Will Election 2016 Restore E Pluribus Unum?

Though certainly not the first to do so, Obama vividly demonstrated in 2008 and 2012 the effectiveness of bare knuckle politics in destroying the idea of a unified nation. Many citizens agree with the assessment that during his presidency, Mr. Obama has effectively nullified the motto, “E Pluribus Unum.” Using “us-versus-them” rhetoric, he bragged, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” In his effort to generate an upsurge in voting in the 2010 midterm elections, candidate Obama vigorous exploited identity politics by pitting groups against each other, urging Latinos to “punish our enemies.” Such examples have not been lost on either Hillary or Donald. Both seek to exploit divisions by tapping into the anger and fear of frustrated, disaffected voters over perceived favored positions, benefits, and advantages gained by “the other.”

Unifying identity politics with the gender wars in her endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright claimed that any woman not voting for Hillary deserved a special place in hell. The demands of the aging leaders of the feminist tribe to keep the younger women voting solely on the basis of gender have been so extreme that the 18-to-34-year-old set has taken to the internet to characterize the pronouncements of the likes of Madeline Albright, Gloria Steinem, and Lena Dunham as a crusade to bludgeon younger women into “voting with their vaginas.”

In a similarly blatant “us versus-them” appeal, Trump has attacked the establishment leaders of the Republican Party for their failed promises to build a wall on the southern border and halt the flood of illegal immigrants. In Trump’s case, the “us” are conservative voters and the “them” are the Republican congressmen and senators who failed to deliver on campaign promises when they were given majorities in both the House and the Senate.

Obviously, the seriousness of the threats we face today are very real and pressing, however, they are far from unique in their magnitude and potential consequences. There is legitimate concern about the continuing viability of the Republican Party, with some pundits likening its current condition to the precarious state that lead to the demise of the Whig Party in the mid 1850s. Surely though, the danger Trump poses to the establishment in the Republican Party is no greater than the danger to the Democrat party of the stampede to the radical left being lead by its two geriatric candidates, Clinton and Sanders. Some in leadership in the Democrat Party -- as they see the youth vote going in massive numbers to Sanders – must surely be wondering if Hillary’s machine may be taking them to a split in the party with consequences as disastrous as the one George McGovern engineered when he and his anti-war brigades captured the nomination of the Democrat Party in 1972 only to see Richard Nixon re-elected carrying 49 states in one of the largest landslides in American electoral history.

If a society is to endure as a stable, effective means of unifying its members, there must be a core set of concerns, values, and principles that compel allegiance and compliance with the laws of the land. “E Pluribus Unum” became the de facto motto of the United States to symbolize “Out of Many, One.” In the past that core of unity rested on the idea of American exceptionalism being rooted the Declaration of Independence’s magnificent proclamation that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable right, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...” For over 200 years this ideal was the foundation of the United States of America, a principle unifying the diverse, multicultural population into “one nation.”

For the last 40 years the toxic tide of multiculturalism and moral relativism have been eroding and undermining this foundation. In the late 1960s society began to tolerate the young jettisoning all moral restraint. Each individual was said to be both capable and entitled to choose whatever suited their personal desires or whims. “Do your own thing” became the national mantra. Indulging in drugs and promiscuous sex were celebrated in total disregard of whether such actions were consistent with the physical laws required for good bodily health or consistent with the natural moral laws for societal health. “Just do it” or each individual going “My Way” are certainly not recipes for E Pluribus Unum.

By taking God out of the public square, we took away the basis for our commonality: the respect for each other based solely on the certainty that God created us as equals. We are seeing that there is not much left when there is no basis for mutual respect.

Tragically, the loss of a common basis for freedom and prosperity is producing a morass of lawlessness. When our youth are taught that all truth is socially constructed, we should not be surprised when people fail to act in compliance with the law. When more and more of the public separate into victim groups viewing themselves above the law, no wonder there’s rioting in places like Ferguson and Baltimore.

This, then, is the fractured, fractious electorate that Hillary and Donald are facing in seeking the votes to put them in power. Hillary’s prospects hinge on turning out large numbers of minorities and feminist angry over what they perceive as a lack of opportunity and/or lack of government benefits. The Donald is trying to appeal to the working class and middle class voters who are angry over seeing their hopes and dreams undermined by a collection of negative forces that they don’t know how to deal with but are hoping that Trump does.

Somehow in 2016 the motto, E Pluribus Unum, seems out of place and from a long-gone era. The question this election season is whether there is any hope for Unum of the sharply divided Pluribus.

