Never Again United?
Reactions by the Democratic leadership to President Bush's statement
on stem cell research have been disappointing. One might have hoped
for a non-partisan approach to a question of beneficial interest,
and of far-reaching moral implications, to every citizen of this
land. Several leading Republicans, after all, have demonstrated
the feasibility of viewing the issue in isolation. But describing
the Democratic statements as disappointing does not mean that they
were necessarily surprising.
For some time now, the leadership of the National Democratic Party
has appeared unable or unwilling to treat any matter as one in the
national interest - distinct from partisan or political interest.
What is at issue here is not the application of a bipartisan approach,
but acceptance of the existence of a non-partisan point of view,
the absence of a political charge in certain instances.
1. National defense ought to be such a case. Mandated specifically
in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, it stands to reason that
the country needs defenses adequate to counter potential threats.
Only the terminally naive would honestly believe that the world
has been suddenly populated by six billion people who are neither
aggressive, nor jealous, nor vindictive. The United States of America
represents the most visible target on the globe, and someone will
start shooting at it one way or another.
2. Foreign policy does not benefit from partisan approach. Our
so-called allies, for the most part, are governed by parties which
do not espouse the political principles upon which America was built,
and with which America has succeeded. History teaches us also that,
with the exception of the English-speaking world, our allies are
allies mostly when their house is on fire, when one of them attacks
the other(s), and our young people have to risk their lives to restore
the status quo.
3. Our sovereignty has been under persistent assault, as much from
the United Nations as from international conferences, such as the
one that produced the Kyoto Protocol. While it is perfectly legitimate
to learn from the French when it comes to food and wine, the Germans
in the realm of classical music, the Japanese about shrinking trees,
and the Brazilians how to play soccer, running a large, law-abiding,
successful, free, and - yes! - nature-friendly society is something
the world needs to learn from us.
Why, then, would a major political party of the United States appear
to team up with the other side? Why is it not possible to treat
matters upon which most Americans ought to agree just so: as matters
upon which most Americans agree? In other words, why does everything
have to carry a political charge?
And here we come to a difficult conclusion. It is not in the tradition
of the Democratic Party of the United States to disregard the all-American
nature of certain issues, and infuse them with a party-political
charge. But if it's not in the Democratic Party's tradition, where
did it come from? It had to come from an altogether different political
My apologies to all who will be offended by what follows here.
Viewing everything as political is the way of socialists under whatever
name, including communist. They teach day in, day out that everything
is political, everything is a struggle between two sides, of which
one is good and the other is evil. (Guess which one is good.) That
sorry view of the world grew out of the opening sentence of Marx's
Communist Manifesto: "The history of all societies hitherto
is the history of class struggle."
What an impoverished notion of the rich tapestry we call humankind.
What a wretched man it must have been who thought up such a terrible
And yet, unbeknownst to most Americans, that is the basis upon
which our children are taught just about everything these days.
And, alas, that seems to be the basis upon which the leadership
of the Democratic Party decides how to comment on the president's
actions, implying that the president does not speak for them, whatever
As if to underscore the crisis, for the first time in American
history, the Democratic Party has openly rejected the election results
and continues to characterize the decision of the electorate as
The Democratic Party of America is a main artery of this nation,
desperately needed to be American first and Democrat only second.
There is an urgent need for Democrats to scrutinize the origin
of some current attitudes, models and methods, and to help make
America once again united.