We are locked in an intense civil war over the values that will govern our life as a nation.
I recently read a column by media consultant Peter Leyden and political commentator Ruy Texeira, perceptively entitled The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War. The whole thing is worth the read because it’s a wake-up call to conservatives to realize how fierce, determined, and implacable our cultural adversaries are.
Leyden and Texeira argue that our culture is now unalterably divided into two camps. The worldviews of these two camps, or armies, are so far apart that there is no longer any common ground between them. There is no middle ground. There is no longer any place for compromise. We are so divided that “bipartisan cooperation simply can’t get done.”
I agree with their assessment. We are engaged in a civil war in which the weapons are words and votes, rather than bullets - although Steve Scalise might persuasively disagree - and one side must win while the other must lose. As they write:
Two different political cultures already at odds through different political ideologies, philosophies, and worldviews can get trapped in a polarizing process that increasingly undermines compromise. They see the world through different lenses, consume different media, and literally live in different places...At some point, one side or the other must win — and win big. The side resisting change, usually the one most rooted in the past systems and incumbent interests, must be thoroughly defeated.
On our side, our worldview is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition which represented the beating heart of the Founders and led them to craft the Constitution, the most brilliant political document ever produced by the mind of man. We believe in a culture whose moral standards are rooted in the Word of God, and whose political standards are rooted in the Constitution.
As the Founders did, we also believe that our rights come to us from God, not government. We believe that the first of these values is life, including the life of the unborn. We believe in liberty, including religious liberty and economic liberty, and we believe in the sacred right of private property, including minimal regulation by the government over the means of production.
In contrast, our cultural adversaries literally booed God out of their party in 2012. They believe that government is the source of rights rather than their protector. They reject, many of them, any belief in the existence or the relevance of God. They reject the authority of the Scriptures in favor of the authority of Marx and Hegel. They reject the value of life and zealously fight for the right of mothers to butcher their babies in the womb. They reject the Scripture’s view of marriage (one man + one woman), its view of gender (“male and female he created them” - Genesis 1:27) and its view of sex (“it is the will of God that you abstain from sexual immorality” - 1 Thessalonians 4:3).
Our adversaries believe that bigger government is better government, that the truth about homosexuality and Islam is hate speech, and that politically unpopular views must not be debated but squashed and silenced.
It is easy to see the yawning chasm between these two worldviews and to agree with Leyden and Texeira that one side or the other must win, and win big.
Gettysburg was the decisive battle in our nation’s Civil War. The Confederacy reached its high water mark during this battle, but the army of Gen. Lee was turned back, Washington, D.C. was protected from invasion, and the Union was everywhere perceived as the victor. It was only a matter of time until Gen. Lee surrendered his sword to Gen. Grant.
November 6 is our Gettysburg. Conservatives have an opportunity to strengthen their hold on all the branches of government, ensure a legacy of constitutional justices for generations to come, make our government once again a government of, by, and for the people, and secure a victory for conservative principle in every part of our society.
It’s a battle of ballots, not bullets, and we must win this battle and lead our nation into a new era of stability and the rule of law. If we fail on November 6, our nation will descend into chaos and violence. We must not let that happen.
If we are locked in a civil war, and only one side can win, I say it might as well be us.