On January 26, 2018, Daniel Greenfield gave a brilliant speech in South Carolina in which he argued that politics make civil wars – not guns. “Guns are how a civil war ends. Politics is how it begins.” What does that mean?
“Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge. That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.”
This is no small thing. The United States of America has distinguished itself by the peaceful transfer of power through elections for 242 years. Opposing parties compete in an election – one side wins and the other loses. The country reunites after the election in support of the office of the President and competes again four years later.
In 2016 Hillary Clinton competed against Donald Trump for the presidency and lost. For the first time in American history, 22 months after a presidential election the losing party still refuses to accept the election outcome. We are in a countdown to civil war. What changed?
The losing party of leftist Democrats began believing their own narrative of political correctness, moral relativism, and historical revisionism. They live in the world of subjective reality where facts do not get in their way. Let me explain.
Subjective reality is a dreamscape where saying is the same as doing, all ideas are equal, and trying is the same as achieving. In the surreal world of subjective reality, FEELINGS are the determining value. So, if you feel like Hillary should have won then in your mind she did win. If you feel that Donald Trump should not have won then he didn’t win – he is not your president.
In the objective world of FACTS, Donald Trump won the election and is now the 45th president of the United States. He is President Donald Trump and is America’s president whether you like him or don’t like him, whether you agree with him or don’t agree with him, and whether you voted for him or didn’t vote for him. That is what it means to accept an election outcome – you accept the fact of it no matter how you feel about it.
As Tiger Woods so concisely pointed out, “He’s the president of the United States and you have to respect the office,” Tiger said. “No matter who’s in the office, you may like, dislike the personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
Thought precedes behavior. If you do not accept the election outcome and behave as if Hillary won and Donald Trump lost, you are not only out of touch with objective reality, you are participating in the breakdown of the established American social order and are part of the countdown to civil war. How did this happen?
During the 1970s parenting and education shifted the focus from preparing children for adulthood to the elusive goal of assuring happiness for children. Happiness was no longer the consequence of competence and achievement – it became the goal itself. A seismic shift in the standards for behavior was launched.
Those of us who had young children in elementary school in the late 70s and 80s witnessed a perplexing change in educational standards. Feelings replaced facts for what determined acceptable and unacceptable behavior. This is how it works.
Competence was abandoned as the mother of self-esteem and replaced with contrived methods of feel-good dialogue. Bolstering children’s self-esteem and protecting their feelings was the metric by which all things were measured.
Trying was equivalent to achieving, all ideas were equal, cooperative learning replaced individual study, participation trophies were awarded, and there was no such thing as winning and losing.
Whatever made your child feel good was acceptable and whatever made the child feel bad was unacceptable. The problem, of course, is that children who are socialized in this artificial way do not develop the necessary coping skills and practice to deal with real loss and real disappointment outside the controlled atmosphere of their surroundings.
The destructive leftist regressive slide from facts to feelings as the determinant for behavior was manifest at home and in the classroom. Parents had abdicated their authority to “experts” and followed their feelings-based advice which inappropriately empowered the children robbing them of the attitudes and impulse control required to cope with loss and disappointment in the adult world of objective reality.
Three decades later the situation was so out of control that satirical films were written to highlight the absurdity of it. In the classic 2012 satirical comedy “Parental Guidance,” Diane (Bette Midler) and Artie Decker (Billy Crystal) play the “other” grandparents who go to their daughter and son-in-law’s home in Atlanta to babysit their three grandchildren so the parents, Alice and Phil, can get away for a business trip.
The old school, straightforward, authoritative parenting style of the grandparents immediately clashes with the parents’ indirect, tentative, over-involved, feel-good style. Alice instructs her parents on the rules for disciplining the children, “We don’t say No – we say think of the consequences. We don’t say quit your whining – we say use your words.” The scenes are hilarious but extremely telling.
In one scene Turner, the middle child is pitching at his little-league baseball game. Artie, a minor-league sportscaster who was fired because of his old school style instinctively starts to call the game. When he calls the batter out after three strikes it causes a ruckus. The umpire walks over and says, “There are no outs in this game.” No outs? Why not? The umpire explains that the kids keep swinging until they get on base and they don’t keep score so every game ends in a tie. WHAT?
