Monday, December 6, 2021

Rot of America

Perhaps, it is just that my current health problems have me in a bit of a sad state, but it seems like the rot in America has reached a terminal state.  

American exceptionalism has always been in part an optimism based in our strong evangelical base.  While not all Americans were evangelical Christians, enough were to set a tone that influenced the larger society in very positive ways: the confidence that it was possible to fix severe, even fundamental flaws such as slavery and a host of lesser social problems (alcohol abuse; poverty, largely through an expanding frontier and industrial base).  

Now, these were not always raving and immediate successes.  Slavery was formally abolished in 1865 but the systemic abuse of black people continued through Jim Crow, segregation, and the terrorism of lynching into the 1960s.  There are  diminishing echoes of this that continue to now.  

Many of the other problems about inequality are echoes of the well-intentioned but ultimately destructive War on Poverty. The left's capture of the educational system and the media has redirected public blame for these problems to a systemic racism that has been gone for decades.

Prohibition was another well-intentioned effort to alleviate very real problems associated with alcohol abuse.  While it was repealed as its failure could be heard in the rat-a-tat-tat of automatic weapons fire in the streets of Chicago, there is a legacy of alcohol control still in effect that doubtless reduces the scope of the damage.

Two things have been weighing heavily on my mind this evening.

1. The evangelical Christianity at the core of American public morality is in deep trouble.  As my wife observes at her blog:

"Covid-19 hit the churches and all their weaknesses were apparent.  Just as an earthquake will test the structural integrity of a building to its utmost, Covid-19 tested the structural integrity of this reworking of the church to reach the unsaved.  

"The church collapsed in the minds of many, for it had replaced its foundation of making Jesus central, to creating a place where people could laugh, be happy and walk out feeling good about themselves.  

"Many of the people who walked out of the churches were Christians and they haven't return.  Unlike 9/11, where people flocked to church to find peace in a time of turmoil, the church now seems to be attractive to some, but rather repellent to others."

2. I have noticed a change in tone about race in the last few months that feels new.  If you read unmoderated comments sections of popular conservative blogs, there have always been racists trying to blame the problems of American society on the presence of blacks as a fundamentally inferior race intellectually.  But reading the comments on this fundamentally valid posting at Instapundit about how South Africa is having to face that after 27 years of black majority, progressive rule, parts of it are degenerating into yet another African nation that can't pick up the trash or keep the electricity running.

The volume of postings promoting a racist explanation (rather than Instapundit's political ideological explanation) are troubling.  

It feels like the evangelical confidence in the brotherhood and essential equality of mankind is being replaced with a vastly less optimistic view: one that does not lead to a vibrant black middle class taking precedence over what is really a minority of ghetto blacks who get way too much attention. 

Now, not all conservatives are evangelical.  Indeed at least part of the Never Trump faction that helped the Democrats regain power were not (think of the Lincoln Project leader trying to groom young men into sexual objects).  But it does seem as though we are losing something important here: a positive view of the potential that all Americans regardless of race can move forward to a brighter future.

Has the CRT attempt to commandeer America's racist past into a tool of Marxism pushed some Americans into a more frank racism, or have the critters that have been skulking in the corners just emerged into the light?  I do not know.  America does not have the option, and I would hope not the willingness, to embrace racism as an answer to CRT.  This would racially polarize a nation that is already dangerously polarized about politics.

Detroit and Oakland are not Africa.  Whites dominate the criminal justice system failures of many Democrat cities.  They are white progressives doing George Soros' bidding.  Letting progressives set the agenda is a guaranteed lose for America and decency 


  1. There is no "vibrant black middle class."
    The middle class largely voted for Trump's economic policies over the toxic and destructive policies of Biden and his fellow demonrats, which means they can't be black.

    I saw it on CNN so it must be true.

  2. Yeah, well, I'm getting very tired of having to spend more and more time attending to keeping myself in one piece and spending less and less time on the to-do list. Figured I'd be falling apart around now, but not so many pieces at once.

    That said, I believe racism will always exist at some level, as do many other troublesome characteristics. But I don't believe for one minute the level of claimed or perceived racisim is occurring naturally. Rather, it is a tool being used to purposeful and negative ends.

    No, I don't think health issues are screwing up our vision. I think what we are seeing is very real.