A Tale of Two Americas
Are we heading toward two Americas? Are we now engaged in a cold civil war? Are we on the cusp of national disintegration and separation?
These trenchant questions would have elicited simple responses and quizzical stares in the 1940s and 1950s when, it might be argued, America was at the zenith of power, prestige, and national unity. Most Americans asked that question during the Eisenhower era would not have even understood what the query meant. We were a different country then and a far different country now.
Just think back to that period in American history. We had just vanquished Nazism, fascism, and imperial Japan in the bloodiest war of all time. We alone held all the cards. We alone were the world’s superpower. No nation or bloc of nations could challenge our wealth, productivity, or military prowess. Europe was in ruins. Japan had been atom-bombed into submission. China was in civil war and while Stalin was advancing into Eastern Europe, the Russians had just lost forty million people in the war and the rest of its population was locked in a totalitarian dungeon.
America in the 1950s was overwhelmingly white and Christian. Its immigrant populations of Irish, Italians, and Poles had successfully assimilated into the American culture. We spoke the same language, honored the same heroes of Valley Forge, Gettysburg, and Normandy, celebrated the same holidays, and, by and large, worshipped the same God. Families were intact, pre-marital sex was frowned up, divorce was uncommon, and drug abuse was rare. Prayer was permitted in the public schools and graduation ceremonies that did not invoke the Almighty would have been unthinkable. Abortion was illegal almost everywhere. And, even if it had not been illegal, it would have been considered hugely immoral. Hollywood’s movies were clean and uplifting. Censors were not needed for “I Love Lucy” and “Father Knows Best.” Children obeyed their parents. And their parents obeyed God.
Was everything perfect? Of course not. No human society is perfect. Yes, we had problems, the most glaring being segregation and civil rights. Yet, even in the midst of Jim Crow, African-Americans enjoyed a prosperity unparalleled in human history. Black families stayed together. Out-of-wedlock births were a fraction of today’s number. And, even in the South at the height of segregation, black and white children played on the same playgrounds and their mothers and fathers worked side-by-side.
However, something happened in the decade of the 1960s. It was determined by a handful of elites in government, academia, and the media that the America of Dwight David Eisenhower was bad, boring, or worse. Suddenly, we were told “God Is Dead” and that man is the alpha and omega of all things. That led to an insurrection against all authority throughout all sectors of American society. It was now OK for students to burn American flags and draft cards, to occupy college campuses and spew forth profanity in the name of “Free Speech.” African-Americans were told it was all right to loot, pillage and burn down cities. The Warren Court chimed in, creating new Constitutional “rights” out of thin air, letting the malcontents and America-haters believe that everything they were doing was just fine, a praiseworthy example of “dissent.”
Those who believed in the traditional America of the 1940s and 1950s didn’t fight back. They were what President Nixon called the “Silent Majority.” Convinced by the elites that “intolerance” was the worst of all malignancies, they failed to stand up to those tearing America down. Yes, they cast votes for Republican Presidents but those Presidents themselves lacked the will to resist the barbarians at the gate. They let the Left set the agenda, allowed the Left to demonize anyone who aligned with traditional values, and offered little but token resistance to the onslaught.
Fifty years later, the results are predictable. The fissures have widened and the divisions in American society have only become deeper and more permanent. Facing little opposition from the standard-bearers of American truth, the left-wing mob became empowered and emboldened. Constantly moving the goal posts, they demanded more and more concessions from us.
Abortion in the “hard cases” now became a right to third-trimester abortions, even to the moment of birth.
Tolerance for non-believers meant tearing down creches, menorahs, or monuments of the Ten Commandments, forbidding Christmas carols and abolishing Christmas and Easter in favor of “Winter” and “Spring” holidays.
A less judgmental attitude on sex now meant homosexual marriage and transgender “rights” to bathrooms and sports teams. Even pedophilia is okay in the view of some of their enlightened “academics.”
“Equal rights” which promised to judge individuals on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin was turned upside-down as “identity” politics took over, pigeonholing each of us into arbitrary racial, ethnic, and gender cubicles which would define what we had to think and believe.
A holiday for Martin Luther King now meant subsuming Washington and Lincoln to something vaguely called “President’s Day” and tearing down historical monuments to any American hero who happened to be white, male, and Christian from Christopher Columbus to Robert E. Lee.
It has now come full circle. The Left has never been more brazen nor has it been more bizarre. The leading Democrat candidate for President has staffers who want to put conservatives in “re-education camps” and execute landowners. Another candidate vows to give a 9-year old so-called “transgender” child first pick for U.S. Secretary of Education. All Democrat candidates agree on free health care for illegal immigrants and most want to abolish the U.S. border outright. They endorse outright lawlessness as they embrace sanctuary cities and turn a blind eye to vagrants and drug addicts taking over the streets of our major cities.
Can you now see why some argue that liberalism is actually a form of mental illness? Does any of this make any sense at all?
We are indeed living in two Americas. One is what Hillary called the America of “deplorables”: the smelly Walmart shoppers who cling to their God, their Bibles and their guns. The other America is the America of the rage-filled, hate-filled coastal elites, from New York and Washington, D.C. to Hollyweird and Silicon Valley. They are contemptuous of everything we believe and everything we cherish. They are cultural nihilists who wish to raze to the ground the America we know and build their new godless socialist utopia upon its ashes. They are the children and grandchildren of the 1960s troublemakers.
They hate the America of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. They hate you. For fifty years, they have been getting almost everything they wanted and they have totally transformed America in the process. They succeeded because a series of feckless leaders failed to take them on. Until now.
This election will determine which America wins. The stakes could not be higher. In President Donald Trump, the Left has finally met its match. We pray to God he prevails again this November.
Dr. James Veltmeyer is a prominent La Jolla physician voted “Top Doctor” in San Diego County in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019. Dr. Veltmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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