Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Two People, Two Ideas

As a presidential nominee, Joe Biden stated “America was an idea, an idea. We hold these truths to be self evident.’ We’ve never lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it before. And I just think we have to be more honest. Let our kids know, as we raise them, what actually did happen. Acknowledge our mistakes so we don’t repeat them."

On September 1, 2021 the President remarked "this is where America made its Declaration of Independence to the world more than two centuries ago with an idea, unique among nations, that in America, we’re all created equal."  And on the first anniversary of the attempted coup, Biden declared

And with rights come responsibilities: the responsibility to see each other as neighbors – maybe we disagree with that neighbor, but they’re not an adversary; the responsibility to accept defeat then get back in the arena and try again the next time to make your case; the responsibility to see that America is an idea – an idea that requires vigilant stewardship.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, whom Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he "will never leave,"  has a competing idea. She won't accept defeat and won't compete in the arena of ideas and yearns for a land of exclusivity. Not surprisingly

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) resurrected her calls for a “national divorce” on Monday, arguing that Republican and Democratic states needed to be separated and the federal government needed to shrink, although it is unclear what prompted the thought.

“We need a national divorce. We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government,” Greene said on Twitter on Monday. “From the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats to the Democrat’s traitorous America Last policies, we are done.”

Eight days ago, the Georgian previously most derided for believing in Jewish space lasers unloaded on "lazy and sorry" black people and white people. A week later, she would warn Democrats who move to a Republican state "you can live there, and you can work there, but you don’t get to bring your values that you basically created in the blue states you came from by voting for Democrat leaders and Democrat policies.”  Tuesdays are a busy day for Mrs. Greene.

This past December, at the annual gala in New York City of the New York Young Republicans, Greene had given her full-throated support to the attempted coup of January 6, 2021. Moreover

It was not the first time that Greene has suggested the idea of a “national divorce.” In late 2021, Greene said voters who brought “ruin” to California shouldn’t be allowed to do the same to a state like Florida.

“I will tell you something, if Steve Bannon and I organized that, we would have won,” she said, as attendees erupted in cheers and applause. “Not to mention, it would’ve been armed.”

Biden conceives of the idea of the USA as "all men are created equal."  That idea in the Declaration of Independence did not include women; or blacks; or men who didn't own land. It would be more accurate to illuminate the idea of representative democracy or of a democratic republic; a self-governing people.

Nonetheless, Biden's is the vision of a country which can and- with two steps forward and one step backward- gradually move toward a more perfect union, which coincides with Biden's ongoing optimism about the country. 

Responding last May to Democratic concerns about white supremacy in the wake of the mass shooting at a Buffalo, NY supermarket, Green commented "we should go after criminals that break the law and not pursue people based on their skin color and how they vote. But that's what the Democrats want to do."

Alas, it turns out that pursuing people and purging them from the country because of how they vote is a fundamental belief for Marjorie Taylor Green. It's an idea of two nations, divisible, with liberty and justice for anyone registered as Republican. It's ideal for someone who believes this nation was not founded on an idea but on a people: Christian, economically comfortable, and white if at all possible. 


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