At What Point Do We Move on From the Idea That the Good America is Coming Back?
Tony Ferguson is one of my favorite UFC fighters. The guy is a monster. He has unlimited cardio, sick Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and surprising power along with some of the best elbows in the business. At his peak in the UFC, he won 12 straight fights, an interim title, and made the other killers he was fighting look like this.
El Cucuy (The Boogeyman) is an absolute savage… however, there’s a big “but” to all of this. Ferguson is now 38 years old, which is VERY OLD for a UFC fighter, and he has lost his last four in a row. Ferguson even admitted that if he hadn’t fought so well in the first round of his last fight, he would have already retired. Of course, like many popular, but older mixed martial arts fighters, Ferguson still believes he can turn it around and doesn’t want to retire. So, he’s switching gyms. Retired ex-Champion and UFC commentator Daniel Cormier had this to say about that switch:
“I just believe that we all have a time and I believe that time’s gone. I don’t believe that much is going to change for Tony Ferguson with the camp change. I just believe his time has passed, and no camp change is going to change that.”
A few things have made me think about that comment lately.
One was a piece by Kevin Williamson on the FBI’s raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. As a general rule, I like Williamson’s columns (I’m not just saying that either, he does great work), but I didn’t like this blog post that he wrote at all because I thought it was naïve in a way that particularly grates on conservatives these days:
If we really believe, as we say we believe, that this is a republic, that nobody is above the law, that the presidency is just a temporary executive-branch office rather than a quasi-royal entitlement, then there is nothing all that remarkable about the FBI serving a warrant on a house in Florida. I myself do not find it especially difficult to believe that there exists reasonable cause for such a warrant. And if the feds have got it wrong, that wouldn’t be the first time. Those so-called conservatives who are publicly fantasizing about an FBI purge under the next Republican administration are engaged in a particularly stupid form of irresponsibility.
It’s all well and good to say, “Nobody is above the law,” except there are lots of people that are above the law in America. Hillary Clinton is above the law. Joe Biden is above the law. Many of the 2020 BLM and ANTIFA rioters were above law. Shoplifters and other petty criminals in many liberal cities are above the law. Many illegal aliens are above the law. The liberal rioters who tried to kill Kyle Rittenhouse were above the law. The BLM thugs who trespassed and threatened the McCloskeys were above the law. Julie Swetnick, who perjured herself by falsely accusing Brett Kavanaugh of running a gang rape ring, was above the law. Nancy Pelosi’s husband is engaging in insider trading practically out in the open. The FBI agents who aimed a politically motivated investigation at the Trump campaign over alleged ties to Russia were above the law. James Clapper perjured himself in front of Congress and he’s above the law. Bizarrely, Hunter Biden has filmed himself committing enough crimes to put 10 normal people in jail and he seems to be above the law so far. Maybe that will change, but would anyone bet money on it?
The answer to something like this is always something like, “Well, they shouldn’t be above the law either,” but they are and there’s no real effort being made to change that. What good are standards and norms that only apply to one side while the other side gets to ignore them any time they’re inconvenient? So many people in the Republican Party never seem to ask that question.
Last week, I interviewed Kurt Schlichter about his new book and one of the things he said is something that ties in with the FBI’s scandalous search of Trump’s home:
You mess with a system; you have a problem. You pull the wrong piece out of a Jenga tower and down it comes.
Liberals are yanking out Jenga pieces left and right with absolutely zero regard for the potential consequences. For the first time in history, they raided the home of a former president. They are not only having open borders but are outright encouraging illegal immigration. They are advocating getting rid of the legislative filibuster and stacking the Supreme Court. The Left is using the FBI for political purposes. They are embracing political violence in liberal cities around the country. They are openly encouraging people to hate each other based on race in a multi-racial country. They are embracing censorship. They are spending so much money it threatens the continued existence of the country. The Left is abandoning all pretenses of neutrality in the press. They are pushing the idea that the country is evil and white supremacist. They are demonizing not just their political opponents, but regular people who don’t vote for them. They are also trying to get as many children as possible around drag queens and are pushing transsexualism and weird gender ideas on children.
