The Right Opinion

November Is a Plebiscite On the American Revolution

By Dennis Prager · May 1, 2012

Election Day 2012 will not be a presidential election. It will be a plebiscite.

Americans will not only be voting for a president (and a House and a third of the Senate). They will be participating in a plebiscite on the definition of America.

If Americans re-elect the Democrat, Barack Obama, they will have announced that America should be like Western European countries – governed by left-wing values. Americans will have decided that America’s value system – “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” “E Pluribus Unum” – should be replaced.

The election in November is therefore a plebiscite on the American Revolution. The usual description of presidential elections – “the most important in our lifetime” – is true this time. In fact, it may be the most important election since the Civil War, and possibly since America’s founding.

The left knows what is at stake. And the most left-wing president in American history knows what is at stake. Candidate Obama announced shortly before the 2008 election, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

He described the left’s aim perfectly: to fundamentally transform America. It seeks to replace Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.

That is what “fundamentally transform” means. In fact, those words are proof that American values and leftist values are fundamentally opposed to one another.

The right, on the other hand, seeks to maintain America’s values. Conservatives want to improve America, but, as its name implies, conservatism seeks to conserve, not transform.

“Liberty” means, first and foremost, limited government – because bigger government means less individual liberty. “In God We Trust” means that America must be rooted in Creator-based values. There are no inalienable rights if no rights derive from God. And “E Pluribus Unum” means the assumption of an American identity by all citizens regardless of their racial, ethnic or national background.

The left seeks to replace Liberty with Equality. Material inequality is the great evil, and if individual liberty needs to be sacrificed to attain equality, so be it.

Creator-based values are to be replaced by government-based values. “God-fearing” is to be replaced by “State-fearing.” God must be removed from schools and wherever else the left can succeed in doing so.

“E Pluribus Unum” is to be replaced by multiculturalism. For leftism, the very words “American identity” conjure up chauvinism, if not fascism.

For these reasons, this election is not just a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It is between Americanism and leftism.

This does not mean that left-wing Americans are un-American or unpatriotic – or that they do not love their country. The conflict between Americanism and leftism is between ideas, not between decent and indecent people. But it is an unfortunate fact of life that decent people can believe in bad ideas. If this were not so, few of the greatest evils would ever have occurred.

If this election is indeed a plebiscite on America, Mitt Romney cannot campaign solely, or even primarily, on the state of the economy. First, what if the economy even slightly improves? What happens then to Governor Romney’s appeal? Moreover, relying for one’s success on the suffering of one’s fellow Americans is morally as well as politically perilous. Second, Americans want to vote for more than an economic Mr. Fix-It, as desirable as such a person is.

So, too, Mr. Romney should not overly personalize his campaign. He is running against Obama, but Barack Obama is not the biggest issue. The left’s desire to transform America is the biggest issue. Barack Obama is to be opposed because he is a man of the left.

Mitt Romney and the entire Republican Party need to describe this election as the plebiscite on America that it is. The most urgent task in American life is to make clear, and then repeat as often as possible: leftist values and American values are in conflict.

Instead of asking, “Are you better off than you were three years ago?” Every Republican needs to ask, every day, “Do you want to fundamentally transform America?” If they do, Barack Obama is their man. If they don’t, Mitt Romney is.



Dioneikes in Colorado said:

This then is the answer we should strive for -"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."–Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 9:42 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

This does not mean that left-wing Americans are un-American or unpatriotic -- or that they do not love their country. The conflict between Americanism and leftism is between ideas, not between decent and indecent people. But it is an unfortunate fact of life that decent people can believe in bad ideas.Ignorance is no excuse for Treason. If they are against our Founders ideals, embrace the failed ideology of Marx, then their goal of tranformation makes them Traitors, willfull or ignorant. They have sworn an oath to support and defend the Constition agains all enemies, both foreign and domestic. In their attempt to shred the Constition, the rule of Law, and tranform our Republic, they commit treason.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM

John in Alaska replied:

If they (left-wing) love America why do they want to destroy it?
Ignorance is no excuse for Treason. I agree 100%

Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Captain Bob in Columbus, OH replied:

I do not believe that they want to DESTROY America. Rather they want to TRANSFORM it into their idea of utopia. Unfortunately, they have not learned from history that Socialist States cannot survive.

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Bubba said:

Largely agree with Mr. Prager, however, if Obama stands against the American founding's ideas and ideals, why should he not be called anti American? That is precisely what he is. Am I missing something?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Jim in Western NC said:

Leftists ARE unpatriotic, unless you redefine the meaning of "patriotism." It's at the core of their worldview. That's why they'll gladly march FORWARD with Comrade Obama toward a socialist America, while holding high their little red books.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 10:26 PM