Was America meant to be defined?
With all the hubbub swirling around the news of late, I hadn’t pondered the question -- or the answer, either. Politicians from both parties wax poetically about what America is supposed to be, but their definitions of country are usually either ideologically self-serving or flat-out nonsensical puffery. Or both. Further, what America means today might not be what it was two hundred years ago and certainly isn’t what it will be a hundred years from now (assuming Joe Biden and friends don’t completely wipe the nation from the face of the earth with their ill-conceived socialistic policies). Judging by last November’s election and the voting history of the past half-century, there’s a deep divide on the meaning of America. Last week, Fox News liberal commentator Juan Williams suggested (at The Hill) that President Joe Biden will “Let America be America.” Williams wrote:
“Biden’s inaugural address was very careful to avoid the all-too-common ‘false equivalency’ trap politicians fall into. He did not say ‘both sides’ bear responsibility. He did not pretend blame was evenly distributed. “One side, the American right, is solely responsible for empowering the hateful nonsense of QAnon and the resurgence of white supremacist threats. “In an essay for the Atlantic, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who seldom spoke against Trumpism, wrote ‘the Republican Party faces a separate reckoning’. ‘Until last week, many party leaders and consultants thought they could preach the Constitution while winking at QAnon,’ he wrote. ‘They can’t. The GOP must reject conspiracy theories or be consumed by them. Now is the time to decide what this party is about.’”
Liberal Williams penned the column in support of impeaching former president Donald Trump, as though embarking on the constitutional process to remove a president -- who is no longer in office -- will help “America be America again.” Williams’ op-ed was published before Chief Justice John Roberts announced he wouldn’t preside at the upcoming senate show trial because Trump is a private citizen now. And then there was Senator Rand Paul’s move to expose the fallacy of impeachment under these circumstances by forcing senators to put their names on the record as to its constitutionality -- and 45 Republicans responded with a most emphatic “no, it’s not”.
Therefore, the possibility of gaining a conviction for Nancy Pelosi’s lone article of impeachment -- compiled as it was in a single day without any witnesses, hearings, or chance for Trump to respond -- is, like Charles Dickens once wrote, dead as a doornail. The concept will live on in the hearts of people like Williams, the entire Democrat caucus, the major establishment media and RINO losers like Sen. Ben Sasse, however, but it’s safe to predict that Donald Trump will not be the first president -- or private citizen -- ever to be fully impeached.
America doesn’t do such things, and if we’re to let “America be America” there must be a rational process, adherence to the law (a.k.a., the Constitution) and a sense of decency that we don’t convict someone before he or she has an opportunity to present their side of the story. As of now, Trump is residing in South Florida and keeping a remarkably low profile for someone who seemingly couldn’t resist jabbing at everyone for the five-plus years he was in politics.
Trump understands America, and he also understands Democrats. The nation needed a cooling-off period from the once-in-a-lifetime events of 2020, and his reputation could also use calm rehabilitation. Upon departing Washington, Trump indicated he would be back soon in some form. Americans of all political stripes await what “form” it will be.
But one can’t help but surmise that “letting America be America” won’t happen under the current administration and ruling class in Congress. That is, unless you consider America a place where people lose their jobs based on the left’s interpretation of “science” (Biden’s cancelling of the Keystone pipeline) or young women being compelled to share locker room facilities with biological males because a political party deems it legitimate to renounce one’s gender and adopt another.
America isn’t about rule by dictate. And America isn’t about stifling political opinions or proposing reeducation camps for Trump supporters or insinuating that all people born white are racists and therefore in need of obscure, unproven academic gobbledygook like critical race theory to straighten them out. Does Juan Williams believe this is so? Should a small collection of big tech oligarchs be set loose to censor the president of the United States -- or anyone -- because they consider him dangerous?
America isn’t being America by stationing tens of thousands of national guard soldiers to patrol the national capitol because a relative few overzealous yahoos waged a noisy riot that scared hundreds of congressmen and senators into running for their lives. Sen. Sasse may think the Republican Party is steered by fear of QAnon -- but it isn’t. Conservatives aren’t conspiracy theorists and, as demonstration after demonstration and rally after rally proved -- they’re not violent, either.
The truth is, America wasn’t destined to be defined. The first words in the Constitution’s preamble -- We the People -- solve the great mystery before the question was even asked. “The people” are sovereign, we’re in charge and the government we created is meant to serve us. Joe Biden won’t restore America to its greatness because he and his cohorts believe citizens crave to be cradled and taken care of. This isn’t close to being reality. Some people want bigger government and others don’t think government should exist at all, but it’s safe to say everyone yearns to live free.
That’s the only American definition I know.
Freedom to think, freedom to speak, freedom to worship, freedom to travel, freedom to work at one’s vocation and freedom to raise a family the way they desire.
Education on the “real” America is sorely lacking in today’s schools. President Trump established the 1776 Commission to weigh-in on how young Americans should be taught about the values and principles in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In one of his first acts as president, Joe Biden disbanded the group. And the left hated the commission’s report. Too traditional. Too fact-based and historical. Too American? They’d no doubt prefer the 1619 Project instead.
The founding fathers’ struggle to form a more perfect union continues.
America really wasn’t meant to be defined, at least not by politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. And commentators like Juan Williams certainly don’t have a clue either. The division and rancor will continue as long as the left thinks they own the American ideal. It’s up to us to prove them wrong.
Declaration of Independence