Sen. Kamala Harris talks a lot about “our American values.” Ditto the rest of the female candidates who’ve declared for president in the busy Democratic field. They all lecture us about “values.”
“Our American values are under attack,” Harris has tweeted. “Babies are being ripped from their parents at the border …”
As her own proud “know your values moment,” the Democrat from California pinpoints the U.S. Senate Supreme Court confirmation proceedings inflicted on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
To manipulate Americans, politicians have always used the values cudgel.
With respect to immigration, the idea is to impress upon gullible Americans that the world has a global Right of Return to the U.S. Fail to accept egalitarian immigration for all into America; and you are flouting the very essence of Americanism. (Or, to use liberal argumentation, you’re Hitler.)
When politicians pule about the importance of preserving “our values,” they mean their values: Barack Obama’s values, Hillary Clinton’s values, Angela Merkel’s values, Chucky Schumer’s values, Jeff Bezos’ values, the late John McMussolini’s values, Lindsey Graham’s values, and Jared and Ivanka’s values (but not Trump’s).
When a politician preaches about “the values that make our country great,” to quote Mrs. Clinton, chances are they mean multiculturalism, pluralism, wide-swung borders, Islam as peace, communities divided by diversity as a net positive, and the Constitution (it mandates all the above, just ask Ruth Bader Ginsburg) as a living, breathing, mutating philosophical malignancy.
For them, “protecting” the abstraction that is “our way of life” trumps the protection of real individual lives. “We must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are,” dissembled Obama in the waning weeks before he was gone. The empty phrase is meant to make the sovereign citizen—you—forget that government’s most important role, if not its only role, is to protect individual life.
In his last few addresses, Obama promised to speak up on “certain issues,” in times when he imagined “our core values may be at stake.” Likewise, in delivering her Control-Alt-Delete speech against the Deplorables, Clinton had asserted that “our country is great because we’re good. … Donald Trump disregards the values that make our country great.” The two’s groupthink, notwithstanding, only individuals can be virtuous, not collectives.
Self-government, and not imposed government, implies that society, and not The State, is to develop value systems. The State’s role is to protect citizens as they go about their business peacefully, living in accordance with their peaceful values.
When you hear an appeal to “permanent values”—”the values that make our country great,” to quote Clinton and the current crop of Democratic candidates—know you are dealing with world-class crooks. These crooks want to swindle you out of the freedom to think and believe as you wish. For in the classical conservative and libertarian traditions, values are private things, to be left to civil society—the individual, family and church—to practice and police.
The American government is charged purely with upholding the law, no more. Why so? Because government has police and military powers with which to enforce its “values.” A free people dare not entrust such an omnipotent entity with policing values, at home or abroad, for values enforced are dogma.
When incontestable majorities call on government to curb Islamic and other in-migration because this imperils American lives, President Trump’s unswerving opponents (within his party and without) and their media mafia—will invariably intone, “That’s not who we are.”
When you hear that manipulative mantra, tell them to zip it up; mind their own business, and stick to their constitutional mandate to protect the people, not police their minds.
Remember that through an appeal to values, the State aggrandizes itself.
A limited government, serving an ostensibly free people, must thus never enforce values. It follows that, because our form of government is incompatible with the enforcement of values, the American People can’t and mustn’t admit into their midst civilizations whose values are inimical to the survival of their own.
Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube