The End of the American Experiment
Umair Haque has been publishing a series of articles in medium about the “End of the American Experiment”. While I disagree with most of the content and the arguments therein, I suspect that if current dynamics continue, the American Experiment, as it was designed and worked so well for two centuries, is indeed in danger of coming to an end. A consummation devoutly wished by the Progressive Movement.
America was founded on distinct principles and values: That the individual people are sovereign; That their unalienable rights are inherent in their humanity and are not gifts from government; That the basic function of government is the preservation of those rights; That all powers of the government are granted by the people.
Read the Federalist Papers and the writings of the Founders and you find clearly stated that a democratic republic founded upon those ideals can only succeed if the people are a moral society and there is unity of values, a common culture that all share.
There are a hundred examples today that the very concepts of morality and unity of values are held in contempt. Morality and unity implies judgement, implies a hierarchy of merit and desirability. But America is devolving into a society wherein judgement itself is deplored. The Diversity Movement demands that all moral structures have equal standing, that all value systems have equal validity, lest any person be made to feel disrespected.
If all moral structures and all value systems are to be equally respected, then America can espouse no particular moral structures and no specific value systems, which is our current direction. We are to be a country where everything is permitted, within the bounds of a functioning economy and some minimal social order. We can’t murder people or rob people, of course, but if a community wants to enforce Sharia law or turn a blind eye to genital mutilation or marry their nine year old sister, what right have we to pass judgement? That is simply their value system in their culture.
Morality and values have come to be viewed, not as positive virtues and essential for a good society, but as deleterious, as anachronisms left over from outmoded religious views. The principle argument in favor of unrestricted abortion is that respect for the humanity of the unborn is a religious view. No need for further debate; the opinion is defeated merely by noting it is religious.
The creeping disintegration of our once-united society is obvious. Social cohesion is purposely fractured in order to form coalitions of identity groups loyal to one Party and despising the identity groups in the other Party. Hatred and contempt are deliberately cultivated, out of which political gain can be squeezed like juice from an orange. For two centuries, unity has been America’s strength; we are now told that diversity is our strength. How Orwellian — Division is Strength, the more divided, the stronger.
The Left has not thought this through. There is a long game beyond the short term gains. American unity and comity can and always has survived honest differences of opinion and belief, however bitter, but will not recover from hatred, contempt and slander against entire groups themselves. The Deplorables will not simply disappear into that good night to meekly submit to domination.
America has experienced some bitter election contests in its history, none more bitter than the first few. But the success of the American Experiment has depended on two things — the newly elected officials will govern until the next election, and neither the majority nor the minority Party will have sufficient unchecked power to exercise tyranny over the government. The reason that has worked for two centuries is, in the words of Madison, “ambition counters ambition”. Politicians allow the system to work, for the most part, because they want the system to work when they later gain power.
That is being tossed aside for momentary political gain. The Senate Democrats under Reid and now under Schumer have united 100% in lockstep opposition to everything Republicans put forth. Since 48 senators are in perpetual opposition, only three dissident Republicans are needed to paralyze the Senate, and thereby paralyze the Congress. As it has been paralyzed since 2010, since there are always at least three dissidents on any issue.
Government paralysis is now a deliberate strategy. “If our side can’t govern, no one will govern”. This destroys the basis on which our system was built. The minority was granted certain powers in the Constitution to prevent the majority from exercising tyrannical powers, but with the intention that those minority powers would not themselves be used to exercise a “tyranny of the minority”. That intention is now dashed. When someday Republicans become the Senate Minority, it will be tit for tat. We all suffer now; we will all suffer then.
The most glaring example in my opinion that the American Experiment is running on its last legs is the rejection of the election. Remember the apoplexy that greeted Mitch McConnell’s statement that he wanted Obama to lose reelection? As if there has ever been a Senate leader who ever said he wanted the other Party’s president to win reelection.
It has never happened before now, no matter how bitter the contest, for the losing Party to declare, before the winner is even inaugurated, that they will do anything and everything possible to depose the winner and prevent his administration from governing. Short of assassination, I assume. I could be wrong. Every possible lawsuit is being filed; every procedural trick is used to delay and obstruct the formation and operation of the Administration; every pretext for an investigation is seized upon; every felon in the intelligence agencies willing to disclose secret information is hailed a hero; foreign governments are collusion partners; every accusation, true or false, finds its way into the media, even those from secret intelligence sources.
Do you on the Left think this will end well? That you can hold the tiger’s tail indefinitely, and when you let go, we’ll all have a Kumbayah moment? The tiger will eat you. You are confirming every contemptible opinion the Right holds about you.
If you do succeed in shattering what has been a unique and cherished experiment among nations, you will only have created sharp shards that will be used against you. Umair might be right about the end of the American Experiment. Not for the reasons he writes, but as our Founders warned: death by suicide.