op-ed

Can The United States Of America Reclaim Its Misremembered Greatness?

The Republican governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, sought to read a likely GOP primary opponent out of the Republican Illinois Party for running ads highlighting Rauner’s support for typically Democrat positions on abortion, fiat gender, sanctuary cities and leftist teachers’ unions. In a statement, Rauner observed: “There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity.” Though the teachers union member portrayed in the commercial I saw happened to be a black female, it’s telling that Rauner’s statement focused on her race rather than her union membership. That makes him seem like the one attacking a fellow Illinoisan on racial grounds.

But the idea that standing against abortion and the promotion of fantasy genders is somehow “anti-human” is even more illogical. How is it respectful of humanity to assume that a woman with child is carrying a non-human being in her womb? Contemporary empirical science not only confirms that child is composed of human tissue, it verifies that the child is a whole and unique specimen of humanity, from the moment of physical conception.

People like Gov. Rauner, who champion so-called abortion rights, thereby take the position that it’s right to murder such human offspring — which seems like an obvious attack on humanity. Our empirical science also confirms that, even in the primordial code of our physical existence, distinctly male/female characteristics are endemic to the human species. People may proclaim, themselves to be of this or that gender, according to their heart’s desire, but the basic empirical evidence of their humanity continues to conform to the male-female paradigm, no matter what cosmetic changes they endure.

Once upon a time, common sense would have accepted the empirically obvious conclusion that this was just our nature — the pattern of physical fact that confirms our common humanity. It’s ironic that people like Gov. Rauner, who still talk as if they are motivated by respect and love for common humanity, are actually promoting legal fictions that, to say the least, confuse the issue of whether any such thing actually exists. After all, if the most obviously verified characteristics of our common humanity are now a matter for legal and/or individual fiat, humanity is an ever changeable construct that offers no reliable guide for reasoning or discussion. One person’s human is another person’s “mass of tissue.” If a person’s sex is a matter of individual or collective fiat, why not their genus or species?

Of course, the people promoting the fiat view of humanity don’t encourage us to think this through. Then we might reach the point of recognizing that, if legal or collective agreement can change people into males, females or anything we in between we care to name, why can’t legal or collective agreement read people out of the human race. Some people may prefer to be treated like dogs, cats, lions or birds, scientific observation to the contrary notwithstanding. But my memory of history suggests that it’s far more likely that a bunch of folks will agree to treat other people like dogs, beasts of burden or mere factors of production.

Why do we forget that feeding common humanity into the shredder of fiat identity is as, or more likely to work against individuals and groups as in their favor? For some it may mean the chance to find personal pleasure and fulfilment in whatever form of bodily interaction (including sadism and domination) they desire. But for others it will certainly mean what it has meant in the past — the misfortune of being identified as an inferior species by people, perhaps also bent on sadism and domination, armed with sufficient power to enforce their whims on others, without regard for their strenuous dissent.

We are supposed to forget that this has been a common pastime of whole classes of people, from time immemorial, throughout the earth. I find it telling, however, how much our popular entertainments focus now on fantasy worlds in which the presumption of common humanity has been superseded—by dint of evolution, mutation or biological technique—to produce mutants, inhumans, superhumans, human-animal hybrids, etc., with powers beyond the wildest dreams of the “nobles”,” aristocrats” and self-aggrandized “gentry” of all types. Such folks once imposed their will on their “inferiors”, disdaining even the thought that such creatures had anything in common with their “betters”. Present elitist fantasies suggest no shortage of present-day wannabes who dream of doing so again.

We are being encouraged (Will it soon be right to say ‘forced’?) to forget that it was the interaction of Christianity and its conception of cosmic knowledge that eventually allowed a common sense of humanity to flourish. It grew as a function of One Almighty and Intelligent Creative Being, whose activity made sense of the notion that there was, in the nature of our creation, a thread of perfect unity. It gave substance to the notion that we are understood in a way we cannot fully understand, a way that forms and informs our existence in accordance with that perfection. It allowed for the fact that, in our uniquely different ways, we all of us correspond to and long for that perfection, belonging to it in a way that is ever beyond, yet always within us; out of reach yet somehow in our grasp.

In practical terms, as we Americans discard this special perspective, we abandon the basic concept of natural and equal rights that is the indispensable foundation and assumption of our identity as a people. We were, perhaps, the first people explicitly born to fulfill and preserve humanity, as such. Our purpose fades from hope, to dream, and may now be heading toward the point where, lulled into surrendering itself, it falls away altogether. But not if, somehow, soon, we shake off the mirage of misremembered greatness, which never was the goal of our achievement. Because greatness was already in us, in good faith, when as a nation we were born. We came to life with the mind and heart of Christ and God before us and within. They invited us to have and to hold the inalienable right of liberty. They gave us the eyes to see life in God’s goodwill as our true belonging, our common home. Do we still have them?

Alan Keyes is a political activist, a prolific writer and a former diplomat.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.