We grew up, us Boomers, in an age of prolonged geopolitical stability right up until the Vietnam War. Ironically, a lot of the stability we enjoyed was a result of the bipolar world we lived in and of the very thing that threatened us, the policy of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). Each side knew they could wipe out the other, but would die in the process. Each side knew it could count on the other’s desire to live and to act in accordance with that desire and so there emerged a modus operandi between two mortal foes, communism (socialism) and democracy.
Naturally, we ordinary people didn’t always feel the world was a stable place, in part because we were having drills on how to hide under our school seats in case of nuclear war. I’m not sure if we realized at the time how ridiculous that exercise was, because we also had very little concept of nuclear weapons and their effect. But the shadow of those inconceivable weapons was always present as I grew up. And there was always something happening somewhere. The world is not a vacuum immune to change. We had the anti-colonialist period that produced Mr. Obama Senior and various communist-inspired uprisings and wars for independence in Africa. There was Cuba and North Korea and the usual Latin American disorder and unruliness. But it was all very far away. The turmoil here and there never really entered our national consciousness as long as we weren’t involved, and mostly we weren’t involved.
We have been in a mostly disintegrative period globally since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. The Czech Republic split into two, Yugoslavia came to pieces, Moldova had a civil war and is still deeply divided, the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union became fifteen distinct countries, and now we see the artificially demarcated Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa falling apart along tribal lines. Even western Europe is not immune to the trend. In Spain it is the Basques, and in Belgium both the Flemish and the Walloons who want to re-configure as separate nations. Eastern and Western Ukraine are two different worlds and could fracture at some point.
Of course there have been counterpoints to disintegration, such as the reunification of Germany and of Vietnam and the expansion of the European Union to include a massive chunk of eastern Europe’s newly independent or freed nations. But at least at this moment in space and time, the disintegrative trend is predominant and the European Union is not immune, either.
Another thing that makes me think of how the world is bulging outward with centrifugal forces is that there is also a disintegrative trend here in the United States. It is not new, nor did it start only with the Obama regime, but this group of socialist gangsters have tried to remake America in such an extreme way that our differences have become irreconcilable. The neo-socialists have goaded the center-right relentlessly and fanned Americans’ prejudices and anxieties. I commented just the other day that I’m seeing the “s” word — secession — discussed with greater frequency today than I can ever remember, and now it is both the left and right who are talking about it as a possible solution to our differences. Divorce. How sensible.
I guess most of the people I choose to hang out with look around themselves and say, what is going on here? When did we Americans lose control of our own destiny and hand the right to determine our futures to China with its lien on the US, or the UN or NATO, or to hordes of illegal aliens and their illegal votes and their public demonstrations to influence our policies? When did our societal standards get voted out in favor of no standards at all, or even worse, imposition of a whole new set of standards that include all those things formerly considered beyond the pale: homosexuality, pedophilia, socialism, pacifism and so on. When did we become this ugly combination of societal hedonism and government tyranny?
Here’s the deal: we never agreed to the changes being introduced in our society. They have been introduced by stealth because we on the center-right were too unconcerned to fight the changes as they appeared. We let them pass. We wanted to be tolerant. But the people who watched Oprah and Phil Donohue and Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, especially our younger Americans, weren’t learning to be tolerant, they were being sold a whole other idea: that America was inherently wrong about almost everything, that what was condemned by society or frowned upon was something to be desired, and that socialism was the only ideology worth embracing. The message that whatever you want to do is okay is irresistible to the young. And it seems if you make the message cool enough, you can make any pile of dog doo-doo (i.e. socialism)attractive to the young.
We on the center-right are on a kind of emotional seesaw. We keep thinking, “now the Americans will see who these political charlatans and tyrants really are and throw the bums out,” and we keep getting disappointed. Who would have thought that Obama would be reelected after a terrible first term marked by a failure to move the country forward one inch economically and serious infringements of civil liberties, aka Obamacare? Who would have believed that that anyone could be reelected after a campaign in which the candidate avoided reference to anything he might have done during the previous four years as president and instead focused on dividing America, rallying the have-nots to hate the haves? It makes a body doubt that there is a backbone to the country anymore, a brain, a will to freedom. Can everybody or even enough people be bought off with the alms handed out by the state to allow this tyranny to flourish? Can the nation survive as one entity, and if not, how would we even start a movement to consider solutions? Something like the Continental Congress would be needed.
I think our problem is that we still do not recognize in ourselves the nation within a nation that we are becoming. We are in the nascent stage, but our movement for a constitutional republic based on the founding principles and equality of opportunity can only grow. Our basic liberties are under assault and we feel the distance grow between us and the rest of our country. I don’t think that will change if there is not a change in power in Washington and in the GOP, and soon. Because the left is entrenching itself and spreading its ugly tentacles into every corner of our lives, controlling us and steering us to the direction they have chosen.
And so here we are, caught in the whirlwinds of history and in the disintegrative wave and all the instability that it brings. Who knows what lies ahead? Maybe two nations emerging from one? Or maybe the integrative process will at some point kick in once more, for us and maybe for other regions, too. I pulled out my crystal ball, but the future is dark and I couldn’t see the answer to my questions.