From our founding forward, and to the present day, we believed ourselves to be something different.
It has been established that human history is often the story of cultures in conflict, that such conflict takes the form of deliberate, incidental, or derived cultural conflict, and that, while it is clear that our nation is on the brink of true cultural conflict, such a situation is nothing new to history but is, indeed, nothing new.
However, while we may be on the brink of nothing new, we are nevertheless at the brink of something different.
Our free society, this great republic which we call the United States of America, is something altogether different in the history of mankind. It is indeed a Great Experiment, as it has so often been called. This is, for several reasons, both striking and unique.
Above all else, this nation is an experiment in representative government. Birthed upon the idea of inherent and inalienable rights, the US Constitution was the cause of liberty’s grandest eventual manifestation, and it established in written law the unique idea that government built its legitimacy, not upon birth rights, conquest, or religious decree, but upon the consent of they who would be governed.
But even further, our republic was built upon a balance of concerns. All entities given power in the realm of governance had a counter balance, so that no one concern would gain pre-eminence over another. Checks and balances were designed so that the executive did not subvert the legislative, the legislative did not subvert the judicial, the federal did not subvert the state, the majority did not subvert the minority, and, of course, the inverses of all of these and myriads of others.
And finally, the government constructed was designed to enable a society of free citizens, each to be constrained only by the desires of their hearts and each empowered to believe whatever they desired to believe, to do whatever they desired to do, and live however they chose to live, so long as in so doing the same rights were not constrained in others.
Indeed, what is so unique about our society and civic culture is that we were to look upon our society as a nation of individuals ruling their own government, living their own lives, and crafting their own fates.
This is why, while we are on the brink of nothing new, we are nevertheless at the brink of something different. From our founding forward, and to the present day, we believed ourselves to be something different. If we allow for the same old constructs of hatred and resentment predicated upon cultural differences to tear apart this union and bring the republic to its knees, we would be snuffing out what was designed to be a beacon of hope to all mankind and surrendering to the dark recesses of the collective heart of the human species, a darkness every ideal and principle that the theories of free society and representative government declared it could overcome.
-The Millennial Federalist
Categories: Culture and Conflict