Some teachers teach our children to honor our Founding Fathers, for risking their lives and fortunes “to form a more perfect Union” based on the belief that “all men are created equal”. Other teachers destroy statutes and murals of our Founding Fathers and teach our children that our Founding Fathers were racists who deserve no honor.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives teaches our children that practicing Catholics don’t hate anybody, and, at the same time, teaches our children that practicing Catholics advocate abortion at will.
In 2016, a former First Lady taught our children that questioning the result of a Presidential election is “horrifying”. Now she teaches our children that her favored Presidential candidate “should not concede under any circumstances”.
What’s a parent to do? What is the American message for our children? Do we all agree? When John from Baltimore and Jack from Beverly Hills go to war, do they fight for the same American message? Okay, I admit that’s a trick question. Nobody from Beverly Hills goes to war.
But my point is simple. When we say we want “to form a more perfect Union”, do we all agree on what that means?
Of course we don’t. That’s our history. That’s the history of every nation, of every group of two or more people.
But now it’s different. For four years, it’s been very different. We no longer agree on any message that binds us as a nation. We don’t agree on voting rights, socialism versus capitalism, merit-based reward versus equal outcome, quality education for the poor, constitutional rights for illegal immigrants, borders versus no borders, Due Process for a President during impeachment, or police protection versus no police.
Imagine a civics class. Imagine the class assignment being to write a paper that defines the American message. Would any two papers look the same?
Anyone who doesn’t think that America is facing an existential dilemma is not thinking. Only after the warring political tribes agree on the results of the 2020 Presidential election, might We the People have any clue what living in America means. As for the American message … only God knows if we’ll ever have one.