Though certainly not the first to do so, Obama vividly demonstrated in 2008 and 2012 the effectiveness of bare knuckle politics in destroying the idea of a unified nation. Many citizens agree with the assessment that during his presidency, Mr. Obama has effectively nullified the motto, “E Pluribus Unum.” Using “us-versus-them” rhetoric, he bragged, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” In his effort to generate an upsurge in voting in the 2010 midterm elections, candidate Obama vigorous exploited identity politics by pitting groups against each other, urging Latinos to “punish our enemies.” Such examples have not been lost on either Hillary or Donald. Both seek to exploit divisions by tapping into the anger and fear of frustrated, disaffected voters over perceived favored positions, benefits, and advantages gained by “the other.”

Unifying identity politics with the gender wars in her endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright claimed that any woman not voting for Hillary deserved a special place in hell. The demands of the aging leaders of the feminist tribe to keep the younger women voting solely on the basis of gender have been so extreme that the 18-to-34-year-old set has taken to the internet to characterize the pronouncements of the likes of Madeline Albright, Gloria Steinem, and Lena Dunham as a crusade to bludgeon younger women into “voting with their vaginas.”

In a similarly blatant “us versus-them” appeal, Trump has attacked the establishment leaders of the Republican Party for their failed promises to build a wall on the southern border and halt the flood of illegal immigrants. In Trump’s case, the “us” are conservative voters and the “them” are the Republican congressmen and senators who failed to deliver on campaign promises when they were given majorities in both the House and the Senate.

Obviously, the seriousness of the threats we face today are very real and pressing, however, they are far from unique in their magnitude and potential consequences. There is legitimate concern about the continuing viability of the Republican Party, with some pundits likening its current condition to the precarious state that lead to the demise of the Whig Party in the mid 1850s. Surely though, the danger Trump poses to the establishment in the Republican Party is no greater than the danger to the Democrat party of the stampede to the radical left being lead by its two geriatric candidates, Clinton and Sanders. Some in leadership in the Democrat Party -- as they see the youth vote going in massive numbers to Sanders – must surely be wondering if Hillary’s machine may be taking them to a split in the party with consequences as disastrous as the one George McGovern engineered when he and his anti-war brigades captured the nomination of the Democrat Party in 1972 only to see Richard Nixon re-elected carrying 49 states in one of the largest landslides in American electoral history.

If a society is to endure as a stable, effective means of unifying its members, there must be a core set of concerns, values, and principles that compel allegiance and compliance with the laws of the land. “E Pluribus Unum” became the de facto motto of the United States to symbolize “Out of Many, One.” In the past that core of unity rested on the idea of American exceptionalism being rooted the Declaration of Independence’s magnificent proclamation that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable right, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...” For over 200 years this ideal was the foundation of the United States of America, a principle unifying the diverse, multicultural population into “one nation.”

For the last 40 years the toxic tide of multiculturalism and moral relativism have been eroding and undermining this foundation. In the late 1960s society began to tolerate the young jettisoning all moral restraint. Each individual was said to be both capable and entitled to choose whatever suited their personal desires or whims. “Do your own thing” became the national mantra. Indulging in drugs and promiscuous sex were celebrated in total disregard of whether such actions were consistent with the physical laws required for good bodily health or consistent with the natural moral laws for societal health. “Just do it” or each individual going “My Way” are certainly not recipes for E Pluribus Unum.

By taking God out of the public square, we took away the basis for our commonality: the respect for each other based solely on the certainty that God created us as equals. We are seeing that there is not much left when there is no basis for mutual respect.

Tragically, the loss of a common basis for freedom and prosperity is producing a morass of lawlessness. When our youth are taught that all truth is socially constructed, we should not be surprised when people fail to act in compliance with the law. When more and more of the public separate into victim groups viewing themselves above the law, no wonder there’s rioting in places like Ferguson and Baltimore.

This, then, is the fractured, fractious electorate that Hillary and Donald are facing in seeking the votes to put them in power. Hillary’s prospects hinge on turning out large numbers of minorities and feminist angry over what they perceive as a lack of opportunity and/or lack of government benefits. The Donald is trying to appeal to the working class and middle class voters who are angry over seeing their hopes and dreams undermined by a collection of negative forces that they don’t know how to deal with but are hoping that Trump does.

Somehow in 2016 the motto, E Pluribus Unum, seems out of place and from a long-gone era. The question this election season is whether there is any hope for Unum of the sharply divided Pluribus.