Sunday 18th March 2018

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It’s The Culture, Stupid!

February 28, 2018 Frontpage No Comments


During the 1992 presidential election the Clinton campaign popularized the slogan, “It’s the economy, Stupid.” And it was right to do so. For most of our history the voters’ choice has been disproportionally determined by pocketbook issues.
The question as to which candidate is best for my business, income, families’ well-being, and so on, could be answered without a moral twang since both parties adhered to mostly centrist positions and embraced the traditional values found in our common history and culture.
But by 1992 our conception of common history and values had begun to wilt. The turmoil of the 1960s began to take its toll: The Vietnam War, assassinations, Watergate, the sexual revolution, the emerging gay empowerment, as well as Roe v. Wade had planted a ticking time bomb that was to explode into the complete polarization of the body politic
It was no longer about the economy alone, it was about our culture; who embraced it, who didn’t, and what — if any — deference do we give to the values that made our nation.
And what are those traditional values that make up the American culture? They were basically the Anglo-Saxon Protestant values of our forefathers who settled the British Colonies. These values were modified and expanded by new arrivals from Ireland and Southern Europe who assimilated into the culture, which produced by mid-twentieth century the strongest nation on the planet; one that had just won a world war and was preparing to put a man on the moon.
We believed in a God from whom we received a privileged status on Earth, the freedom to worship that God as we saw fit, free speech, an appeal to reason, belief in moral autonomy and self-reliance, belief in the basic goodness of our fellowman, and faith in our institutions.
In short, we were a Christian nation, formed by those beliefs that were shared by both Christian and Jew.
Those who came to this country saw the United States as a beacon of light for the world. It was, as President Reagan described it, a “Shining city…a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”
That “shining city” represented our common culture, the fabric of our tradition and values dating back to our first infant steps as a nation.
But where are we now? I suggest that it is the challenge to those values, beliefs, and traditions that is now infecting our land and everything that we do.
On one side are those who are now boldly championing a secular agenda and in doing so is divorcing itself from our common Christian heritage — as President Obama explained, we are now in a post-Christian era. Gone is respect for religious tolerance — doctors and clinics are being forced to refer for or perform abortions, Christian businesses are being forced to take part in same-sex weddings or lose their business and livelihood, and even the Little Sisters of the Poor are finding themselves under the heavy hand of government as the state of California still haunts them and has them tied up in court simply because they want to follow their conscience and work “God’s will” — not man’s — on Earth.
The cultural rift is seen most prominently in our immigration debates which form a microcosm of what ails us. Culture and how it is maintained, protected, and passed on to the next generation is at the heart of those concerns.
Immigration is something Americans by and large support. We have a long history of assimilation of men and women from all nations and cultures. They add to the texture of our republic. But that is not what is tearing us apart these days.
What are the efforts of those supporting borderless immigration, a call for multiculturalism which encourages immigrants to maintain their own culture, and fosters the idea that all cultures are equal and thus there are no important cultural differences; encouragement of a bilingual society where immigrants need not assimilate; the establishment and promotion of dual loyalties; the encouragement of victimology, and the notion that a frank discussion of these — or any contrary issues — makes you a racist or xenophobic.
The cultural war is not limited to the immigration debate; we can just see it more easily there. It transcends almost everything we do. On one side are the very bright, the wise ones, our natural leaders — the illuminati of our day — and on the other side are “deplorables” who stand for everything the illuminati want to eliminate.
And eliminate they will do, through elections, through the bureaucracy, and through the courts.
President Trump owes his election, in my opinion, to this divide. He, unlike other Republicans, gave more than lip service to these concerns. He championed the stalwarts of traditional cultural values, he took a sword and set out to defend the “deplorables,” and they responded.
They found a champion whom they could trust, and in the most unpredictable election since Dewey “defeated” Truman, they put him in the White House.
The battle continues. It’s not about immigration or any of the other issues bandied about by the press and the politicians. It is about fundamental, core Christian values held by millions of Americans who are at last fighting to maintain the concept of the “shining city” for generations to come against those they see as trying to tarnish or even erase what that city stands for.
They are Americans who welcome immigrants who want to become American and to assimilate into our tradition and culture, and in doing so are willing to join the long line of patriots who were willing to give their lives for these values.
They are Americans who want to maintain those values against not just foreign, but also domestic, intruders who seek to abandon tradition to the waste heap of history. They don’t hate — they just love an idea that has been 300 years in the making, one that has uplifted millions with the faith that their reach could exceed their grasp.
It’s not about racism or xenophobia.
It’s the culture, Stupid!

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