“Rebecca”, perhaps a descendant of Abraham Lincoln, took quill in hand to write “The Separation” at the American Mind. It’s one of a spate of musings on the feasibility and consequences considering the people of the gods go one way, and the people of God go another.
It will never happen. The people of the gods would never let us go, for the gods of those people are themselves, and they are jealous gods. More on that later.
Rebecca (a man, I presume) points us to these graphs from Pew of “Political Polarization“. They make nice pictures for what all of us, on either side, already know.
Given the last survey was three years ago, when the woke were still waking, one imagines the actual overlap is now small and on its way to evaporating. I say “actual” because those pictures are parties, not people. Republicans, as a group, are largely no different than Democrats in belief, only in pace.
The problem we face is agreed to by both parties. Rebecca says
Consent-based political systems require shared, fundamental “ends.” In his 1957 study of democracy, Anthony Downs wrote: “A two-party democracy cannot provide stable and effective government unless there is a large measure of ideological consensus among its citizens.” The “means” may sustain dispute, but foundational assumptions must be shared.
We don’t need a study for this. People who disagree on an increasing number of foundational questions cannot survive together, unless one side converts the other. The people of the gods have done well at this, and they promise to do more.
The people of the gods see themselves progressing toward some Great Future in which there is perfect diversity and equality—by which they mean utter conformity and uniformity, where disbelief and apostasy is impossible, forbidden by law.
These people say morality is a matter of time, changeable and subject to vote and, paradoxically, individual interpretation. Life can be started or ended on whim. Human nature is not fixed, but a matter of belief. Nature is worshiped as both a lesser and higher god depending on what the woke want from it.
What is spoken by the people of the gods comes into existence. Not in a real way, but in a way that they insist people must admit is real. Thus a man can say he is married to another man, and all are forbidden to disagree to the obvious contradiction.
Amusingly, the people of the gods are led by unbelievers, wealthy men who are happy to preach woke religion for the riches it brings them, but who do not have to suffer any of the consequences of the religion. Yet.
The people of God are the opposite. They contain their own share of unbelievers in the one true God, but they see morality as fixed, beauty as objective, Nature as part of and not separate from themselves. Suffering is accepted as part of life, and not always some other person’s fault.
What is spoken by God comes into existence, and into Reality. Life is best when Reality is admitted, and the law is conformal to Nature.
Of course, there are all sorts of variations, degrees of belief, ranges of ardency, crossings back and forth, and on and on. Anyway, everybody knows the basic lines. There are puritans on both sides, but the people of the gods have the most, because it is themselves they believe in most. They demand conversions, both from the people of God, and from the people of the gods, because what was right to believe last year has been changed to what is right to believe this year.
America is like an old married couple. The kids are gone. In a long, imperceptible process, we have grown apart. We do different things, like different things, and have become different people. Habit, inertia and memories of our past obscure the implications. Clear eyes see what we do not—a separation is as sad as it is inevitable. The hard question is not, “how do these two Americas live together?” They don’t. The hard question, the right question, is: “how do they live apart?”
Rebecca’s “separation” is a shelter-in-place separation in name only, where everybody keeps where they are and what they are doing, but where we all look to a New & Improved Constitution which will protect the people of God from the people of the gods’s deprivations.
The old Constitution insistence, for instance, “freedom of association”. How’d that work out? It is now illegal. How can any of it work when the people of the gods control all the avenues in which the document is interpreted?
Possibly physical separation might work—people have hours of fun redrawing red and blue maps—but how would you get the people of the gods to agree with it? They could not bear their loss of influence.
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