Yesterday’s NYTimes featured a fascinating article on Democratic efforts to rebuild the party that Obama decimated. The article makes clear that the Dems are going to total war. One passage make, I found terribly enlightening:
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, vice chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said there had been a “tornado of support” for wall-to-wall resistance to Mr. Trump. Mr. Inslee, who backed a lawsuit against the president’s executive order banning refugee admissions and travel from seven majority-Muslim countries, said Democrats intended to send a stern message to Mr. Trump during a conference of governors in the nation’s capital.
“My belief is, we have to resist every way and everywhere, every time we can,” when Mr. Trump offends core American values, Mr. Inslee said. By undermining Mr. Trump across the board, he said, Democrats hope to split Republicans away from a president of their own party. [emphasis added]
Now, if you ask the average Trump voter, and bear in mind the average Trump voter was a reluctant one to some level or another, they are going to tell you they voted for Trump precisely in defense of “core American values.” In other words, this is no longer a political fight. This is, as Hewitt colleague Prager has been contending for some time, a values war. The problem is that the American political system was not designed to wage a values war The American political system functions best when the the values wars are fought on other grounds – usually in our religious and educational institutions.
Where we are in America right now is a battle between our educational institutions with very liberal values, and our religious institutions with largely conservative values. (Of course there are conservative universities and very liberal churches, but we are speaking generally here.) Our political institutions are wavering between the two, which is what they were designed to do. Consequently, our politics are going to remain pretty unstable until such time as the values war is decided.
There are, I think, two problems currently confronting the nation in returning to some sort of general political stability.
The first problem is that the American public, by and large, finds the political instability entertaining. There are multiple television channels dedicated to presenting our politics as, essentially, entertainment. There is more content about same on the internet than anyone can possible consume. Moreover, the television formatting, ratings driven, does not really allow for reasonable political debate. The vast majority of what is on the internet is so poorly produced that it does not even vaguely qualify as informative – but it does draw clicks and eyeballs. I do not blame media for this – they are following the money.
The second problem is that we are enjoying this entertainment so much that we are drawn into it. We look to it to resolve a war that is actually being fought elsewhere. Frankly, neither side in the values war can really muster the troops that it needs because the recruits are confusing the entertainment with the war. Metaphorically we are sitting in the tent watching a movie when we should be in the trenches firing our guns.
But even if the troops mustered in the great values war, I do not think the issue would resolve. We would then just be choosing sides on the correct battlefield. The resolution is even more fundamental – it is in how people make the decision which side they are on. That comes from the most fundamental institution in our nation – family. I will not bore you with the statistics on the dissolution of traditional family structures in our nation, if you read this blog you probably know them already.
I will; however, remind you that a family can be built out of more than genetics. I would argue that Jesus’ relationship with the twelve was familial in nature. He changed the twelve that changed the world. You want to win this war? Get yourself in order and then go build a family – and stop watching so much politics.