The Nov. 6, 2018 midterms are a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency, but they are also an opportunity for Americans to decide whether the president’s rejection of political correctness, and his attempt to recapture traditional culture, will continue.
Mr. Trump has given the lie to progressives’ belief that they won the culture wars which began in the 1960s, and continued through the Barack Obama presidency.
Many issues were at stake in these battles, which were contests over the continuing importance to our polity of order, morality, and religion. They were also about whether the U.S. is a society devoted to individual self-actualization or a country committed to shared responsibility.
Today’s left, most Democrats, the media, university faculties, and most of Hollywood, embraces the ideas of abortion on demand, no-fault divorce, lifting of restrictions on cannabis, free availability of pornography, and a hook-up culture allowing sex without commitment.
While the left somewhat paradoxically also fears that all men are sexual predators, and that all women claiming sexual assault must be believed, progressives seem incapable of understanding that the culture of permissiveness they favor has contributed to a climate of sexual licentiousness harmful not only to women, but also to the maintenance of any moral standards.
One can only marvel, for example, at the thought behind the recent project of women convinced they would promote voting by shedding their clothes and posing nude for photographs — wearing only ballots.
Could there be a link between this display of license and the progressives’ unrestrained and thoroughly mendacious campaign accusing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh (a man with one of the most spotless reputations in all of Washington) of serial sexual misconduct?
What we lost in the attempted cultural revolution we experienced over the last 50 years was the shared understanding of right and wrong supplied by our religious and moral traditions.
The attempt to shed those traditions in order to allow everyone to do whatever he or she wanted simply resulted in a country veering toward a total lack of restraint and any semblance of decorum. The left bemoans the surge in violence, particularly that involving firearms, but somehow cannot understand that much of that violence is the product of the erosion of cultural and religious restraints.
There was a time when the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided that no one could serve in its legislature unless they were willing to swear that they believed in divine retribution for the wicked and divine reward for the good.
Such understandings were common at the time of our Founding, prevailing until approximately 50 years ago.
President Trump’s effort to Make America Great Again is not, as the left would have us believe, about white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, or any of the other bigotries of which he has been wrongly accused.
It is, instead, a reawakening of common sense, and an attempt to reestablish the moral and religious foundations once unifying us.
The president’s party is remarkably united behind this moral crusade, and this restoration of the shredded moral fabric of the nation. If the Republicans can keep the U.S. Senate and U.S. House this laudable effort can continue.
The Democrats have sought to paint the president and his supporters as dividing the nation, when, in reality it is the Democrats’ politics of identity and intersectionality that have made it much more difficult for us to understand that we still share an innate sense of right and wrong and that we still share a desire for our families and our country to flourish in freedom.
That freedom cannot be realized, however, with the kind of overweening federal government the Democrats championed in the Obama administration.
It cannot come to fruitition with the dishonesty and chicanery it practiced.
The president’s policies of deregulation, reduction of taxes, and renegotiation of unfavorable treaties have resulted in the most favorable economy and employment in decades.
An economic structure and regulatory environment actually furthering individual freedom.
Yet, all of this will be threatened if the Republicans lose the federal legislature.
The Democrats have clearly signaled that if they prevail they will seek to reverse all of the president’s policy gains, and while he will still have the power of the veto, they will be able substantially to frustrate any further progress.
The ironically named "progressives" do not have a program for national renewal, their plan is for redistribution for purported past grievances and rewards for capitalist cronies.
Their essentially socialist schemes have never worked, and their desire for open borders would, if implemented, strain our welfare systems beyond the breaking point, and obliterate any vestiges of traditional American culture.
The president’s rhetoric, particularly on Twitter, may seem overheated, but he correctly perceives that the renewal of our very way of life is at stake.
Stephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law, the Legal Affairs Editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and a contributor to The University Bookman. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Virginia, and University College, London. He has often testified on constitutional issues before committees of the United States Congress, and is the author of "Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, and Abortion Reconsidered" (Regnery, 1994) and "Law Professsors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law" (West Academic, 2017). Presser was recently appointed as a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado's Boulder Campus for 2018-2019. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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