We progressives have long ago left behind the old world of our parents and grandparents. Instead of going to church, we meditate. Instead of grace before our dinners, we slap high-fives before pizza and chips in front of the TV. Instead of courting our next wife, we impregnate drunken clubbies and later have them assassinated by remote control.
As I’ve matured I’ve realized parts of traditionalism are important to even a hip-minded progressive like myself. In order to keep food in my child’s belly, maybe I should sacrifice my free time for the forty-hour a week job (God no, please). Instead of redefining the status quo of ‘mother’ and ‘father’, maybe we should reexamine and even encourage the unique value of traditional marriage while still respecting the rights and privileges of alternative family units. Maybe we should clarify when exactly an organism with human DNA gains the constitutionally protected right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of lap-dance chicks. “Wait, wait, Doc. Don’t cut the cord just yet. Boy, he sure is an ugly one, eh honey? If we abort this one, perhaps we’ll get a more attractive specimen next time.” Then again, there’s always the Nebraska Abandonment Plan (NAP).
Rather than continuing to ‘imagine’ that there’s no country, maybe we should demand that our leaders define and defend clear boundaries.
It is these issues involving abortion, gay rights, immigration, and religion/state that traditional mainstream Americans have turned against progressives. And just like our parents, once in a while these old dumb headed traditionalists make a good point. Progressives like to imagine to a day when “there is no country,” and all individuals would be free to create their lives anyway that they choose. But without good ole’ fashioned traditional discipline, we could very possibly decay into warlord states and rivaled tribal gangs. I don’t think that was what John Lennon was imagining.
Certainly there are dangers of traditionalism—racism, excessive nationalism, colonialism, Pat Robertson, and black-and-white dogmatism, but if we progressives are really interested in the continued evolution of all consciousness, we can’t ignore the foundational stages of development. For the United States, the residue of ignored traditions lingers in our nation’s shadow and threatens to tear our union apart. Some so-called ‘progressives’ speak as though this would be a good thing. After all, we humans overpopulate the planet and colonially corrupt the rest of the world. Why not just deconstruct all social institutions and let the U.S. collapse. I’m sure a much better world would emerge (like Canada).
There is an alternative. We can soul-search the current issues of the traditionalist—immigration, abortion, traditional family structure under the eyes of constitutional logic. Integrate the core truths of traditionalism under the rational eye of modernism. Envision the possibilities of post-modernism, while we transcend into a logically coherent integral worldview (like Canada).