Former Vice President Joe Biden expressed a desire for unity in his speech on the Saturday after election day.
“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. Who sees not red states and blue states…but the United States…But now let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, and see each other again. Listen to each other again.”
Many would be glad to see the harsh rhetoric put aside. Yet, how does Biden intend to encourage Americans to end the animosity and come together as a united people? The platform of one party cancels out the goals of the other party. They are polar opposites.
Two worldviews compete for cultural and political dominance in the United States. National unity can only be regained
- By either persuading Americans to preserve their inalienable rights and their free society, or
- By surrendering those rights in exchange for safety and security, which will reduce our citizens to servitude.
Which worldview will win American allegiance?
What Is National Unity?
As an older GenXer, I’ve seen this nation stand united twice in my lifetime.
In 1976, we all celebrated America’s 200th birthday by participating in various commemorative events. While celebrating our shared heritage, we remembered what made us all Americans.
After September 11, 2001, flags appeared everywhere, and patriotism soared. We stood together against a common enemy.
Unlike most nations formed around an ethnic group or a geographic region, Americans represent numerous ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Despite this diversity, we’ve been united in our agreement with the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.
Source of Division
What happened to America’s unity?
For a century, certain people have slowly undermined our heritage of liberty by presenting anti-American ideas and have encouraged people to embrace the siren song of socialism. Unfortunately, they have successfully taught two generations of students to hate America.
Americans’ philosophical beliefs lie along a broad spectrum; However, most fall into two groups: the Traditionalists and the Transformationalists, or aka the Radical Left.
The Traditionalists believe in the vision set down by our Founding Fathers, that the purpose of government is to defend our inalienable rights, punish the wicked, and award the righteous (Romans 13). We expect the government to maintain civil order while limiting its interference in our daily lives.
We recognize that humans are innately evil and must be taught virtues for our free society to flourish. Without self-government, a free society cannot exist.
The Transformationalists, on the other hand, want to scrap the nation’s founding principles and lay a new foundation for our civilization. Equal opportunity and political equality aren’t enough for them. Instead, they insist on the uniformity of thought and equal outcome for all.
Can these divergent worldviews coexist in a constitutional republic?
Oil and Water
Ben Shapiro explores this conflict in his recent book, How to Destroy American in Three Easy Steps (2020). He refers to the two worldviews as Unionist and Disintegrationists and discusses the following areas of conflict: philosophy, culture, and view of history. These worldviews mix like oil and water.
Unionist Philosophical Beliefs
- Natural rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness exist. Man is innately sinful.
- All people are equal before the law.
- The government’s purpose is to protect natural rights.
Greek philosophy and the Judeo-Christian worldview serve as the foundation for these concepts.
Disintegrationist Philosophical Beliefs
- Natural rights, human nature, and reason do not exist. Human nature is malleable, perfectible, and innately sinless.
- The law should treat people differently to achieve equal outcomes and to rid society of discrimination.
- An unlimited government should exist to solve problems and change people’s minds to accomplish this. Federalism is oppressive, and checks and balances prevent the government from meeting citizens’ needs. Laws need to be elastic. Liberty stands in the way of transforming society.
This philosophy draws from Marxism and social Darwinism.
“Step one in destroying America is convincing citizens that some people will have to sacrifice their existing rights in order for others to have new ones” (58).Ben Shapiro
Unionist Cultural Values
- Tolerate the rights of others; be willing to agree to disagree.
- Support strong social institutions that inculcate citizens with virtue and provide the basis for moral unity.
- Encourage a strong sense to defend our liberty.
- Celebrate a sense of adventure and risk-takers and value freedom over security.
Disintegrationist Cultural Values
- Reject individual rights as a threat to the common good.
- Regulated speech must replace free speech.
- Secular universalism must replace freedom of religion.
- Identity politics must replace the freedom of association.
- Mob rule must replace due process.
- Public need must replace private property.
- Reject traditional social institutions such as family and church as evil and oppressive. Instead, promote sexual freedom (promiscuity and sexual confusion).
- Reject the defense of liberty. Instead, require Americans to conform to government dictates.
- Reject individual responsibility and view risk-takers as greedy. Blame a person’s inability to succeed on the “system.”
- Considers the following racists: civility and reasonable conversation, scientific investigation, meritocracy, free markets, and the opposition to nationalized health care.
The Disintegrationists have convinced many to relinquish their rights in exchange for security and a free bowl of lentils (see Genesis 25:29-34).
“Step two in destroying America is undermining our culture of rights in favor of the culture of protection by government” (119).Ben Shapiro
Unionist View of History
American history “has traditionally been read as a story of ever-improving fulfillment of American philosophy and culture through proper exercise of the American institutions,” says Shapiro (xvii).
Three reasons for America’s greatness
- The glorious ideas for the founders.
- That Americans have been united by those ideas more than they have been divided by sectarian interests.
- That the world has benefited from America’s power and greatness (123).
American history isn’t all good or bad. Most importantly, we need to recognize that we are one people with a shared history and a shared foundation, not a collection of feuding tribes with ancient grudges that many other countries have.
Disintegrationist View of History
Rejecting traditional history as a myth, Disintegrationists view American history as a story of greedy exploiters, patriarchal abusers, and social hierarchy that manipulates the lower classes. They claim the Declaration of Independence is a farce.
Three principles of Disintegrationist history
- America was born in sin (slavery).
- America has always been divided with competing sects and power struggles.
- America has brought misery to its people and to the world (169).
According to the Disintegrationists:
“The purpose of history is to provide fodder for the argument that modern problems are simply that latest manifestations of a deep-seated, incurable philosophic and cultural cancer lying at the hearts of the United States. History is a weapon, not a bond.” (169).
Because America is evil and irredeemable, she must be torn down and recreated.
“The third and final step in destroying America is convincing citizens that America represents fruit of a poison three: that America was founded in evil, and that there is no arc in history” (192).Ben Shapiro
At a Crossroads
Today, Americans stand at a crossroads. Will Americans hold fast to the traditional philosophy, culture, and view of history that has kept us united for over two centuries and made us the most prosperous and generous nation on the earth? Or will Americans follow the lure of the freebies offered by the Radical Left who hate liberty, lie about our culture and history, and want to suppress the citizenry with a socialist state in which everyone is equal—equality poor and miserable—and ruled by the elite class?
The election might be over, but we may still have a window of opportunity to turn this nation around. We need to educate our children, family, friends, and neighbors about the value of American freedom and expose the lies of the Radical Left who seek to put all in bondage.
We need to pray to the Lord to forgive us for rejecting his will for our nation and return to the path that he set before our forefathers.
America will remain the land of the free only if we resist those who want to destroy it and restore the Judeo-Christian worldview as the foundational worldview in our culture, marketplace, and government.
The United States of America has been a nation of people from various backgrounds and belief systems. But we can only have unity when we all embrace the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution as the founders originally intended. And these were based on the biblical worldview.
America, don’t sell your birthright for a bowl of soup.