The movie is farcical but the social implications are actually quite serious. Kids raised in this contrived manner are not accustomed to winners and losers – so why would they think elections outcomes are any different than baseball games when they are older? The problem is that the subjective reality they were raised with eventually clashes with objective reality – election laws – and there are consequences. When election laws are not respected we are in the countdown to civil war.
What about limits? Children who are raised without limits have great difficulty in abiding by limits including the limitations defined by laws. In an equally hilarious scene the family is at the symphony and Barker, the youngest boy, starts running through the audience chased by Artie completely disrupting the performance.
Eventually, Artie catches Barker and throws the child over his knees and raises his arm in exasperation, the entire audience gasps fearful that Artie will spank him. Artie looks up and gives an impassioned speech mocking the parenting phrases “use your words” and when he finally exclaims, “The only words these kids never hear is NO!” the audience breaks into thunderous applause. Artie’s point highlights the consequences of indirect, tentative, feelings-based parenting.
Ironically, Turner stutters and has great difficulty using his words. He is in therapy with an arrogant condescending young woman with a worthless Ph.D. from Yale who applauds Turner when he circles the room making airplane noises. Artie points out that none of the children are speaking and she smugly explains that the therapy is to make them “feel” safe enough to express themselves – Artie says he thought the point was for them to speak. Why is this important?
Comedy is an extremely effective way to expose the absurdity of behavior – so it is with “Parental Guidance.” The film is a masterpiece of comedy but also a cautionary tale. When feelings and effort are substituted for facts and achievement the consequences are a generation of young people who actually believe that their personal feelings are the metric for determining what is real and what is acceptable behavior.
They live their lives in the alternative world of subjective reality and take advice from “experts” schooled in feelings rather than facts. In the dramatic conclusion of the film, Turner steps up to the microphone and recites the famous play-by-play from Bobby Thompson’s stunning 1951 home run that won the pennant for the Giants. Turner had found his voice with Artie’s old school guidance. Why is this important?
Feelings define identity politics. Identity politics are the foundation of today’s leftist Democrat party. Feeling like a victim defines you as a victim.
The Democrat party is the party of self-defined victimhood that embraces people of every color, age, religion, gender, sexual preference, and socioeconomic status. What they do not tolerate is anyone who thinks differently. What binds these disparate groups together is their hatred for President Trump and refusal to accept the 2016 presidential election outcome. They do not accept President Trump as their president because they don’t like him and since their feelings are more important than facts they behave as if he is not the president. They are participating in the countdown to civil war.
Two generations of Americans have been deliberately indoctrinated toward collectivism in the leftist narrative that prioritizes feelings over facts. The Democrat leaders are deliberately exploiting the compliant and unaware young people that leftist indoctrination has produced.
Anti-American Americans who refuse to accept the election outcome are the social justice warriors that have been duped into supporting the fiction of leftist socialism. Their leaders knowingly created divisiveness to produce the social chaos that will make the United States ungovernable. Why? Social chaos leads to civil war. Politics makes civil wars – not guns.
It is worth repeating, “Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge. That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.”
President Donald Trump is demanding a return to the Constitution and rule of law. He is demanding that America honor and accept election outcomes because without acceptance there is only civil war to determine who runs the country.
The leftist Democrat party is the hypocritical party of feelings. They only accept election outcomes if their preferred candidate wins. Only their own feelings matter!
Those of us who did not like or vote for Barack Obama accepted the 2008 and 2012 election outcomes. Because we are Americans first we accepted Obama’s victory regardless of our personal feelings.
We did not “resist” and leaders of the opposition party did not participate in a coup to overthrow him. We waited until 2016 and cast our votes for President Donald J. Trump – the duly elected 45th president of the United States of America.
America is at a tipping point – if we allow the FEELINGS of the left to supersede the rule of law the country will tilt further toward anarchy and there will be civil war. Accepting the FACTS of election outcomes is a far better choice. It’s time to go old school – there are winners and there are losers. Get used to it!
Linda Goudsmit is a writer at Pundicity.com.
A graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (B.A. in English literature), Linda has a lifelong commitment to learning and is an avid reader and observer of life. She is the author of Dear America: Who’s Driving the Bus? as well as a children’s series in development, Mimi’s STRATEGY.
It is with pride and humility that she is sharing her thoughts, observations, and philosophy of behavior in the many articles she has written that are featured on Pundicity.