September 29, 2020

In Defense of Common Values

I have returned with some regularity over the years to compare what is going on in our country today to what was going on in the 1850s, the years preceding the Civil War.

America has always been about freedom of expression. And that freedom has often led to protests and tension. Generally, we’ve gotten through these tough and challenging times and moved on.

But what caused everything to break down in the 1850s, leading to a horrible Civil War?

The answer, I think, is to understand the distinction between plurality of opinions and plurality of values.

Plurality of opinion is natural and vital to human reality and why freedom and democracy are so important. Each individual is unique and sees the world in his or her unique way. Each must be able to bring his or her own unique perspective, his or her own opinion, to the table.

But plurality of values is different altogether. In order to have the dialogue necessary to tolerate plurality of opinion, we must be on the same page. We must have the same core values.

When we no longer have any common ground in our most basic beliefs, in our most basic values, we lose all basis of being able to communicate and conduct civil discourse.

We may have different opinions about health care, education, foreign policy and climate change.

But in the 1850s, the differences were about the nature of man, whether blacks were human beings and whether slavery should be tolerated.

This is a breakdown in common values, not in opinion. Once the most common values were gone, the basis for civil discourse was gone, and the country broke into war, with brother killing brother.

Current tensions are supposedly about police brutality, though I think this is a smoke screen.

Police brutality is indeed a problem. And it is possible to have civil discourse about how to deal with this problem.

I have written about it. One issue is police unions. The unions make it almost impossible to take meaningful punitive action against officers with a track record of poor behavior.

Don’t agree with me? Let’s discuss it. If solving this problem is what all this is about, we can do something.

But the violence that is wracking our cities shows there is more going on. Police brutality is being used as an excuse for something more basic. It is being used as an excuse to reject our nation and the truths on which it is based.

This becomes obvious in a new book called “In Defense of Looting” by Vicky Osterweil.

She justifies looting as a legitimate form of protest.

“The very basis of property in the U.S. is derived through whiteness and through Black oppression,” she says.

This is a point of departure from difference of opinion to difference of common values.

I simply cannot conduct civil discourse with someone who does not accept as a core value and core belief that private property is sacred, derived from the biblical principle “thou shalt not steal.”

The idea that private property is sacred, that theft is sinful, is fundamental to the truths enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

To attack this principle is to attack the core-value structure on which the country is built.

And this indeed is happening. Those protesting, harassing and looting are not expressing displeasure about police brutality. They are expressing displeasure about America. They want to wipe out the USA.

Their objective is not to solve the problem of police brutality but to tear down the USA as we know it.

This is a time for vigilance for those who care about America as a free nation under God. It is a time for freedom-loving Americans to concede no turf and fight to preserve our nation.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and author of the new book “Necessary Noise: How Donald Trump Inflames the Culture War and Why This is Good News for America.” Readers can respond to Star’s column by emailing [email protected]

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9 Responses

  1. We had better value our freedoms, morals, and God, as I feel the left has much more up their sleeves and if we don’t pay attention to exactly what is going on in this country and the words of the left, there will be no country left as we know it. All will be gone and freedoms too. This is exactly what Trump is trying to tell us and we need to pay attention, do some heavy research into the left and I bet we’ll find plenty, but only if we pay attention.

  2. Excellent article by Star Parker. She is getting down to the heart of the problem and deserves serious discussion and actions in the Nation, if the country is to avoid another Civil War.

  3. We know wrong from right so this is FACTS. How’d they like it if it was done to them n their safety of home while they’re out rioting n looting others. Wow nice slap in the face but it’s still wrong n should be dealt w properly. Great article

  4. It is my opinion that, with the help of the dnc, communism has been allowed to infiltrate our schools and local governments. We have not been vigilant in our watch on true communism and it is eating our lunch. I do not know if it can be removed peacefully or not. The hardest part will be convincing the young of all races that it is to their advantage to avoid communism at all cost as they have been well indoctrinated in our schools while we ignored what was happening. It may cost more than we can afford to pay.

  5. I highly value my freedom and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep us Americans free. Our fight right now is not only for us, but for future generations to come. We don’t have the option to give up, our Grandbabies and Great Grandbabies and so on, depending us. Its hard times right now. This is the most important election of my life. I will be voting November 3rd, at the Polls!
    God Bless is all.

  6. All of our children deserve The best education available, not mandated by the government, but by choice, not a second rate education with no accountability. Stand tall for Betsy and our children and stop the brainwashing that’s going on in public schools.

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