Why There May Not Be Any DACA Fix

Over the years I have seen a lot of wonderful foreign students pass through my classroom doors. They have been, for the most part, very hardworking and attentive. Many have spoken to me about their plans to remain in the United States after their educations were completed. Others discussed returning to their home countries and utilizing their newly acquired English language skills to start businesses or work in international trade or finance. Some were unsure of their long term plans, but they were enjoying their adventure of being a foreigner in another land in much the same way that so many generations of Americans have traveled abroad to expand their personal horizons.

We, however, have another unique class of “foreign student” here in the United States, those who were brought here as children by parents who illegally entered the United States. Some of these individuals have strong ties to their native countries; others are as American as apple pie. All are living in legal limbo, and President Trump’s decision to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy that was instituted through an executive order by President Obama has thrust the fates of these children, adolescents, and adults—not all of whom, of course, are now or ever were students—into the spotlight.

Congress is today on the hot seat to provide a legislative solution before the March deadline by which DACA will fully expire. Although it is still possible that a solution will be found, my sad prediction is that nothing will be resolved, which will force the roughly 750,000 men, women, and children impacted to eventually leave the United States. If this happens, it will not be primarily due to either heartlessness or hatred—although many will present it this way. It will instead occur because these lives will be forfeit to the political needs of those on both sides of the issue.

Donald Trump ran for President on a platform that promised to both kick out illegal immigrants and restrict the flow of legal immigrants from countries known to support terrorism. Although many of those previously covered by DACA fall into a special category that even President Trump agrees deserves some special consideration, their fate is inextricably bound to other immigration-related issues he has advocated, which include significant changes to our visa programs and construction of a border wall with Mexico. At this point in time he has little incentive to compromise on any of his campaign pledges, and the possibility that Congressional Democrats might impede the passage of a federal budget as a form of negotiating leverage, forcing a government shutdown, must make President Trump and his supporters rub their hands together with glee. Any further opportunity to weaken federal bureaucracies that have been distinctly unfriendly to his policies and programs is likely just fine with him, and Mr. Trump will certainly enjoy the opportunity to castigate Democrats for their intransigence.

Democrats will have their own problems with giving ground to smooth a compromise solution. Because a substantial portion of their most passionately supportive voter base resides in Sanctuary Cities or, under a new law that went into effect in California at the start of this year, a Sanctuary State, there will be little appetite for anything other than a total victory that immediately grants full citizenship—or an expeditious and easy path toward it. This will, however, likely block any possible deal because many in Congress—mostly Republicans but some Democrats as well—will be much more comfortable with a renewable application for residency and the right to study or work that will be, more or less, a permanent version of the short-term solution that DACA represented. Nonetheless, even a whiff of compromise with a President who is widely and wildly reviled by liberal Democrats is going to be functionally impossible because many will see the least accommodation as total surrender—and their vociferous opposition would scuttle any deal.

These are significant—and perhaps intractable—problems that will make any solution for those whose continued residency is jeopardized by the end of the DACA program very difficult to achieve. However, there is one additional twist to this issue that haunts my somewhat cynical view of professional politicians and their motivations—motivations which are sometimes quite different from those of the nation they profess to serve.

Although many are certain the Democrats will do everything possible to “save” those who might otherwise be forced to leave because they will potentially gain several hundred thousand new voters in key electoral states such as California, Texas, and New York, the cold political reality is that the Democrats might secure far greater political advantage by failing to cut a deal. People rarely are motivated by an injustice that is averted, but the level of outrage large-scale deportations would generate among key Democratic constituencies could drive stupendous increases in donations from wealthy liberal individuals and progressive groups. Given the well-documented fundraising woes of the Democratic Party since Hillary Clinton’s devastating defeat last year, this could be a perverse incentive to negotiate less ably.

Moreover, 2018 midterm Democratic electoral campaigns could focus on the need to elect more progressives in order to stop President Trump’s entire agenda, which liberals characterize as venomous toward the vulnerable, and the failure to reach a deal to protect those formerly protected by DACA could provide a useful focus for the rage of the “Resistance”, whose energy and dedication will be key factors in motivating voters. It does not take much effort to imagine the wave of outraged press conferences and tear-jerking campaign ads painting President Trump and the Republicans who support him as inhuman monsters who cruelly tear apart families and destroy innocent lives. Fundraising appeals and campaign speeches could even promise an immediate vote on impeachment if enough seats are flipped in the midterm elections, which would encourage a lot of frustrated liberals and left-of-center moderates to both donate and vote for Democratic candidates.

