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Guest Post: Political Etch-A-Sketch
If it feels like there has been a recent shift in the zeitgeist, there’s an explanation:
It has shifted.
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Political battle lines get redrawn with regularity, although not frequently as measured by the span of one’s life. Ronald Reagan somewhat famously quipped during his 1980 campaign, “I didn’t leave the Democrat party—they left me.” Well, if the democrat party left Reagan between the 50’s and 60’s, one can only speculate what the Great Communicator might say today, but here’s a good guess, “I didn’t leave the Republican party—they left me.” And so it goes…
These are interesting times. Scary perhaps, but a survey of history proves that shifts occur all the time, predominately as cultures change and issues come and go from mainstream consciousness. Setting narratives by the powers-that-be is nothing new. Even government-sponsored censorship is nothing new…remember the ill-fated Alien and Sedition Acts by John Adams, attempting to muzzle unfavorable press, which contributed to a Thomas Jefferson presidency four years later.
Unique this time around, however, is the pace of change; battle lines are redrawn within the span of several years, not decades, which can be jarring.
Some recent history to consider:
“Old” Republican Perspective: We need a strong military.
“New” Republican Perspective: We need a woke military.
“Old” Democrat Perspective: Enough with the endless spending on foreign wars.
“New” Democrat Perspective: No amount of spending on Ukraine’s liberty is too high.
“Old” Republican Perspective: Big Government isn’t the answer—the free market is.
“New” Republican Perspective: Big Government must partner with the free market.
“Old” Democrat Perspective: Big Business can’t be trusted—we need stronger unions.
“New” Democrat Perspective: Trust Pfizer. Trust Google. Trust CNN.
Confused? Who wouldn’t be? These shifts did not occur gradually over the last 40-50 years, rather quite rapidly. The question is why?
Yes, as noted in a previous column, Donald Trump’s arrival proved to be a disruptive event on the Right, forcing the Left to up its game…and timeline. Yes, Covid created a maelstrom of change and illumination as parents saw first-hand what transpired in schools, and patients saw first-hand how pharmaceutical incentives affected healthcare. Yes, questionable election results raised concerns about process integrity, and yes, a two-tiered standard of justice eroded trust throughout the entire scope and sequence of government.
These practical observances however, are more likely symptoms of the shifting political landscape vs. an underlying cause, which is much more metaphysical in nature, and its metaphysical name is moral relativism, a philosophy embraced by arguably half the nation, whereby:
Facts become opinions (e.g., men can not get pregnant)
Opinions become facts (e.g., disagreement equals violence)
Two diametrically opposed ideas can both be true at the same time (e.g. sexual orientation can be fluid for someone who is trans, but is firmly genetic for someone who is merely gay)
The good news? The shelf-life on moral relativism remains short. Perhaps not as short as many would like, but the unbridled chaos left in its wake precludes longevity, and ultimately allows that which was lost, to be rediscovered.
Remember that history has always had a Yin and Yang between the Right and the Left:
Right Wing ideals embody order, virtue, and heroism.
Left Wing ideals embody chaos, depravity, and despair.
How these manifest in the culture has transformed over time as the issues and events of history unfolded…
A time existed for instance, when arguments between two major factions (“parties”) were predicated upon the “hows” of executing or [legally] dealing with a constitutional authority (e.g. Westward expansion via the Missouri Compromise or The Compromise of 1850). As loud and often heated as those debates may have been, their accepted and fundamental bases were grounded in the rule of law, and when any given solution fell outside the parameters of the law, either contemporaries or time showed them to be erroneous and/or detrimental to the republic via federal encroachment/growth (e.g., National Bank, Income Tax/IRS, The Fed, the FBI, the Patriot Act, NSA, FedEd…).
Party lines shift, but the ideas and philosophies undergirding them are anchored in a forever-standoff. What is different today, in our modern era, is that for perhaps the first time since the founding of the republic, a very real, very prevalent and very bold true Left Wing ideology is in play, and actively at work. Up to this point, most political battles have been arguing over right-of-center details, pertaining again, to the question of how best…to do whatever, largely operating from “Right Wing” ideals (order, virtue & chaos), though hardly via “Right Wing” policies.
That has changed, and fairly recently. A spirit of chaos, depravity, and despair now permeates everything it touches, the force of which allows men to attempt breastfeeding a child with poisonous “milk…” a force that has Rolling Stone, The Washington Post and CNN defending pedophiles…a force that can be seen and heard in the nihilistic lyrics and scripts of the entertainment industry, where nothing ever matters because no one or nothing has purpose. While “Left Wing” philosophies have always opposed Judeo-Christian values, those philosophies are now unmasked and competing head-on for hearts and minds in America.
This represents the angst many have felt in the pit of their stomachs since early 2020. No longer is it “Morning in America,” rather the “Mourning of America,” and the country is currently behind the eight ball because the progressive agenda began even before 2020, [at least] before GenX, so unless something accidental happened, the shift not only went unnoticed, but also strengthened. Emboldened but cagey, the spirit of chaos, depravity and despair must be constantly redrawn like an Etch-A-Sketch - because as stated in the previous column, without objective truth, the moral relativism on which it thrives, cannot endure.
While chaos can certainly reign supreme in a fallen world, the good news remains that God created and ordered the universe, so the option is not “either chaos or order,” rather finding order amidst the chaos. When more people genuinely seek out that order, say “no!” to the depravity, and refuse to despair, the pendulum will not only stop, but also reverse course.
Everything's Political is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber