December 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The American people are currently fighting over numerous political and cultural issues that speak to some of society’s most fundamental values, leading many to question whether the divisions between Left and Right are irreconcilable. National Review editor and The Case for Nationalism author Rich Lowry offered his thoughts on the question on this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show.
Noting that the “term American without shared values becomes sort of a useless term,” Jonathon Van Maren asked whether “the abyss can be bridged” in light of such fundamental divides on issues such as abortion and sex-change surgery for children, and each half of the country viewing the other as an existential threat.
“I try to be an optimist, I’m not particularly optimistic about this,” Lowry responded. “The great divide, as you say, it's deeper than ever before. It wouldn't shock me, I know this sounds alarmist, but if Trump's reelected, it wouldn't shock me if we saw some really no-kidding defiance of federal authority out of California at some point in the next four years.”
“There is this deep cultural divide, and it’s hard to see how it heals absent some sort of crisis,” he lamented. “It’s hugely concerning. People just have totally different ideas of what the Constitution is, of what the good life is, of what morality is.”
The two went on to contrast the modern American Left, which challenges the legitimacy of America’s founding principles and societal pillars such as the nuclear family, with the civil rights movement of the 1960s, which challenged society to live up to the Founding era’s promise of human equality.
“There are also a lot of lies about ourselves, and this is also just the sweep of human history,” Lowry said. “A really bizarre thing because usually throughout all history you lie about the other guy. So, you know, the French lie about the Germans (not that they need to lie very much to make them look bad), the Germans lie about the French. But lying about yourself, and trying to deal legitimize your own nation, is something extraordinarily new.”
Black Lives Matter “sees the nation as rotten to its core, as a shot through with white supremacy inexorably and from the beginning,” he continued. “Beto O’Rourke, you know, this disgraceful campaign, one of his moments was he had this San Antonio roundtable with recent refugees and tell you have people, desperate people who the best thing it's ever, ever going to happen to them and their families is they got here. And what’s he tell them about America? It's a white supremacist country. And God knows we've had a historical failings. We have our failings now. But that's about tearing us down and ripping out any ligaments that might unite us. And it's a really distressing phenomena.”
Yet Lowry offered some hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. He rejected comparisons to the American Civil War (from which America recovered, despite it being the bloodiest conflict in US history), noting that modern tensions are still far below the levels of violence and hostility seen in the decade preceding that conflict.
He also maintained that the very term “American” still has meaning despite the Left-Right divide, noting that most Americans remain proud of the United States. Gallup reported in July that while national pride is declining, 70% of US adults still say they are proud to be Americans.
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