utility of that truth.

I want to protect our environment, I’m worried about how babies are born with over 300 different chemicals in their bodies. I want our skies to stay clear of smog and pollution and I pray that seven generations from now our descendants will live in the beautiful world we know today.

I want and love all of these freedoms but what scares me most is that through our porous open borders allow those who do not value these ideals to inhabit our land of freedom and democracy. Different values. There is no right or wrong here. No judgment. But for me there is nothing more frightening than the thought that I would be forced to wear a burka or not being provided with an education. This not a future I want as a woman or for any women. That scares me.

I’m confused how individuals who insist that they are motivated by compassion tell a woman (Ann Coulter) to commit suicide? What is the meaning of compassion if one can cruelly say such things to an individual who is sitting right next to you? That is not just a “roast.”

I believe in freedom of religion but also believe it should have nothing to do with what our laws set forth. I believe in the universal laws of human goodness, compassion and love. But no law should dictate what I do with MY body. If a person believes life begins at certain point that is certainly their prerogative to believe so, but don’t force your belief on me. I hope that I never have to make the choice of whether or not to have an abortion. It would be as tough as hell to make that call. But it’s my body and my call to make - not anyone else’s.

In America we are already polarized and can’t decide how the previously aforementioned issues should be determined amongst each other. Whether you identify with the religious right, limited government fiscal conservatives, socially liberal progressives or government backed socialism, we struggle to find the right answer for how much government should or should not be in our lives.

I for one hate people telling me what to do so I’m all for limited government — stay out of my pockets and out of my personal private choices i.e. let people marry whomever they want but it doesn’t mean you have to believe that. We have freedom of the press in order to be able to have a dialogue about these things.

Sometimes in the name of progress we have to impart rules to oppose the “tyranny of the masses.” The civil rights movement and women’s lib — grassroots efforts that needed the big stick of government to be effectuated. Sadly we needed the 13th, 14th and 19th amendments to end slavery and give women the right to vote — an event for which we have yet to celebrate the 100th anniversary.

You may be thinking by now I sound like a flaming liberal progressive democrat, right? (You’re probably thinking this girl is for sure voting for Hilary, but wait… there’s more)

What happens to our national identity when those that fundamentally don’t ascribe to the belief in these freedoms are allowed to immigrate in?

Our society today now faces a new dynamic that goes to the core of our national identity. One that goes deeper than our concern about whether or not we feel like the government is acting as a nanny state in whatever form that takes — be it inhibiting our civil liberties or inhibiting our choice on how to spend the money in our pockets.

America was built on embracing our own personal power and entrepreneurialism which is what a capitalist society thrives on and incentivizes. Zero to One.

Now as the world is getting flatter and more globalized, how do we determine where national identity ends and “otherism” begins?

Is Donald Trump the next Hitler scapegoating immigrants and Muslims or is this the inception of the Clash of Civilizations as Samuel Huntington theorized?

Is amnesty letting those who committed a crime off the hook or is it compassionate? Didn’t we all learn if you do the crime you do the time? Be it speeding, running a red light, robbery or murder, we abide by the law or we face the consequences. Why is that not true in this instance as well? Does that make me a xenophobe and heartless? I don’t know what to do about people who illegally immigrated here and have spent their lives here. But isn’t it unfair to the people who did it the right way? Those that followed the letter of the law?

Perhaps our immigration laws are crap and need reform, I have no idea I’m not an immigration law expert, but isn’t it the democratic system to effect change by using our votes (aka not executive orders) or by using the judicial system like the NAACP did so masterfully for civil rights and the ACLU does today?

Do we have a legitimate right to be concerned that more bombings like those in New York will occur by those who fit the profile of the attackers or does that fear make me a racial profiling racist?

Can we cure terror with love? Or is that appeasement? Can we root out hate with diplomacy or does it take an iron fist?

Is Donald Trump xenophobic or is he looking to protect our values? Do we stand by and indiscriminately open our borders to any and all immigration in the name liberty, while at that same time allowing those that don’t value Liberty into the United States to become voters?

As the world gets flatter and more globalized and the lines of different nations blur we come face to face with those who hold fundamentally different values than we do. How do we handle this?

Does each nation become a stronghold and island for a certain fundamental belief system? If you believe in freedoms where everyone can coexist peacefully with others who hold different perspectives join team America and if you believe in Sharia law should be imposed on everyone then join that team/nation, or if you believe in socialism go to a country that aligns with that belief, if you can’t find a nation then set up a nation and go there with other people of your beliefs? Then we leave each other alone and each nation respects each other’s point of view and doesn’t try to impose that on someone else? Is that how we have peace with each other? I saw the movie Divergent and this makes me think of how everyone of a certain ideology lived in their own camp. (I don’t want to spoil it, but this did not turn out well).

But in our world today this is an impossibility. The world is globalized, everyone has access to all the world at any time and there’s no turning back that dial. What do we do when individuals who have a belief system that fundamentally disavows the liberties we worked so hard to achieve and opposes the American ideal that we CAN coexist peacefully despite our differences?

Could you tell me right now that my freedom to dress as I please, to speak my mind and not be censored would be protected if all 1.6 billion Muslims immigrated to the United States? How can I believe you when honor killings still occur in Pakistan (i.e. the recent case of Qandeel Baloch), women aren’t allowed drive in Saudi Arabia, and transgender women aren’t allowed in Dubai (Gigi Gorgeous)? Am I xenophobic because I’m legitimately scared for my freedoms? Am I not being progressive? Am I being intolerant? I want more than anything my freedom and your freedom, the freedoms our parents, grandparents and founding fathers fought and gave their lives for. I’m just not entirely sure that that these belief systems can coexist.

How does the melting pot nation and our democracy handle such core differences in belief systems? Do we become like France and force securalism upon everyone to try and ensure assimilation? Do we start to tell people what to wear and not wear because it offends our sense of liberty? We seek to protect Liberty but wind up taking choice away. Are we freeing the oppressed by taking away what we feel is an oppressive measure or are we becoming oppressors by doing so?

I’m not saying the West is the best and we have it all figured out. Maybe Western values should be questioned and challenged, we all grow and become better through being challenged, but I know one thing — I believe in the Liberty the West stands for.

I am for progress, peace, compassion and freedom, but how can I reconcile my desire for all of this with my belief that we should abide by the laws that currently exist in regard to immigration and my fear that our freedom will be snuffed out Clash of Civilizations style by a culture that fundamentally holds different beliefs and values?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, do you?