A Party Divided

We have never been a television family, but we used to have an old rabbit-ears-antenna TV set in a closet that we pulled out on rare and special occasions. That TV came out on September 11, 2001. As it stayed out for quite a few days, I noticed a TV tug of war unfolding. 

On one hand, the news was so overwhelming and the sorrow so great, that running a quiz show, or worse a comedy show, was unthinkable. The question was how long that reticence remained. Five days, five weeks, five months? Closer to five days later, things turned back to “normal,” though a distracting news stream ran across the bottom of the screen. 

What is going on in the United States right now cannot be compared to 2001 in terms of loss of life and suffering. However, history shows that the internal falling apart of a society is often even more dangerous than an attack by an external enemy. In the long run, I think our country is in more danger now than it was then. 

All this is to say that while I personally am focused on my own family, faith, finances, fitness and friendships, I still don’t feel ready to go “back to normal” and talk of those issues in this column. I have strong political views as do most of you. How those translate into practical action is an evolving question. 

In chess (a game I play so amateurishly that I consider it a success when I beat a six-year-old) one strategy is to fork your opponent. The idea is to present them with a lose/lose situation. If they save their rook, they will lose their bishop; to protect their queen, they must forfeit their knight.  There is no step they can take that is completely positive. 

That is the position of the GOP today. The GOP has jumped to impale itself on a fork meaning that it is now a badly splintered party. Those who support President Trump antagonize some conservatives; those who attack the president alienate others. Even if the divide was a 90%—10% split, we are talking about enough disenfranchised voters so that the party will have trouble winning anything more than local elections. In reality, I think the split is closer to 70%-30%. The divide may be more lopsided or less than I think—that is irrelevant in terms of a united front. There is a huge swelling of anger among many conservatives, especially including new, younger ones. While the destructive actions taken by a few last Wednesday do not represent the majority, the anger and frustration they expressed is widely felt and poised to grow, especially as free speech is assaulted. That anger, in turn, will repel the old guard.

On the other hand, perhaps the very split in the Republican Party will prove the beginning of the cure. I think many Americans still are naive about Leftism. If an emboldened Democrat majority moves towards Leftism and overplays its hand, the suffering that attends those kinds of actions will become impossible to ignore. That provides an opening to a meaningful conversation.

I have faith that America is still the exceptional  land dreamed of by our Founders, still populated by  people who see themselves “under God.” Tyranny and totalitarianism have always rightly recognized God as their ultimate enemy.  While the push to eradicate God and His laws is growing, after all these centuries He is still around. Betting against Him may lead to great suffering for many, but not to eventual triumph.

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26 thoughts on “A Party Divided”

  1. Chadwick Whitstine

    I do know that nothing occurs to G-d. I feel as though the perversed views of some are not new. They are just being exposed. Much like the President’s rather unique personality was instrumental in bringng out the dark side of the left, likewise the non tactful actions of a minority at the Capitol is exposing the leftist true feelings toward the conservative no matter where they stand on this event. Now we know they will not approve of anything we do. Thus we need not concern ourselves with their offence. Just stand on the truth. Let the chips fall where they may.

    1. Chadwick, more people are realizing that there is no approval from the Left. The line keeps moving. What is all right today is offensive tomorrow.

    2. If the only thing to worry about was their “disapproval. Leftists believe that if they disapprove that gives them license to do something about you and your family. I refer to a PBS lawyer (a taxpayer sponsored organization) who called for Homeland Security to take away children from Trump supporters. That is why we must realize that they have declared war on us and will stop at nothing. What are we going to do about that is the question: cower in fear, capitulate, defend or plan an offense?

  2. I wish I could agree with all you’ve said and, also, with Susan’s musings. But, I don’t want to be doxed and canceled, lose my job, have my car keyed, my family threatened, my house torched, and all my friends turned against me when I’m accused of being a fascist. Maybe, in the next millennium, when all the dust has settled and we’ve been disarmed, and our elite rulers aren’t so paranoid about us having an independent thought which could lead to failure to comply, I could give your thoughts due consideration.

