The reduction of American identity to the lowest (Hobbesian) common denominator

In an article at FrontPage Magazine, David Horowitz argues that if the Democratic party is to play any positive role again in our national politics, the responsible elements in the Democratic party and on the left must expel anti-Americans like Michael Moore and the people at His article concludes:

The most important aspect of [Peter] Beinartís article and its support by The New Republic is that it reminds us that liberals like Beinart and my friend Sherman Alexie, share a common agenda with conservatives when it comes to defending this country and its liberties from the totalitarian enemy. This is the bond that makes us a nation, and it must come before all others in matters of war and peace.

While I of course agree with Horowitz, I can’t help but feel how unutterably sad this is. The bond that joins Americans has been reduced to the willingness to defend the nation from enemies. Not loyalty to the Constitution. Not belief in common ideals and political principles. Not shared habits, a shared ethos, and a shared way of being. Not the mystic chords of memory and a common history. All of that is gone now. All that’s left that defines our common nationality is the absolutely minimal, Hobbesian standard—the shared will to defend ourselves from physical destruction at the hands of mass murdering Islamic fanatics.

This is what liberalism and leftism have reduced America to, by denigrating and devaluing all the common things and allegiances that once made Americans a nation and a people. And conservatives, who believe in national unity, are left with the miserable expedient of appealing for national unity on this radically reduced basis, perhaps not even realizing how much has already been lost.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 10, 2004 09:30 PM | Send

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