If the United States were 50 separate states that had never been united today, you could certainly see New York and New Jersey uniting or South Carolina and Georgia, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the South would willingly unite with the Northeast. That’s because if you start asking what values are shared between the Heritage Foundation and Media Matters, Rand Paul and Chuck Schumer, or say, Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, the real answer is, “almost none that matter.” A nation needs shared values to make it possible to work together or even just to come together and write a set of rules for everyone. Yet, at this point, America doesn’t just have different values, in many cases, we have diametrically opposed values. Conservatism and liberalism. Capitalism and socialism. Christianity and atheism. Originalism and a belief in a living Constitution. Being sympathetic to the police and sympathetic to criminals. Belief in a color-blind world and a belief in world defined by racial differences. Power to the individual and power to the state.
When you see conservatives turning to people like Donald Trump, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, etc., etc., it’s usually not because they’ve ceased to believe in the principles conservatives have long held. It’s because they’ve accepted that we increasingly live in a post-constitutional age and we’re not going to paper over our differences with the Left and bring back the “good America” any time soon, if at all. Once you accept that premise, you start rolling your eyes at the conservative intelligentsia and Republican party apparatchiks haplessly demanding conservatives stick to rules that the vast majority of liberals have long since abandoned. Once you get to that point, you just want fighters who are going to stick their fingers in the other guy’s eyes as often as possible and damn the consequences.
Is the old America coming back? Well, that again brings me back to the Kurt Schlichter interview from last week:
John Hawkins: This is a quote from your book: “If America is to continue as a going concern, there are three options for its future, just three: America embraces the Constitution and returns to being a republic with some democratic characteristics such that all Americans can participate in their own governance, and which once again zealously defends and promotes basic natural rights of the type set forth in the Bill of Rights. The right controls America. The left controls America.” I think, of course, the first one is the best option. However, I'm getting concerned, and I think you are too, that the Left is pretty centered on that ‘Left controls America option,’ and they're not very interested in that first option anymore. What do you think about that?
Kurt Schlichter: I absolutely prefer number one. I can live with number two. Number three? That's not in the cards and a lot of people feel that way. People have made choices and there are consequences to choices, and sometimes the consequences are unpleasant.
Ask yourself that critical question about which option is most likely, “America embraces the Constitution and returns to being a republic with some democratic characteristics such that all Americans can participate in their own governance, and which once again zealously defends and promotes basic natural rights of the type set forth in the Bill of Rights. The right controls America. The left controls America.”
That first option is the “old America” option. The type of America that holds together, perseveres and has a bright future. The “good America” option. I absolutely could see conservatives fully, happily embracing that vision if they thought the Left would do the same. Do you see liberals embracing it? Do you see them actually caring about things like the limits the Constitution imposes, states’ rights, and having a healthy respect for American traditions and ideals? Because if the answer is, “no,” ultimately our country does not have a future as a Constitutional Republic. That’s not hyperbole. That’s where we are as a nation.
Mom and Dad are sleeping in different rooms, they speak of each other with cold contempt and they’re both talking with lawyers and trying to turn the kids against each other. Could they theoretically patch up their differences in therapy and create a functional marriage? Sure, but everyone recognizes it’s more likely that a spiteful cold war will go on until one of them kicks the bucket and the other quietly celebrates, or even more likely, some type of divorce, split, or separation is going to happen down the line.
A successful nation lasts longer than a marriage, but far too many people are kidding themselves about where America is today, how much the odds are stacked against us, and how much effort it would take to fix this broken country. Maybe the “good America” is coming back one day but barring some big changes and an enormous effort not just on the Right, but the Left, it’s pretty unlikely that it’s going to happen.