    1. Jim, all those things are real concerns and they are frightening. That is all the more reason for us to stand firm.

    2. I have made the decision in the last few days to “ghost” all my Democrat and Leftist friends. They text and call but I am not answering. The less I have contact with them the more protected I am from any accidental or purposeful action taken against me, my businesses, or my adult kids who need to function in this society. I read that the NJ governor just cleaned out the bank account of a gym owner because the owner violated the governor’s proclamations by continuing to work. Without any due process, he reached into his bank account and cleaned him out! This puts us in a very precarious position and is reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution I remember so well. It didn’t end well for anyone but took time for the blood lust to be satiated.

  3. Freedom cannot flourish in an amoral society…impossible. Politics is downwind of the culture. Until Americans are somehow jolted back into a principled people I’m not sure what our party system is going to look like. As of now the two parties are so disenfranchised from one another I vote for getting rid of conservatives who are really not interested in investing in a movement that will ask for activism and leadership. For the rest of us all I want is to take our 50% of the country and build our own infrastructure, business, trade, education, worship and play unfettered by a vindictive cancel culture. Exhausted but always in the game. God bless and be well, my friend.

    1. Ah, Kristin, the number of people we speak to who speak positively of secession (without a practical plan) is quite high.

  4. The good Lord didn’t bring a country founded in his name this far, just to drop us on our head . My faith and my money are on God ” if anyone cares to wager “

    1. I am a Christian so maybe my view is a little different….I am reminded of the people in the desert crying out for meat like they were used to having while enslaved in Egypt….and God sending it to them until it came out their noses….I see the World looking to the USA for financial , military, social help over the decades ..do they cry out to the true God .?.Our nation has slowly but surely turned it’s back on God and His moral laws as long as I have been alive, all 62 years now…Jeremiah gave warnings , but they believed there was no way God would let them fall. I think we have returned to the days of everyone doing what is right in their own eyes…we see more clearly the corruption , the greed , the power , the lies ,also the weakness of the “right ” party as many turn tail and kiss up ..we forget it is not men who we can trust , but God. The Christian scriptures teach that this is exactly what happens .We cannot bow down to a false god of govt to keep our jobs , family and friends and even lives…they do not have any intention of ” live and let live” they want us to unify …Daniel prayed for his captors and was a good friend when he could ,but refused to bow down and worship and trusted in God to death if need be. So much time at home…too much time to think maybe…..I hope for what I think is the best, but trusting God knows what the best ,

  5. I feel like the iconic ‘fiddler on the roof’ weighing my thoughts on one hand and again on the other or perhaps it’s my Libra nature. Either way, in the end what goes forward are the young with some loftier ideals framed through love. I can support that as long as it doesn’t veer too far from tradition, which in this case is the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the patriotic ideals so many in our history have fought and died for. The rest, as I see it, is tyranny. Unfortunately, the picture we are seeing today is framed in power, control, disgusting personal gain and a blind eye and deaf ear to the disenfranchised people that are not represented in any way.

    1. Suzanne, “framing” ideas through love is a problem. Love can be cruel and deadly. I would stick with true principles.

  6. One of the benefits that has come from the Trump presidency is a clear distinction between sides – it’s not a matter of “right or left” but a matter of “right or wrong.” If policy goes against God and human nature, it is designed to fail no matter how much money is thrown at it or how much force is used to make it work. If the policy amplifies God and the best aspects of human nature, it will work, albeit it may look messy at the outset. What I find horrifying presently is the amount of abject dispair among formerly vibrant and productive people I know (religious and conservative, of course.) Mandated withdrawal has exacerbated the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. We need to focus on the things we can control and the choices we make, at least in the short term. We’ll learn to adapt and overcome as time goes on – we always have, and we always will.

    1. Jean, President Trump spoke boldly in a way that most politicians don’t. That has made things clearer and he is being punished for that.

  7. Although I am a registered Republican, I am more of a Libertarian or Constitutionalist. I also admit that I am a Trump supporter. Do I like his actions in his past life (womanizing, etc.)? No, of course not. Do I like his sometimes crude, goading language? No. But history has shown us that many great leaders spoke in rude, crude language (General Patton, Winston Churchill). I did not vote for a rabbi, minister or priest.; I voted for the person who I thought could ‘get the job done’. The past four years have shown me that Donald Trump accomplished much; his actions spoke volumes more than his words. For some reason anything he says or does causes the Left to go into a foul-mouthed frenzied attack upon not only him, but all conservatives. I am sad that there is no longer civil dialogue in this country, nor will the Left even allow critiical thinking or discussion of facts. Unfortunately many Republican leaders have capitulated to the Left, which, as you said, “the line keeps moving”. I am guessing that most conservatives feel very used, abused and abandoned at this point. In spite of everything, I thank G-d that He is still in control.

