On Monday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” Klavan analyzes the first two Democrat Party primary debates and discusses how the Left is taking advantage of what is dividing America to score political points. Video and partial transcript below:
We know that our country is divided, but I think we’re using an old template to describe how it’s divided. I stopped using the word “liberal” a long time ago because there’s nothing liberal about the Left. They oppose free speech, free thought, free markets, freedom of religion… the only freedoms they support are the unbridled fulfillment of physical desires, which are guaranteed to turn you into a dependent slave. So, I call them Leftists… but maybe that’s not quite right either.
And what about conservatives? Are they really conservative? Well, sort of, but in America, conservatives aren’t about blood and soil or even really about tradition necessarily, except insofar as our traditions preserve our essential American ideas. Unlike conservatives in other nations, American conservatives are trying to conserve the most radical political document ever written — the Constitution, which guarantees a limited government of specified powers tasked with guaranteeing the individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So that’s not really “conservative” in the usual sense of that word.
In fact, what I think we’re seeing is a division between friends of the founding and enemies of the founding — those of us who believe the creation of the United States in the image of our Declaration and Constitution is the greatest political event in history and therefore worth saving, and those who think, no, we should return to the age-old habit of top-down government or race-based identity politics rather than the radical politics based on our founding ideas.
You can tell friends of the founding because they talk about our founding ideals. They quote Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Franklin. They wrestle with the original intentions of the Constitution and the underlying principles of the Declaration. They can have passionate but civilized debates about whether a new idea – like gay rights — is antithetical to those founding intentions or in keeping with them. Because we have source materials and writings and foundational ideas, we can compare our arguments and move ahead, abandoning out of date practices or clinging to those that still hold true to the founding.
But the anti-founders… all they have is an amorphous sense of their own glowing compassion, tolerance, and virtue. They use empty phrases like “That’s not who we are,” which literally means nothing. They invent mean-sounding words like “Islamophobia” or “Transphobia” which describe utterly non-existent phenomena by way of demonizing legitimate concerns about whether violence is inherent in Islamic theology and whether so-called sexual identity is eating away at morality and sanity. They address issues of high emotion and zero importance like use of pronouns or abortion rights for girls who are actually guys. And they’re guided and manipulated by emotive pictures on the Left-wing news, babies dying at the border is a crisis, but babies dying in Chicago, not so much.
Most of all, the enemies of the founding define everything that opposes them as “hate,” – of course, they do – since they’re defined by their love and virtue, anyone who’s against them must be hateful and therefore can be opposed by any means necessary.
So, the enemies of the founding call the friends of the founding, not just wrong, but evil and they license their own evil in the process. They call us hateful while they seethe with hate. They call us violent while they assault us and scream at us and spit on us. They call us racist while they see everything in terms of race. They call us fascist while they try to undermine every freedom our founding defends.
Momentary issues and the “yuge” presence of Donald Trump distract us from the essential nature of this division, but in each issue, each crisis, each argument, it’s important to remember what exactly we’re fighting for.