If you had the grit to suppress your gag reflex long enough to watch the recent Senate Judiciary Committee witch trials, you may have the stomach to join me thinking through two unorthodox questions.
First, who was the target of the Democrat attack machine? While they skipped over a rich judicial record with a straight face and went instead for scorched earth personal destruction, who were they really after?
I don’t think the fire in their fury was directed at President Trump, though it was popular to say so. I don’t think it was their opposing Republican Senators, though they were in the way, or even Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh himself even though he was the sacrificial goat.
No, I think the ultimate target of the Democrats’ vicious and dishonorable assault was me, and you, if you believe as I do that judges should interpret the law, not make new law from the bench, and that the Constitution should be taken to mean what the words say, not what a judge wants it to say.
I don’t even think the real problem in that televised obscenity was the Democrats’ egregious trampling of due process, flushing the presumption of innocence and abandoning any pretense of decency in their stampede to murder the Kavanaugh nomination.
That circus of fools was just the latest symptom of the irreconcilable divide that has been deepening among us for a long time.
I think we are reaping the putrid harvest of decades of political correctness, in which uncomfortable truths have been buried and covered with the flimsy veneer of wishful thinking while the country has been browbeat into a mode of group-think that does not tolerate deviation from the party line.
Truth and substance have, as a new habit, been replaced with feel-good appearances and woe to those who differ.
Which raises my second question.
I wonder if there is a peaceful way we could gather the agreeable states and secede? With a fresh start leaving behind the radical left, we could actually use and follow the Constitution, a gift to us by our very flawed but insightful founding fathers.
All it takes to make it work is educating every citizen in the civics of the Constitution, and restraining childish and selfish impulses when the system delivers a result different than our personal wishes.
Admittedly, splitting the country would be messy and sorting out cross-migration and loose ends would take a long time.
But let’s face it, the radical left is waging war on the right even though the shooting has not started. Our differences in ideology and values are too ingrained, too vast to believe they can be bridged.
The daily fight among us is a monumental drain, with too little remaining energy and cooperation to solve even tiny problems among the mounting backlog of epic issues facing our country.
Pretending the Democrats remember how to disagree with civility, we could try to stop the fight with a friendly divide. If we were able to separate ourselves from the leftists, think of the common sense we could apply to managing our country:
• Teach Constitutional civics thoroughly in public schools;
• Require proper ID to vote, and -— my favorite -— require passing a simple civics test to vote;
• Secure our borders with penalties that strongly discourage repeat offenders;
• Put a stop to political harassment and intimidation;
• Re-introduce diversity of thought in universities and elsewhere with a mix of both conservative and liberal ideology;
• Enforce freedoms of speech that have eroded;
• Encourage unity by discouraging divisive identity politics that Obama’s ilk inflicted on the country;
• Re-institute respect for law enforcement from childhood;
• Consider Constitutional amendments to clarify the 2nd Amendment, require a balanced budget and eliminate automatic citizenship for newborns of alien parents;
• Eliminate mob violence and destruction with the level of force required;
• Encourage work through policies of the welfare safety net;
• No public services -— other than life-saving and a debate on education -— for illegal aliens;
• Reform Congress with term limits;
• Reform Congress by eliminating committee chairmen by seniority;
• Reform Congress with a health insurance and retirement pay system commensurate with private industry … and so on.
You might not agree with all on my partial list, but honest debate is a healthy thing, and today none of them can be done while we fight full time with our political opponents.
Can peaceful secession be done? Probably not. Even if so, it surely is unlikely.
But the thought process of what we could get done — if we weren’t tangled up responding to daily, dishonest gutter snipe political warfare — should illuminate what we are losing, for ourselves and for our children.
[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City, Ga., occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.]