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A few weeks ago when my WND column on abortion came out, I was chastised by a liberal reader for wanting to limit abortions, especially for poor women.
“If the U.S. government offered more financial help to poor pregnant women to take decent care of their children, born or unborn,” he wrote, “there would be far fewer abortions here. I know, conservatives like you don’t want the government to hand out money to anyone, but this is a fact. Right to life? What about the right to decent food, shelter, education and medical care? Unless we can provide these for children, born or unborn, abortion will be common.”
Rights again. For Pete’s sake, that has to be one of the most widely misunderstood terms in the progressive language. People love to pluck random “rights” out of thin air with complete disregard to the true rights outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. But this reader’s viewpoint makes one thing very, very clear:
We will never agree.
When it comes to progressives versus conservatives, there is no middle ground to agree upon. In other words, my liberal reader holds opinions so far in contrast to mine, and vice versa, that we will always differ on everything of political significance.
This minor incident merely underscores the larger picture, namely the chasm in our nation that daily grows wider. On one side of this gap are those who want to see our country re-embrace and reinforce the traditional values that made us great, to strip away the restrictive and unnecessary federal programs and laws which are contrary to the limits set in the Constitution and to foster independence and self-sufficiency by reducing or eliminating federal entitlements which, again, were never intended by our Founding Fathers.
On the other side are those who would like to see our country re-made in their own progressive image: to re-write (or toss out) the rigid, dead documents upon which this country was founded and to build up a liberal utopia of universal health care, cosmic peace and harmony and mystic crystal revelations in which everyone has the “right” to have someone else provide them with “decent food, shelter, education and medical care.” Including abortion.
At the moment, conservatives are distressed because we have an über-liberal government in power. More than half the country is screaming in protest at the policies being implemented against their wishes. But let’s say for the sake of argument that we kick the bums out and elect a solidly conservative government in 2010 and 2012. (Note I did not say Republican, because Republicans are not conservative.) Then we’d have the progressives screaming because their beliefs are not being implemented.
See? We can’t agree. Sadly, I don’t see us ever agreeing. Slowly, inexorably, I’m coming to the conclusion that the only solution is division.
The details of divvying the country into the Conservative States of America and the Progressive States of America would be complicated, painful and unfair. Should we have a checkerboard arrangement where each state votes as to which new country it wants to belong to? Or do we make a line – say, north-south or east-west – that will divvy up the territory into roughly two equal sizes? What if someone’s beloved home is on one side but their beliefs are in the other? There are no easy answers.
But, logistics aside, think of all the benefits of dividing our nation. Those who get their jollies out of micro-managing people and operating in total opposition to the founding documents can live in the Progressive States of America. Those who think free-market economics and traditional values should prevail, and believe the government should live within the restraints outlined in the Constitution, can live in the Conservative States of America.
Whenever Conservatives talk about “taking America back,” the Progressives always snark, “Back to what? The Middle Ages?” That’s their attitude. Anything less than their enlightened, progressive agenda smacks of oppression and darkness, of lords and serfs, of master and slave. (I might point out that conservatives feel that’s precisely where we’re headed, but that’s another subject.)
In reading an article speculating about how many people showed up at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in August, one person said, “Regardless of how many, it was just a huge conglomeration of narrow-minded, racist, homophobic ignorant idiots scared of progress and anything different. … [W]hat’s next, a march to prove the earth is flat?”
Another commented, “80,000 nut jobs or 200,000 nut jobs … does it really matter how many nut jobs showed up? They had a choice to go to a nut job rally or stay home [to] molest [their] kids or polish [their] guns.”
Do these seem like the type of people with whom we could ever see eye-to-eye? To be fair, conservatives often say things that are just as nasty about progressives. We cannot compromise.
That’s why I don’t believe this nation can survive much longer as a single entity. Our divisions run deeper and wider than ever before. We view each other’s opinions and attitudes with distrust and loathing, with name-calling and even violence.
But if we divide, each side would have a chance to see if their ideology would work. On my blog, I posted a tongue-in-cheek “divorce agreement” that made the rounds of the Internet a few months ago. Sarcasm aside, there is some truth in this analysis. If the conservatives think their ideas would work better, let them have their own country to prove it. If the progressives think their ideas would work better, ditto.
In other words, the only way we can find out for sure whose ideas will work is to divide up and establish governments that will give us exactly what we demand: Either restraint or interference, freedom or control, the rights given by God or the privileges loaned to us by government.
Of course, I would wish this to happen in a civilized manner and without war.
I do not possibly see how we can stand together much longer. We have already become a house divided.