As much as I would like to believe a sensible and fair deal that will allow those who are hardworking and law abiding to remain can happen, I cannot help but wonder whether compromise is possible or—for some among the Democratic Party leadership who might believe they can win by losing—even all that desirable.

Pay close attention, America. The next couple of months could reveal much about the men and women leading our nation.

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We Need To Remember We Are All Americans

 

Here in America we have managed to create a vibrant and enduring government of interlocking local, state, and federal systems that over the centuries have provided an unprecedented degree of prosperity and security and helped our nation and citizens navigate both crises and changes. Our never-ending fussing, feuding, and fighting over the shape, scope, and expense of government has helped to create a nation that is the envy of the world, but our successes have not come without pain, heartache—and even bloody civil war.

However, our relationship with our government seems to have become dramatically strained—and estranged—over the past few decades, and many now wonder how we will emerge from our current conflicts unscathed and whole. In order to get to the root of the all-encompassing sense of dissatisfaction and unease that plagues our country today, the question that we must address seems to be a very basic one: Can our government hope to obtain the consent of the governed when our citizens now embrace such widely varying—and perhaps fundamentally irreconcilable—ideals? Are secessionist movements in states such as California signs of healthy debate or worrisome symptoms of political, social, and cultural fragmentation that could eventually rend our nation?

America has always been a country rife with contradictions. We are a nation peopled by immigrants and their descendants, yet we have always imposed limitations on immigration. We are a nation whose founding documents extol freedom and liberty, yet we permitted indentured servitude and legalized outright slavery when we finally gained our independence from England. We claim to support democracy around the world, yet we often have found it convenient to tolerate tyrants. We believe ourselves to be the most peaceful of people, yet we have spilled—and continue to spill—much blood abroad.

Perhaps a necessary part of being an American is to more often—and more insistently—remind ourselves that we are inherently flawed because we are human. To expect perfection is to perhaps forget our earthly limitations. As hard as we have tried to live up to the noblest ideals of our nation, we have not always been successful, but one could reasonably and persuasively argue that no nation in history has ever worked longer and harder to surmount its weaknesses and mistakes. As a result, we are generally able to both acknowledge our errors and celebrate our achievements. It is, in fact, often the case that each are simply two sides of the same American coin, and the more sensible among us recognize this maddening conundrum.

There is, unfortunately, a tendency today among many to see only one side of this coin. Some see reasonable restrictions on immigration—and the enforcement of existing laws—as outright hatred and nothing but. Others see a tragic past of slavery but cannot acknowledge the equally tragic civil war that both ended it and forged a new national identity. More than a few condemn us for failing to topple every dictator, yet they conveniently forget the barriers that sometimes make this impossible. Too many excoriate our country for making wars, but they refuse to credit the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces that ensure the freedom to complain about our government and its policies—and have provided this same privilege for many millions more around the world. Perhaps those who focus so intently upon the contradictions within our history should also take a look at the contradictions within their own hot emotional reactions and cold academic analyses. To casually and cruelly deride those who insist upon the importance of our nationhood as an expression of pride and place is to disrespect those who choose to wave the flag. Worse yet, this sort of blind hatred of our country fails to recognize the power of our national identity to bind us together as a people—and incorrectly conflates patriotism with fascism.

No matter how one feels about President Trump’s policies or personality, it must be acknowledged that a particular section of his Inaugural Address, which was widely panned by many smug media commentators, was absolutely correct: “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” I realize that patriotism is today greeted by some with the same incredulity and confusion that an 11 year old feels when encountering a rotary dial phone, but focusing more on our shared purpose rather than obsessing over our inevitable differences might provide a way out of the echo chamber of identity politics that now confounds us. If all parties in a negotiation can act like Americans who have America’s best interests at heart, we may still be able to pull together and solve our many problems. However, should we continue to approach one another like competing armies intent on obliterating an enemy, we can expect—and likely deserve—nothing more than the anger and gridlock that stymies even the most judicious efforts at dialogue and reform.