  8. I haven’t watched the MSM for the last five years, but I have seen the results of those (folks that I love) of continually watched them. The MSM has had over 90% negative coverage of our president from the start,even Fox news was at 51% negative. When someone tells me that this country was started in 1619 when the first slaves arrived or how that police officer that had his knee on the man’s neck, that he had just arrested, murdered him, I’m pretty sure of where they get their information. I will continue to pray every night our God’s righteous judgement will prevail.

  9. I live in a red state where the Senate, House, and Governorship are all controlled by Republicans who call themselves conservatives.  For years, I’ve watched Republicans lobby the federal government for increasing subsidies for farmers, while they provide more farm subsidies themselves. (As one example of all this largesse, taxpayers pay more than half the cost of crop insurance.)  Republicans here also ensure that farm-caused pollution remains legal and unregulated, although even farm groups acknowledge that most of the water pollution in my state is caused by agriculture.  For conservatives to be generous to groups that provide votes and contributions to conservatives may be understandable. But it doesn’t seem all that virtuous.

  10. I guess I am looking at a convergence of Corporate power and Government power into a tyranny against those of a particular political leaning. No crimes, no logic, no recourse, no appeal, and no mercy.

    Corporate power has the power to cancel you financially, silence your speech, shut down your website, cancel your book, cancel your movie productions, determine what you can and cannot purchase, and stop your ability to connect to others electronically. They cancel, in concert, everything the Left wants cancelled. We now have a full on crony capitalist statist government rule. This sick relationship between activist corporations and the government has been coming for decades.

    Vote with your money. Focus on local/state politics to secure your state from election fraud and unconstitutional executive powers. We must keep our Republic.

    I trust God fully – but – He also allows us to sleep in the bed we have made. IMHO

    1. “I trust God fully – but – He also allows us to sleep in the bed we have made.”

      Another way of saying that is we have the government we deserve.

  11. Dear Susan,
    America is on a slippery slope and will eventually realise that its debt of 25 trillion dollars is unmanageable whichever party is in power. You deserve better!
    Regards Tony.

  12. I think that’s a great news that GOP is splitting. Old (neo)conservatives of Bush, Romney and McCain type should be past. It’s better to clean the Party of them. We don’t won’t to go back from America First policy ever again. Weather it’s going to continue to be Trump or some other frontman, that policy should be continue. That is the future of GOP and the country. No more old conservatives. They weren’t capable to conserve anything. On the contrary, they managed to push away many people from real traditional values.

  13. Dear Susan,
    I am concerned for our country as well as many others. My whole life, I had a gut feeling that something like this would occur in America. I married a man who’s family had to sneak out of Ukraine in the middle of the night because they were on Stalin’s hit list. They left everything behind except a photo album. In the 1930’s “The Holodomor” occurred. I’m sure you know about it. This has led me to take certain precautions and learn many important skills over my lifetime. I want to be able to sustain life if we must go underground or hide. I want to be prepared.

    What puzzles me is that I have friends and family members who are liberals but see the conservative party as the threat. There are also liberals who are afraid because they are old fashion liberals who have room for discussion. I am aware that many parts of Great Britain are going through similar struggles. The cancel culture seems to have spread through out all of society. For now all I can do is pray and prepare. I pray many SJW’s will wake up to the harm they are doing to the world and to themselves.

    Lynn W…

    1. Lynn, you’re experience is so common. A doctor who emigrated from China to the U.S. walked into the operating room yesterday just after the inauguration and said, “America is finished,” to the rest of the doctors and nurses. Too many of those medical people have no understanding of what he meant. Those who have suffered under totalitarianism/socialism etc. recognize the signs. Most Americans who went to college are mis-educated on history as well as products of living in a blessed country and they don’t recognize not to take it for granted. Review the book of Judges and you see the same problem repeating and repeating. Good times give way to bad when we stop recognizing why we had the good times in the first place.

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