Lance Morrow: “Most American news outlets, partisans of the left’s program, dismiss the views of the other half of the country.”

From a Wall Street Journal column by Lance Morrow headlined “Joe Biden’s American Grandstand”:

The country reinvents itself from time to time. Reinvention is what Americans have instead of revolution, which Karl Marx called the “locomotive of history.”…

The country started with people coming across the ocean to reinvent themselves—a project that was either glorious or genocidal, depending on how woke you are….

Now the Biden administration, headed by a man a few years too old to be a boomer, entertains ambitions to take a great leap forward. But wait….By what mandate does the Biden administration undertake the work of irrevocably altering American society?…

There was no mandate in the outcome of the last election. November 2020 merely confirmed that the U.S. remains split precisely down the middle, 50-50, as it has been for more than 20 years….If the 2020 election meant anything, it confirmed the irreconcilable differences—a standoff of the cobra and mongoose….

He and his people have gone into business with a bogus, echo-chamber mandate: They manipulate a media illusion of unanimity, and presume to impose a moral narrative….

Most mainstream American news outlets, unblushing partisans of the left’s program, dismiss the views of the other half of the country. Whether that bad half is called Trumpian or conservative or merely old-fashioned, the left thinks it sufficient to demonize such people in annihilating terms like “domestic terrorist,” “racist,” “white supremacist” and “transphobic.”

Is there a mandate for the country to be reinvented just now? Leave aside Donald Trump’s claims that the election was stolen; it was, without argument, close. The result would seem to call not for a radical transformation of the country but, rather, for compromise, reconciliation and the retraction of ideological claws. Then people might calm down.

But a president who is 78 is bound to be impatient. Mr. Biden didn’t lay a glove on history during nearly four decades in the U.S. Senate. A man of his age—fearing that he may amount to nothing more than the great Obama’s onetime sidekick—is apt to react to the surprise of waking up in the White House by pandering to the flashiest ideas of the young people and their hero Bernie Sanders….If he’s just as woke as the woke, the years will fall away. He can be young again. He can be the Dick Clark of 21st-century statesmen, presiding over the kids’ dances, spinning platters on the record player of the American future.

The country, which is the accumulation of its repeated reinventions, ought to be careful. It isn’t clear that reinvention is always a good idea. It may be true that a country, like a person, must die to be born again. But up close, both death and rebirth are a painful, messy, serious business that should be respected—and may be horribly botched.

Morrow is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His latest book is “God and Mammon: Chronicles of American Money.”

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