"Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -- a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence."
So wrote John Jay in Federalist No. 2, wherein he describes Americans as a "band of brethren united to each other by the strongest ties."
That "band of brethren united" no longer exists.
No longer are we "descended from the same ancestors."
Indeed, as we are daily instructed, it is our "diversity" -- our citizens can trace their ancestors to every member state of the United Nations -- that "is our strength." And this diversity makes us a stronger, better country than the America of Eisenhower and JFK.
No longer do we speak the same language. To tens of millions, Spanish is their language. Millions more do not use English in their homes. Nor are their children taught in English in the schools.
As for "professing the same religion," the Christianity of Jay and the Founding Fathers has been purged from all public institutions. One in 5 Americans profess no religious faith. The mainline Protestant churches -- the Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian -- have been losing congregants for a half-century. Secularism is the religion of the elites. It alone is promulgated in public schools.
Are we attached to "the same principles of government"?
Half the nation believes it is the duty of government to feed, house, educate and medicate the population and endlessly extract from the well-to-do whatever is required to make everybody more equal.
Egalitarianism has triumphed over freedom. Hierarchy, the natural concomitant of freedom, is seen as undemocratic.
Are we similar "in our manners and customs"? Are we agreed upon what is good or even tolerable in music, literature, art?
Do we all seek to live by the same moral code? Abortion, a felony in the 1950s, is now a constitutional right. Homosexual marriage, an absurdity not long ago, is the civil rights cause du jour.
Dissent from the intolerant new orthodoxy and you are a bigot, a hater, a homophobe, an enemy of women's rights.
Recent wars -- Vietnam, Iraq -- have seen us not "fighting side by side" but fighting side against side.
Racially, morally, politically, culturally, socially, the America of Jay and the Federalist Papers is ancient history. Less and less do we have in common. And to listen to cable TV is to realize that Americans do not even like one another. If America did not exist as a nation, would these 50 disparate states surrender their sovereignty and independence to enter such a union as the United States of 2012?
Nor are we unique in sensing that we are no longer one. Scotland, Catalonia and Flanders maneuver to break free of the nations that contain their peoples. All over the world, peoples are disaggregating along the lines of creed, culture, tribe and faith.
What has this to do with the election of 2012? Everything.
For if America is to endure as a nation, her peoples are going to need the freedom to live differently and the space to live apart, according to their irreconcilable beliefs. Yet should Barack Obama win, the centralization of power and control will continue beyond the point of no return.
His replacement of any retiring Supreme Court justice with another judicial activist -- a Sonia Sotomayor, an Elena Kagan -- would negate a half-century of conservative labors and mean that abortion on demand -- like slavery, a moral abomination to scores of millions -- is forever law in all 50 states.
President Obama speaks now of a budget deal in which Democrats agree to $2.50 in spending cuts if the Republicans agree to $1 in tax increases. But given the character of his party -- for whom Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, food stamps, Head Start, earned income tax credits and Pell Grants are holy icons -- any deal Obama cuts with Republicans in return for higher taxes will be like the deal Ronald Reagan eternally regretted.
The tax hikes become permanent; the budget cuts are never made.
In the first debate, Mitt Romney said that in crafting a budget that consumes a fourth of the economy, he would ask one question: "Is the program so critical that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?"
If a President Romney held to that rule, it would spell an end to any new wars of choice and all foreign aid and grants to global redistributionsts -- such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. It would entail a review of all U.S. alliances dating back to the Cold War, which have U.S. troops on every continent and in a hundred countries.
Obama offers more of the stalemate America has gone through for the past two years.
Romney alone offers a possibility of hope and change.