Americans have over the past couple of centuries enshrined the concept of government as a creation of the common consent of the governed. Although the leaders we select may occasionally be creatures of entrenched political and economic interests who see representative government as nothing more than a ready mechanism for power, profit, and plunder—or are simply outright fools not worthy of our trust—we have learned that elections are by far the best method available to select whom we want to govern. We need to remember that the ballot box is an expression of our national priorities, not a place for our petty vendettas to play out. Perhaps we are today too oddly jaded, too overly sophisticated, and too bizarrely suspicious of one another to do anything other than celebrate our treasured individuality. If this is so, we likely deserve the dismal future of governmental failure peeking out over the horizon because we can’t see beyond the tips of our own precious noses—and remember that we are all Americans.

I hope we can stop treating our neighbors across our nation as strangers and enemies. The incredible efforts of those struggling to deal with the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey should be a lesson to us all. Moreover, we should recognize that, for all its problems both past and present, our government—federal, state, and local—is doing incredible work to help the victims of this storm regroup and recover. We can—and must—build upon this fine example of sacrifice, hard work, and cooperation to deal with the many other problems facing our nation. To continue to throw rocks at one another because our values or priorities may differ is to wallow if what separates us rather than focus on the responsibilities we all have to our country and to one another.

Doom and Gloom For The Democrats

Over the span of human history individuals and groups have found it advantageous to predict disaster. A sense of impending catastrophe motivates your followers, creates some temporary group cohesion, and calls into question the intelligence and motivations of those who are against you. If you can convince others that the world as we know it is about to end, the resulting crisis atmosphere also bestows enormous power to both manipulate and intimidate your opponents to reach your desired ends.

There are, however, two problems inherent in this approach. If the world doesn’t end in a reasonably short time, those who were willing to temporarily line up behind you are apt to quickly lose all faith because they think you a fool. Worse yet, if the disaster you predicted is not averted, those who put their trust in your skills and judgment will banish you from the tribe.

Now that we are finishing the seventh month of the Trump presidency, I believe we are seeing this dynamic play out—in a big way.

Watching the continuing vilification of Hillary Clinton since last November has been as transfixing as a train wreck. Her transformation from putative President-Elect to pariah has been both quick and merciless. Those who once touted her competence and celebrated her nomination are now often openly contemptuous of both her record and campaign. As comforting as the fervent belief in Russian chicanery is for many Democrats who are still shell-shocked by the election results and pining away for impeachment, the legacy of Hillary Clinton will always be that she somehow lost the election to a man who was widely considered unelectable—and embodies the repudiation of their party’s core beliefs. A fall from grace so swift and precipitous is almost without precedent in American politics.

In addition, President Trump’s dogged pursuit of his agendas on trade, immigration, healthcare, regulation, and the environment in the face of nearly universal opposition from the entrenched government bureaucracy and mainstream media has provided an instructive lesson regarding the limitations of crisis creation. Although this early phase of Trump’s administration has been an incredible uphill slog with a mix of both victories and defeats, the self-regarding Washington bubble is rapidly deflating. After all the supremely confident pre-election assurances that the changes Trump advocated would lead to instant and total catastrophe, the Democratic Party doomsayers seem stupefied. The facts that the sun still rises, jobs are being both created and reclaimed, and the lives of those outside of Washington-area zip codes are, by and large, either unaffected or improved since the Inauguration continues to erode their tattered credibility—and leaves them scrambling for a new message.

Consequently, Democrats face an existential question: If your leader has failed you and the predicted disaster has not occurred and validated your predictions, where do you go from here? This is clearly the problem that is roiling the Democratic Party at the moment—and causing a lot of doom and gloom among the Party’s faithful. Even worse, Bernie Sanders’ true believers and the stubborn remnants of the business-friendly Clinton wing are engaged in a self-destructive battle that does little to advance a coherent and compelling message—which is why no one seems to be able to understand where the Democratic Party now stands. Wistful efforts to anoint blank slate candidates such as Senator Kamala Harris are only further evidence of the ideological confusion that must be somehow crafted into a winning platform for 2018 and beyond. Winning Democratic leadership must come from the trenches—not a high-priced fundraiser in the Hamptons.

