If you ever watched one of those nifty science shows that captures a cell or an amoeba going through division in slow-motion, stretching, stretching and then stretching more just before finally pulling apart, you have a picture of how we are very nearly two different, separate Americas.
This progression has been going on a long time, and like a dividing cell, it’s not apparent that it can be reversed or cancelled. As in nature, this division originates for different purposes and reasons, some clear and others not so obvious.
One clear cause of the ongoing American division is that we have had foreign stimuli attacking the American body for one hundred years in the coordinated “Gramsci’s long march” to take down the Judeo-Christian ethos and the founding precepts of the nation through the internal ruin of religious institutions, civic virtue, the educational apparatus and the rule of law. This virulent contagion have taken a massive toll on the nation’s health.
Another identifiable process cause of the on-going division of America, is centered on how Americans work, and the transmission mechanisms of the national character, where personal greed and avarice has become more important to a self-appointed elite class of citizens than the health of the whole body. This cause is more directly observable than the first.
When I first arrived in Washington with the Reagan “Revolution,” it didn’t take long to figure out that many of the elected legislators of both parties and their staffs on Capitol Hill, officials in the permanent government, and even a fair number of the appointees in the new administration itself, had no intention of advancing the actual policies that got Ronald Reagan elected. In fact, they threw monkey wrenches into the machinery of state in every way possible.
In addition, when it fit their agenda, which was frequently, these same people would use rumors, half-truths or lies about the President’s nominees or sitting officials, or even plant totally fake stories in the compliant media, all to ruin people both personally and render them politically toxic.
It was abundantly clear that the only thing the Washington insiders were interested in was maintaining power and its promise of wealth and influence. They simply didn’t, don’t, care about the whole body.
I was also struck in those early years how, as a whole, the movers and shakers who ran Washington were, and remain now, an incurious lot. As a group they really had very little knowledge or interest in the philosophical or political heritage of the nation; they had “to do” lists from donors instead.
They were, and remain, uninterested in the actual consequences of their policies, various laws, or social tinkering, other than its immediate benefit to their personal power or prestige. In fact, they defend the frequently disastrous outcomes of their handiwork based on their good intentions, not the actual results.
This cause of the division into two Americas has proved accurate over the many administrations and Congresses that have come and gone. Regardless of political party, they have left behind a trail of consistently terrible, sometimes just plain stupid laws and policies that most frequently benefited only the interests of a tiny few, while actually harming the nation’s larger interest and general well-being.
Worse, these same elites refuse to address the real issues of prosperity, security and freedom, for which there is massive popular support, regardless of constantly pandering to the same issues during elections. For them, deception fits like a surgical glove.
It’s Déjà vu all over again with Donald J. Trump, of course.
Originally I scratched my head over all of this, but I eventually concluded that a great many – not all, but a sizeable chunk – of the people that populate the high reaches of government, politics, corporate America, corporate media, academia and even many religious institutions, at least in my working lifetime, are simply not on America’s side. They don’t really believe in self-government other than as a sound bite.
These are folks who skipped across the pond of life like a rock. Their connection with America is primarily a mailing address, not a way of life.
They don’t live, work, or have any understanding of the country at large, because they were, and are, so insulated from everyday Americans. They went from one bubble to another without touching the everyday life of the overwhelming percentage of working Americans.
Professor Angelo Codevilla aptly named this new group of Americans the “ruling class,” in his trailblazing writing on this phenomenon in 2010.
The ruling class are largely the products of a process, Dr. Codevilla contends, that has homogenized much of the American elite – affluent families that largely live around each other, send their children to the same schools where they hear and absorb the same ideas. Then they are sent off to elite colleges together where those same ideas are reinforced. Very few go into the military. They go to the same events together, vacation together, and party together. They help each other climb the rungs on the ruling class ladder.
Coming into the world of government and politics, media, business, academics and religion, their peer groups are little different than they had been growing up, or in their Ivy League schools. Their world was, and remains, an echo chamber.
I would only expand on Professor Codevilla’s diagnosis of the cause. I believe that the process of work, or service in the military, specifically, is the most identifying measure of how this division of America has been driven to near separation.
The common story for most kids growing up in America used to be going to work in grunt or starter jobs, or joining the military. This was the method, the transmission belt, which shifted most kids up a gear to personal responsibility and financial self-sufficiency, and beyond.
More importantly it was the mixer in which a person’s upbringing and education mingled with real life, and provided the place where the lessons and disciplines required to live and interact productively grew.
The process of doing hard work was the primer coat upon which one’s whole life, and thus the nations, would be painted.
Today, this process has been systematically interrupted. Now those early jobs are regulated or priced out of availability. Many parents discourage work, and too many of the middle class who once had time to grow into adulthood with a taste of how working class American’s live, are increasingly shuffled off to obligatory college, where many remain well beyond four years or leave without a degree.
The prospect of two separate Americas living side by side yet separate is exactly what faces the American people. The process of cellular division is what drove the election of Ronald Reagan, and a generation later Donald J. Trump. In effect they were revolts against the ruling class.
There are profound issues raised in this separation: Can Constitutional government survive, and with it with the essential articles of personal freedom of speech, religion, association and the rule of justice – not law. Can the Constitution be set aside by a vote, and can those same personal freedoms be set aside by the courts? Must America bow to the world order, and submit to an international order that seems even more chaotic and dangerous with every passing year?
If you believe as I do that the Divine Hand shaped our nation for a special purpose, then there has been no more critical time in the last 158 years where we must appeal to His mercy, not His justice.