(The Tablet Editorial) Disunited States

The rest of the world, baffled and worried by what it sees as a flirtation with extremism in the world’s most powerful nation, can nevertheless understand why President Obama has such a fight on his hands. For it, too, feels let down by the refusal of the early Obama vision to materialise, and by his failure to revive the sluggish American economy.

The social divide in America is alarming. Part of the disappointment of Mr Obama’s first term has been his inability to overcome divisions. There is no force for harmony in America at present, no shared idea of what the country is about, no unifying national conversation.

The large and powerful Catholic Church, which could have been a peacemaker, has pushed the pursuit of its own agenda so far that it is now another source of disunity. Cardinal Dolan’s willingness to appear at the Republican Convention has partly been rectified by his acceptance of an invitation to the Democratic Party event next week. But his long-standing friendship with Paul Ryan ”“ a disciple of the notorious atheist Ayn Rand ”“ will cause consternation in Catholic circles around the globe.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The U.S. Government, Theology

17 comments on “(The Tablet Editorial) Disunited States

  1. APB says:

    After more than 40 years of trying to make sense of the Left, and finding that their arguments fail at the 1 + 1 = 2 level, I have simply given up. This editorial is a good example of that.

  2. A Senior Priest says:

    That there is no social unity in America at present is the direct result of the expansion of the notion of “diversity” into every nook and cranny of American life. Instead of unifying it, the diversity industry has succeeded in Balkanizing it.

  3. Teatime2 says:

    Dolan shouldn’t be at EITHER party convention. He and his cronies should stay out of party politics but they don’t.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that this country now thrives on disunity and it too big and too diverse to be unified. It needs to split into three, maybe four, countries that can operate and govern themselves according to the shared values of their people.

    I wonder if the Founding Fathers ever envisioned a country this huge? I don’t think they did. They probably figured that some of the other European powers would colonize sections of the uncharted territories.

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  5. Br. Michael says:

    A national government that operated within the Constitution could do this. The government is failing because it is trying to micromanage every last thing.
    As far as diversity, I don’t see diversity. I see surface diversity, but the liberal/progressives want ideological uniformity and conformity.

  6. Teatime2 says:

    Br. Michael, there is a lot of diversity but, unfortunately, the libs have hijacked the word and given it a new meaning. It’s funny how you can see which group settled where by the names of the towns in any given place in America.

    Down in overwhelmingly Mexican-Hispanic South Texas there’s an area with cities named Edinburg, McAllen and Pharr and they have a Scottish heritage group that puts on an annual festival. I took a bunch of my students (all Hispanic) to it one year and they had a blast learning about how the Scots settled the area. They had no idea. They’ve been taught that diversity means the rest of us have to learn at least some Spanish, celebrate Cinco de Mayo and hire illegal immigrants. I tried to teach them that diversity means acknowledging and learning that many different groups have built an area and community. It shouldn’t be a power struggle.

    Anyhoo, with France and Spain setting up colonies in what is now the US, I’ll bet the Founding Fathers expected there would be enduring French and Spanish commonwealths here, at the very least.

  7. NoVA Scout says:

    I always thought one could make a fairly respectable country out of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest
    Territories, and Alaska.

  8. clarin says:

    Idaho would be voted out.

  9. Charles52 says:

    …the pursuit of its own agenda so far…

    That agenda would be? I suspect they mean protesting participation in distribution of abortion-inducting drugs and other contraceptives, not to mention sterilization.

    – a disciple of the notorious atheist Ayn Rand

    A blatant lie. Certain, Ryan had his Rand period, but then many of us did. Ryan is a disciple of Jesus Christ.

    The Tablet claims to be a Catholic journal, but it’s no more “Catholic” than The National Catholic Reporter. Both are heretical and schismatic forces.

  10. AnglicanFirst says:

    I don’t like conspiracy theories, since like a poorly written suspense novel, such theories often reek with implausibility.

    But we all develop our own wisdom as the years pass and my current sense of political events has been changed by what I see as a personal insight.

    What if political events are being driven on the left, not by a conspiracy, but by a political fervor that is similar to religious belief?

    Religious belief for Christians is based upon the Word of God as revealed through the prophets, Jesus and His teachings, Salvation, the Apostolic Church and the acceptance of the gift of the guiding Holy Spirit in one’s life. But in the end game, what Christians believe in comes from God, not man.

    What comes from the radical left and the not-so-radical left is a belief system that comes from man, not from God.