Waiting for a miracle—a pile of Russian gold in Donald Trump’s garage or a birth certificate proving that he was born in Moscow (wouldn’t that be ironic?)—is not going to save the Democratic Party. Nor is it a good idea for leadership to continually denounce all the remaining Democratic apostates who are still pro-choice, work somewhere other than a tech company, government agency, or non-profit organization, and (gasp!) sometimes meekly suggest that personal responsibility is more helpful than government handouts.

To fashion a winning coalition the Democratic Party needs new leaders who will rebuild trust that transcends party lines, offer solutions that are affordable, empower individuals rather than government or interest groups, and include rather than divide. Whether this is possible in the short term is questionable given the internecine divisions that now exist within the Party, but one can only hope that it will somehow be possible—someday soon.

Is President Trump “Gaslighting” The Democrats?

The Democrats have stuck to a single, overriding narrative since Donald Trump’s stunning election last November: This man is crazy. I am beginning to suspect that this viewpoint might be missing by a mile—he could, in fact, be crazy like a fox.

“Gaslighting” is a slang term derived from the famous 1944 film starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, and its various definitions boil down to this: Engaging in actions designed to drive someone insane through misdirection or intimidation. As unseemly as it was to the political class who considered him an oafish outsider with no chance of winning, Donald Trump proved to be a master of manipulation during the primary and general election campaigns, driving his opponents to the heights of exasperation with derisive nicknames (“Little Marco” and “Crooked Hillary” spring immediately to mind), inflammatory Tweets, and barbed responses designed to needle his opponents to the point where they became rattled and lost focus. We saw this strategy work again and again during both the Republican and Presidential debates. Few seemed to notice the method beneath Trump’s seeming madness—all the while assuring themselves he had no chance of winning—and were shocked when he vaulted over the aghast political establishment and won the Presidency.

Not much has changed since Donald Trump took his place in the Oval Office. In fact, both Republicans and Democrats have often been confused and unamused because President Trump has seemed to go out of his way to pick fights where conflict could easily have been avoided. Very often these fights were over relatively inconsequential matters, the size of his crowd at the Inauguration being a perfect example. Many Executive Orders, such as Trump’s attempts to restrict immigration from mostly Muslim countries, were typically seen as red meat thrown to his slobbering base of “Deplorables”, and immediately provoked a race to the courthouse by his opponents to seek restraining orders, which were promptly and repeatedly granted. Trump’s efforts to “repeal and replace” Obamacare have also proved a slog that still has many difficult and rocky challenges ahead—with no guarantee of victory. Every time Trump has been proved wrong or stopped in his tracks, the Progressive Left has chortled knowingly—certain of their ultimate victory over this buffoonish upstart.

However, I am beginning to wonder if we are seeing the greatest long game in recent Presidential history unfold before our very eyes.

First off, President Trump’s words, actions, and demeanor have served to transform the loyal opposition into the unhinged opposition. The shouting and foot stomping of the self-styled “Resistance” have only served to marginalize the Social Justice Warriors, and many on the Left have become so incensed that they have abandoned all nuance or objectivity when proclaiming their undying opposition to Donald Trump and the very air he breathes.

Engaging in continuing venomous attacks on anyone who might appear to be the least supportive of a position taken by Mr. Trump wins very few new allies, and completely abandoning any pretense of conversation and compromise has likely further weakened the Democrats. For example, recent Democratic rants about purging the party of pro-lifers, which some polls indicate comprise fully 25% of the party’s supporters, is a fantastically self-destructive exercise that only makes sense to those who have lost any ability to respect differing opinions. Vindictive rage is never going to help anyone make new friends or influence people, and the fact that not everyone seems to share their seething anger has prompted many progressive Democrats to hurl yet more inflammatory accusations at the average American regarding their ingrained racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and overall awfulness. Seems like a pretty dumb way to win over hearts and minds—so score one for Mr. Trump when the 2018 midterm elections come around.

In addition, it is only now becoming apparent to many that, off the radar and with little fanfare, President Trump has been reviewing, vetting, and prepping a huge slate of nominees for federal judgeships.

How big of a deal is this? Really big, I would say. During his entire 8 years in office, President Obama put roughly 329 judges on the federal bench; at this moment, only a few months into his term, President Trump already has over 120 vacant seats to fill. In four—or perhaps eight—years Donald Trump could put a conservative stamp on the federal courts that could last for the next forty or so years. Add to this the likelihood that Trump will likely nominate at least two more Supreme Court Justices, and it quickly becomes blindingly clear that while so many were marching around the nation wearing silly hats and chanting about “crazy Donald”, he was quietly laying the foundations of a judicial revolution. I am not entirely certain how this will play out in the long run, but President Trump is quickly transforming the political DNA of America. Although his vociferous political opponents will insist that this transformation is more akin to a cancerous mutation, our entire national conversation has shifted in a startlingly short period of time.

Which brings us to the recent firing of F.B.I. Director James Comey.

We are very much in the “too soon to know” phase of whether this is simply bare-knuckled Washington politics or something more nefarious, but one need only read the Chicken Little commentaries in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Salon—or listen to the apocalyptic press conferences on Capitol Hill—to know that President Trump has once more driven his political opponents to dizzying heights of indignation. What, of course, is yet more frustrating for the Democrats is that they have been yowling for Comey’s scalp for months because he “threw” the Presidential election to Trump with his somewhat bizarre investigative techniques surrounding Hillary Clinton’s email scandal—so the Democrats end up seeming to disagree simply to disagree. It must be maddening to now be defending the very man whom you believe cost your party the White House, and this seems to me to be yet one more example of President Trump driving his opponents stark raving mad with his actions.

If they keep on in this manner—the Democrats huffing and puffing and trying to blow down President Trump—the symbol of the Democratic Party might soon need to change from a donkey to a straitjacket. It is impossible to maintain this fever pitch of rage for long before average Americans will begin to start tuning out the overwrought rhetoric and getting on with their daily lives. Unless Trump’s political opponents can very soon find some scandalous fire to justify all their enraged smoke, the Republican Party—with Donald Trump in the lead—is going to roll right over the exhausted and disheartened Democrats in 2018.

Gaslighting, indeed….

The Wonderful Frustration Of Being An America

It seems like all the air is being sucked out of our lives by the relentless focus so many now seem to have on broadcasting their political beliefs at the highest possible volume every moment of every day. It tires me out just to watch and listen.

We all know whom these angry folks are protesting with every fiber of their being; President Trump is, after all, the focus of practically every conversation these days. However, what honestly most concerns me is the overwrought reactions of these disgruntled millions. Many of them seem to have forgotten that ours is a government that stretches like a rubber band—sometimes near to the breaking point—before snapping back to a more reasonable and sustainable state.

Donald Trump is the duly-elected President of our nation, and voters will have an opportunity to indirectly vote on his administration and policies in the 2018 midterm elections—and more directly decide upon his future in November of 2020. It might be the case, as some publications and pundits claim, that the results of these upcoming elections will reflect widespread “buyer’s remorse” over ever putting Mr. Trump within the hallowed walls of the Oval Office. However, it might also be true that all the current media and Internet hooting and hollering about the (insert inflammatory insult of your choice HERE) in the White House does not accurately reflect the will of the electorate, and President Trump will enjoy an expanded mandate to pursue his agenda after the next rounds of elections. Either way, the will of the voters will be heard, and our democratic system will march on.

If I were to make a prediction regarding the next several years, President Trump will change much when it comes to the vast unelected regulatory and administrative state that has sprung up over the past half century and now runs a great deal our daily lives because those agencies and departments can be significantly altered or swept aside through executive actions. In addition, he certainly will leave his imprint on the Supreme Court and the Federal court system through the nominations he will make.

Nonetheless, the basic structure of our country that is enshrined in foundational documents such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is impervious—and rightly so. They might have been a bunch of slave-holding, rich white men who were products of a time far less enlightened than our own, but the founders of our nation still somehow managed to craft governing documents that have withstood the test of time and facilitated the growth of the United States into an economic and military colossus that—for all its flaws—provides more freedom to more people than any nation in world history. One President cannot change that.

However, we can unthinkingly poison our civic life and rend the social fabric of our country by continuing our derisive absolutism when it comes to the government reforms that Mr. Trump promised to implement if elected. The very nature of our system of government is, if I may be forgiven for paraphrasing a classic Rolling Stones song, that you don’t always get what you want—but you just might find that you get what you need.

Before America’s Les Miserables go screaming out into the streets to protest whatever next arouses their fury, I suggest they have a beer—maybe even more than one. The wails of our nation’s overwrought Social Justice Warriors notwithstanding, President Trump will not be able to grind up his political opponents and sell their remains as cat food. Moreover, despite the fondest wishes of social conservatives, we are not going to return to some misty memory version of mid-20th century America—no poodle skirts or penny loafers, please.

We will instead, thundering rhetoric on both sides to the contrary, continue to do what our country has always done except in those rarest moments of true national emergency: muddle toward the middle of the road. If we can stop hurling insults at one another for a moment (Racist! Snowflake! Nazi! Libtard!), one can easily imagine changes in our nation over the next year or so that are a lot less frightening than all the frightening rhetoric might lead many to believe:

  • Federal agencies and programs that deliver little actual value for the dollar will be shrunk or simply pruned away—which does not seem unreasonable.
  • Illegal immigrants who break the law or cheat the system to obtain public benefits will be deported—which does not seem unreasonable.
  • Those illegal immigrants brought here as children or who are able to demonstrate a significant record of law-abiding productivity will be offered a path to permanent residence or eventual citizenship—which does not seem unreasonable.
  • Those hyper-vigilant to the even mildest perceived slight, particularly those easily infuriated cohorts of students and faculty on our college campuses, will need to recognize that surpassingly few disagreements are mortal wounds and more than one point of view can easily occupy the same intellectual space—which does not seem unreasonable.
  • Healthcare expenses will be reined in as we make the difficult transition from a state-sponsored to a free market system of insurance and care delivery, and many patients will be required to take a more active role in managing their own care while new mandates are forcing insurers and providers to be more efficient—which does not seem unreasonable.
  • Our elected leaders will need to explain that, although government certainly has a legal and moral obligation to intercede when physical harm is threatened or inflicted, there is simply no way to guarantee that anyone’s actions or choices can be entirely free of thoughtful criticism or outright rejection by others based on their own deeply-held values—which does not seem unreasonable.
  • Moreover, there is simply no way that government can be expected to silence every loud-mouthed jerk in the land, so we might all have to sometimes deal with idiots and remember that sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never hurt us—which does not seem unreasonable.

Despite the growing fears of change that are warping the perspectives of many, there are—when we take a deep breath and consider all the options—many paths forward that are perfectly sensible if we can only remember that the daily business of democracy is not about total victory or abject defeat. Most often our political process is a herky-jerky back and forth that eventually arrives at a consensus that will leave most groups and individuals a little dissatisfied with the outcome because it is not exactly what they wanted.

This is, for many, the truly maddening aspect of democracy—no one is able to actually win, and no one really ever loses—but it is precisely this that gives our political system its remarkable resilience. Unlike highly efficient totalitarian governments throughout history that inevitably have resulted in cruel oppression followed by violent revolution, the American political system is designed to frustrate ideologues and fanatics who are able to view those with differing ideas only with hatred and contempt.

In fact, the daily rants of the ideological purists might be the clearest possible signal that our system of government is functioning just as it should. If either the Social Justice Warriors or Paleolithic Conservatives were dancing in the streets a few months after an election, I would be seriously concerned about the health of our nation. All the whining and wailing since last November is a comforting sign that our great American democracy is alive and well—and frustrating everyone just a little.

Those hunkered down for the apocalypse they seem certain is now upon us might feel a bit better about our nation and its people if they just went out and talked to some of the fellow Americans they apparently seem to loathe. If they do, they just might find that they get something we all so desperately need at times: a bracing dose of contact with the many perfectly kind and thoughtful citizens of our nation whose only crime is holding onto a contrary opinion that is based on their own judgment, values, and life experience. These conversations might also help both sides to understand lives different from their own and find some middle ground based on our common humanity.

We may still disagree with one another, but hopefully we can also find a connection through our shared frustration—that no one seems to realize that we have all the perfect answers to every issue facing our country. More than anything, that arrogant belief in our own righteousness might be the glue that truly binds us together as Americans. This also explains why our political system is designed to make it impossible to impose our will on everyone else.

It’s really for the best. Trust me. As annoyed as you sometimes might be today, our system of governance will guarantee that you will have a nation to call home tomorrow—which should make all the frustrations of being an American well worth it.