About two years ago, one of my wife's best friends began to turn down invitations to get together. Then, out of the blue, she unfriended my wife on Facebook.
That's kind of a rude way to brush off someone, so my wife finally asked her: What gives? Have I offended you? Her terse text response was full of self-righteousness: "John (her husband) and I are so appalled by the things that Steve writes that we don't want to associate with you anymore."
I wasn't offended that they disagree with my positions or even that they felt our political disagreements are so wide that we probably shouldn't hang out together anymore. After all, we are two Americas today.
What stuck in my craw was the word "appalled." It was her way of saying: "We are better people than you. We have higher standards." "Appalled" is the outrage you feel when someone gets drunk and starts hitting on your wife.
I recite the incident because it is an example of how liberals have anointed themselves as not just intellectually but morally superior to those on the right. Welcome to the "religious left."
A case in point: the Boston Globe recently printed a front-page opinion piece by the paper's liberal columnist Yvonne Abraham, who denounced the idea of any "unity" agenda with Republicans or conservatives. "Here's the thing about unity," she snuffed. "To achieve it, you have to believe in a common good. And most members of this Republican Party have demonstrated over and over that they simply don't." You can't find common ground with a movement "defined by lies."
Of course, the irony here is that it is President Joe Biden, not Republicans, who is pledging an agenda to unify the country. But so far, the new administration's position seems to be: Why bother to find common ground when you control all of the levers of governmental power and you can steamroll over them instead?
What is to be gained by uniting with people who are "white supremacists" or "insurrectionists"?
Most everyone I know on the right agrees that violence is rarely, if ever, an acceptable form of political protest.
Do liberals? The new vice president of the United States called the liberal mobs who ransacked cities this summer "social justice warriors." Apparently, it is excusable to burn down a building or assault a police officer if you are protesting racial injustice, climate change, abortion rights or cuts in social programs.
The Trump Haters say that the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol are guilty of a treasonable offense. OK, but several years ago, when many thousands of "social justice warriors" (i.e., union thugs) stormed past the police and occupied the domed Capital building in Madison for days, the media celebrated.
Abraham is right about unity. America is now a country divided into Hatfields and McCoys. In just his first four days in office, it's clear there isn't going to be any unifying of the country under Biden. That was a hollow campaign slogan that has swirled down the drain as the White House issued executive orders, such as killing the Keystone XL pipeline, that have infuriated conservatives. The absurd House snap-impeachment of former President Donald Trump a few days before he was to leave office was absurd enough, but not nearly as divisive as the apparent Senate plans to go ahead with a trial.
Biden said he "doesn't see red states and blue states, only sees the United States." Really? Then why is one of his first proposals a blue-state bailout to the tune of $350 billion -- to be paid by the Republicans in red states. That is a financial insurrection against the half of the states that are not run by Democrats.
The left doesn't want unity with the right. It wants submission. They don't think we live up to their standards of proper behavior and righteousness.
If these are the people that are collectively "unfriending" us on Facebook and in the grocery stores, that's fine by us. Frankly, the feeling is mutual.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy."