Do you and I share same goals?
If we do, we can disagree—even strongly disagree, and still have a productive discussion. We might even reach a compromise.
But if we don’t share the same goals? Then what?
Then, rhetorically speaking, we’re at war. And only one side can win.
Let me explain.
My parents and brother lean more to the liberal side of the political spectrum than I do. We argue. We slightly nudge each other. We change opinions a little bit. And then we go back to Scrabble.
They were very upset when President Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accords. I was happy. We argued about it, but it was all good because we share the same goals.
We all want clean air and water for our children. We all want to develop clean energy; we want America’s economy to prosper; we want to be less reliant on fossil fuels.
I thought the accords were a bad deal for America. The best way to lower carbon emissions, in my opinion, is to let the free market and American ingenuity loose on the problem. They, in contrast, think the government needs to step in, fund the research, and keep the corporations in line.
Doesn't matter, because we have the same goal: a healthy planet.
We also disagree on gun control. My brother is a little more with me, but my dad wants a lot more regulation because he wants fewer school shootings. So do I. So does my brother. But I believe if a potential killer knew he’d encounter teachers and administrators well-trained in the use of weapons, we’d have less shootings. Different solutions. Shared goal.
I’ve always thought that this is how America is supposed to work. Liberals and conservatives respectfully arguing over the best solution to a shared goal.
But now there’s a third party in the game: the left. And they’re changing the rules.
When I was growing up, the left was on the fringe. But now they’ve moved into the mainstream. They’ve pretty much taken over our educational system. They’re in the media. In corporate HR departments. And, more and more, sad to say, in the Democratic Party.
The left doesn’t share the same goals that liberals and conservatives do. They have a whole different set of goals.
Let me give you some examples.
Raising kids without a gender identity or encouraging them to question their sexual identity. This, to me, is a form of child abuse. I don’t care who’s doing it—parents, teachers, doctors. Their goal is not my goal.
Here’s another one: Demonizing white people and males for the world's problems is not part of my value system. There is no shared goal in that.
I believe in merit and character over race. But now it's cool to say that white males have done all the bad things in the world.
I have two little boys. I get angry just thinking about people telling them they're responsible for racism and sexism—beautiful little children who just dance in the kitchen and smile. So that's not a shared goal.
Here’s a third example: People can differ about how many legal immigrants America should allow into the country. But when it comes to whether America should have “open” borders—well, there is no shared goal there. A country with open borders ceases to be a distinct country. And I want America to remain America.
All these ideas—and I could give you a dozen more—are coming from the left. They want to turn the history of Western Civilization, of America—a history I'm very proud of—into a highlight reel of human errors. These ideas threaten everything I cherish—my family, my community, my country.
And what does the left offer in its place? Nothing constructive that I can see. What are their goals? Kids with no clear sexual identity; group-think based on race, gender, and class; no national pride or borders. Are you okay with that?
My issue is not with liberals like my brother and my dad and a lot of my friends. We can argue until the cows come home. My issue is with the left because we don’t share goals.
This war of goals isn’t coming. It’s here. You need to decide which side you’re on: the liberals’ and conservatives’ side, or the left’s.
Your future depends on it.
I’m Owen Benjamin for Prager University.