By Larry Leonard
December 31st, 2011 — As we see it here at Oregon Magazine, the real question is, “Who has already won?
We view Man as a collection of cultures. The life in each place is shaped by those very deep networks of experience and tradition. If you watch a Fourth of July parade in Ohio when you are six, you have one world view. If you watch a lamb being sacrificed to a pagan tribal deity when you are six, you have another world view.
Is there proof of this concept? Yes.
Find another way to explain people fleeing a place where they cannot find work, arriving at a place where they do find work, then joining together (as in the organization, La Raza, or “The Race) in an attempt to change the place where they found work into the place they left.
This is not conscious, logical reasoning. It is an emotional response woven from the early experiences — from the warp and woof of the cultural kilt that blanketed them from their beginnings.
The American culture is made of Judeo-Christian themes. It has threads the color of George Washington, Andrew Carnegie, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, John Wayne, the Western Expansion, the Gold Rush, Mark Twain, the Battle of the Bulge, the Wright Brothers, the private suburban two car garage, freedom of the press, synagogues standing a block away from Catholic churches, Buddy Holley and the Crickets, hot rods, oil derricks, shopping centers, Christmas, stagecoaches, moon landing vehicles, hamburger stand franchises, skyscrapers, Wall Street and Main Street.
All of this may be contained within one single word: dynamism.
The individual pursuing his own path toward his own future. That is why my Irish and Norwegian ancestors sailed across the sea to look at the Statue of Liberty. It was about their own dream. The American Dream is made of the individual dreams of millions of people, from all over the planet.
For decades now, America has been turning towards a collective dream. The results of that path are clear. Where once difference amalgamated like individual notes into a symphony made of freedom, now differences are collective identities.
An African-American, when it means the same thing as Irish-American, is fine. When it becomes a separate identity in law, you have division not the dynamics, the energy, the creativity generated by the Constitutional umbrella envisioned by the Founding Fathers of this national miracle that is the United States of America.
Where once the parts created a national clock, now the parts compete to see what they can take from each other. The mechanism is now made of culturally competing components instead of culturally different parts working beautifully together, regardless of their other differences.
That said, we think that the old, dynamic culture is rising up, again. It is demanding that the America that worked be revived. The Tea Parties are the evidence. They do not want the property of others unless they purchase it, themselves. They do not wish to be subsumed into a collectivist culture, their lives, their beliefs, their very speech controlled by political correctness — but prefer the old culture where a man built his own future with his own hands, brain and a little luck. They believe that compassion requires personal sacrifice, and that there is no compassion involved when a bureaucrat gives their money to somebody else. Even the recipients of such welfare they believe, are victims of that kind of compassion — for there is no pride in receiving it.
As i said at the top of this essay, it is dynamism that the collectivists have destroyed in America. The Tea Parties represent a rebirth of this quality. It is a cultural, American, thing.
It is, as we see it, the driving force in this land, at this time. Cultural forces being what they are, it has already won.