    Thradical left’s concept of heaven on earth, whether it is atheistic. agnostic or pseudo-Christian, is an impossible goal.

    It is a man driven ideology that in the end is dependent upon man to build it, implement it and to maintain it. And this is never going to happen. Why? Because we humans are seriously imperfect and always will be.

    But this ideology has taken on the demensions of a religion. Its adherents blindly believe in and follow the teaching of social misfits such as Marx, Lenin, Che, Castro, Mao and Ho Chi Minh among others.

    What they won’t accept the beliefs well educated Christian leaders they blindly accept from left-wing social misfits.

    They pursue the dialectic of looking for chinks in the armor of non-leftwing political/economic systems and religious belief in order to belittle them and diminish them, while the left-wing blindly accepts the purported truisms of left-wing belief systems.

    In this sense they have become followers of left-wing beliefs which they accpt without question. Without questioning for example over 100 million dead people who have died over the past 100 years because of radical socialism.

    And as ‘true believers’ when a political contest comes along, they link arms in order to peacefully or violently force others to accept their beliefs.

  11. Deep Freeze says:

    AnglicanFirst, as a Canadian who has lived in the US for five years, I can relate to the editorial. I know this is grossly oversimplified (and probably unfair), but I don’t think I’d be too far off the mark if I said that many Canadians see the US as made up of the radical right and the very radical right. Left no where enters the picture.

  12. AnglicanFirst says:

    Reply to Deep Freeze (#10.)

    As the son of a mother born in Ontario of Scottish, Irish (Church of Ireland) and Tory stock and having a number of Canadian relatives, I think that Canada has been veering sharply left for the past 40 years or so. And I would say that most of my Canadian relatives think likewise.

    So when you think of traditional America as being on the right, its probably because Canada has drifted so far to the left.

  13. Deep Freeze says:

    Actually, I think Canada has drifted right in recent years as well; but not drastically. Maybe we’ve been pulled along in the wake of our southern neighbour.

  14. AnglicanFirst says:

    Reply to #12.

    Today’s Canada could drift a long way to the right and still be a left-wing state.

    Canada has changed drastically since WW II but its changes occurred incrementally over time.

    Have you ever heard of the “boiling the unsuspecting frog” analogy?

    Canada is the frog that was unknowingly boiled. Boiled so slowly that today’s ‘norm’ was radically on the ‘left’ over forty years ago.

    But what the heck. Its your country.

  15. Deep Freeze says:

    I remember Pierre Trudeau saying that, “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation” back in 1967. I guess we’ll just have to resign ourselves to being socialists and communists – and munch on our popcorn as we watch the results of the Quebec election tomorrow evening. The separatist party has a good shot at regaining power. I love my country. 🙂

  16. AnglicanFirst says:

    Reply to Deep Freeze (#14).

    I have no problem with the French Canadians as the relative of non-French Canadians living in Canada. I respect their culture and am a descendant (on my father’s side) of a French woman who was a lady-in-waiting to the queen of Louis Philipe of France in the later 1700s. She wed a member of King Louis’ Life Guard without permission and they fled from France to the British Colonies.

    But, the French Canadians lost their colony of New France on the Plains of Abraham in 1763(?). This is an event that many French Canadians still will not (in their hearts) forget or accept (what about the late-medaeval loss of lands belonging to England’s monarch in France). And those particular separatist French Canadians are willing to endanger the welfare of a united Canada in order to advance their dangerous and romantic notion of a restoration (in some form or another) of the Colony of New France.

    There is nothing wrong with a strong sense of ethnic heritage, including ties with the “old country” (I speak some and teach some Scottish Gaelic), but in North America an overly strong sense of ethnic independence is a threat to both Canada and to the United States of America.

  17. Deep Freeze says:

    I love Quebec and, without it, Canada would really cease to exist. A viable English speaking nation would continue, but it wouldn’t be Canada. To bring things vaguely back on topic, the Parti Quebecois is really about eliminating diversity (some of the immigration proposals are really “interesting”), whereas a distinguishing feature of Canada is diversity. The preceding comments aside, although it certainly brings problems, diversity seems to work for us. From this outsider’s perspective, the US is highly homogeneous and there are far more things that most Americans share than that drive them apart. Nevertheless, the squabbling continues and gets really nasty.

    As an aside, if I could refine the idea in #6, I would put California, Oregon, Washington and BC together. Having grown up in BC and having lived in Alberta, the idea that the two provinces have much in common is hilarious.