Two cultures occupying one land: Can the center hold?
From the presidential election of 2016 to the presidential election of 2020, from the huge, mostly peaceful protest on Jan. 6 to facing our second presidential impeachment of the same president, it is all too clear that we are becoming two cultures. We are becoming two cultures that occupy one land. The last five years have shown us all that there are two distinct cultures in America. From extremely partisan elections to election fraud to impeachments to possible Deep State criminality, it is hard to see how these two cultures can become one again. It is hard to see how this ends well.
Once in America, about 35% of the population would consider themselves right of center, about 35% of the population would consider themselves left of center, and there would be 30% who would be in the center. As long as the center was big enough and broad enough, the center would hold the ends together. Now the center is not 30%, but probably closer to 10%. A political center of 10% will have a hard time holding everything together. The political center appears not to be broad and deep enough.
There is risk in oversimplifications and overgeneralities with little nuance. However, for the sake of the argument and with trepidation of being too generic and too simply stated, let's call the two opposing cultures the Patriots and the Progressives.
The Patriots are basically made up of conservatives, Evangelicals, and nationalists. The Progressives are mostly made up of the Deep State, socialists, and globalists.
Many Patriots and many Progressives have little in common, are entrenched in their own ideology, and their own cultures are so different that it is evident there must be compromise or there could be confrontation. It is much deeper than to think it is simply the coastal elites versus the flyover heartland.
Some Patriots believe that the election was stolen, that Trump had 10 million more votes than Biden, and that there were other countries involved that helped with this possible election coup.
Some Progressives believe that to question the election is illegal and treasonous, and the perpetrators might need to go to re-education camps.
Patriots believe that all citizens should be under one law with the same responsibility and consequences; Progressive leadership believes in a two-tiered system of justice, one for the Deep State elite and one for the masses.
Most Patriots believe that a tragedy is a tragedy, while Progressive leadership believe that a tragedy is an opportunity. Patriots believe in borders, fences, and the nation-state, while Progressives believe in open borders, zero fences, and globalism — except only to protect themselves in the City of Washington.
Most Patriots believe that our Founding Fathers were imperfect but still heroes, while Progressives believe that our Founding Fathers were nothing special and should become non-persons written out of history.
Patriots are usually pro-life, think schools and business should be opened and that our police are heroes. Progressives are mostly pro-abortion, some even to the point of infanticide, and are in favor of locked down schools and small businesses in the blue states, and many believe that the police are pigs.
Patriots believe, like Martin Luther King, Jr., in a colorblind society. Progressives believe there exists systemic racism.
Patriots believe that 1984 should be fiction, while Progressives believe that 1984 should be government. In Animal Farm, Patriots resemble Boxer and Benjamin, while Progressives appear to be Napoleon and Snowball. Patriots value the words of C.S. Lewis, while Progressives take George Orwell as a how-to guide. Patriots usually believe in two sexes, while Progressives often believe in a fluidity of multiple genders. Patriots ask where all the flu deaths went; Progressives quietly code those deaths, regardless of facts, as COVID.
Patriots believe that "Make America Great Again" is right, natural, and patriotic; Progressives believe that MAGA is racist, xenophobic, and hateful. Patriots believe in bringing the troops home and having few foreign wars. Progressives believe that not being the world's police force is selfish and reckless.
Patriots believe it appropriate to call the virus that came from China the "China virus," while Progressives believe that calling out China with the virus that came from China to be racist, anti-China, destructive, since it's Trump's fault anyway.
Patriots believe that the deadly riots in Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, and the other cities were illegal and felonious, while the Progressives believe that those riots represented First Amendment free speech. At the same time, Patriots believe that the riots in Washington, D.C. were again illegal and felonious, while Progressives this time felt that those riots in D.C. were treasonous, seditious, and insurrection.
Patriots believe that illegally using the FBI, DOJ, and CIA to wiretap, surveil, and monitor political opponents are violations of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments; Progressive leadership believes that these acts were necessary, even if it means lying and falsifying documents to obtain FISA warrants.
Patriots usually believe that the religions of Judaic and Christian values are good for a society and culture, while Progressives believe that government is all the people need and that religion is just the opium of the people.
Patriots believe that America should strive to be energy-independent, while Progressives believe we should import and be energy-dependent on our enemy countries.
Patriots believe in the First and Second Amendments, while Progressives believe in the Orwellian "Ministry of Truth" and government giving you all the security you deserve.
Patriots believe in and value Jerusalem and Israel; some Progressives view them to be just another city and country in the Middle East.
The most troubling and worrisome thing about all this is that there really appears to be two cultures.
Both Patriots and Progressives seemingly feel that they are absolutely right and the other irredeemably lost. Warning signs go off because there is little crossover of opinions. Seldom does a Patriot have the same belief or value on an issue as a Progressive. And seldom does a Progressive believe and value an issue similarly to how a Patriot does. The common ground is getting smaller. Patriots look to the Constitution, the Bible, and our history books. Progressives look to Saul Alinsky, Marx, and China. The values, beliefs, religion, norms, and way of life are so different, so diametrically opposed, and so distant; one must wonder if the center ground can actually hold. Is there enough commonality in the sliver of the middle to keep it together? Or are the two sides so distinct, so opposing, and so full of animosity toward each other that the center eventually tears?
Can the center hold?
Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License.