The midterm elections are over. Contrary to expectations, Democrats did not receive a well-deserved trouncing. The House flipped just enough seats to give the Republicans a slim majority. Republicans failed to take control of the Senate. The House victory will at least put a stop to very evil legislation. On the other hand, President Biden will continue to use his executive power to push forward his agenda.
This election once again featured many races that were nail-biters within one or two percentage points, reflecting a very divided and polarized America. This erratic movement exhausts voters craving normality and gives rise to what might be called the curse of seesaw elections.
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Seesaw elections are now a ritual cycle of Democrat/Republican alternating rule. Each party portrays the other as bringing the nation to the brink of destruction and then convinces its voters to throw the other out. As polarization increases, the up-and-down distances between the parties also grow with little common ground.
This seesaw shows no signs of stopping. With each electoral swing, the country sinks deeper into crisis. The resulting stalemate assures that nothing constructive can be done.
The Cause of the Seesaw
Some might see the cause of the seesaw election as a clash of worldviews. However, that is not quite correct. It might be better characterized as a clash within a worldview that is tearing America apart.
The present crisis involves a failing worldview—liberalism. The two sides represent the internal contradictions within liberalism that naturally lead to conflict when taken to their logical conclusions. The two sides share the same premises but fight over their application.
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In typical postmodern fashion, the crisis is not only between two sides but also involves internal conflicts within individuals sympathetic to both positions of the contradictions. This factor makes elections especially volatile.
Components of the Liberal Ideal and its Consensus
The original liberal ideal, now in crisis, holds that government exists to ensure people can have the maximum freedom to pursue their personal happiness without interfering with another’s dream. However, liberalism also contains practical tools of order that restrict maximized freedom. Throughout the nation’s history, there has always been a certain tension between this freedom and order inside liberalism.
The key to overcoming this tension was a great universal consensus, a kind of spiritual glue that held the country together, one where everyone agreed to get along. It allowed a minimum amount of rules and restraints to maintain order. However, it was also a flexible and deliberately vague consensus that tended to sweep aside any robust attachments to religious, ideological or universal traditions that might prove divisive or stand in the way of each one’s constant and ever-elusive search for perfect happiness.
The idea was that everyone meets on morally neutral ground to avoid collisions. Political discourse should only concentrate on maximizing freedom and achieving personal happiness, not affirming lofty principles or enforcing cumbersome morals.
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This system of living without objective principles has the inconvenience of creating a sterile secular life that frustrates modern man since it officially neglects all things spiritual. It leads to a materialistic and individualistic society that favors moral decadence and mediocrity.
Destroying the Consensus
The American consensus fell apart in the sixties. In its place, there developed two conflicting visions of the same liberal ideal. One side favored maximum freedom, and the other preferred maintaining a semblance of order.
Thus, the liberal left claimed that Christian morality restricted its quest for unbridled freedom and prevented its happiness. Conservatives argued that moral chaos and anarchy disturbed the happiness found in ordered liberty. This clash gave rise to the brutal culture war that still rages.
Each rightly claimed to defend the liberal ideal. Each also claimed the other was betraying the liberal ideal even though both operated within it.
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In such a climate, individuals constantly vacillate between supporting an anarchical freedom and accepting the restraints of ordered liberty. This polarized America delivers seesaw elections.
The Present State of Affairs
The present phase of the debate has taken on a more dramatic turn as the contradictions barrel toward self-destruction. The liberal left has taken its desire to maximize freedom to unimaginable depths of depravity. It is no longer satisfied with destroying Christian morality but reserves for itself the right to alter reality. Striving for its utopia, the left is trampling underfoot the liberal principles of democracy, rule of law and numerous natural freedoms to obtain its goals.
Thus, the abortion and “transsexual” revolutions claim the right to change biology. Critical race theory rewrites history. Drag Queen Story hours claim the right to shatter childhood innocence. Cancel culture silences the opposition. Mainstreamed Satanism proclaims the right to deny the reality of God’s sovereignty over humanity and Creation.
Up to this point, the debate has been a struggle inside liberalism. However, in the face of such extremism, some conservatives can no longer carry the liberal standard used to cancel and destroy them. The left labels any attempt to affirm order as authoritarian and undemocratic.
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Looking Outside Liberalism
In this fight, the deck is stacked against conservatives who are forced to use the same flawed premises as the left. The only way to survive is to look outside liberalism. It involves rejecting the moral-neutral premises of liberalism and turn to norms of morality, objective truth and natural law as found in Christian civilization. Above all, Americans must reject sterile secularism and have recourse to God to find the strength to face the crisis ahead with resolve and confidence.
If the nation is to survive, seesaw elections must change from a confused internal struggle within liberalism to a clearer fight between two separate ideals, one liberal and the other Christian, one destructive and the other regenerative.
The debate must change to reflect virtue and reality, not relativism and fantasy. If not, America will face its curse of yet more seesaw elections and the tragic specter of final ruin.
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