By Wayne Allensworth
Sitting in a crowded waiting room can be a terrifying experience in the Twilight Zone world that is post-America. Masked nurses (I think today’s term is “care provider”), faceless apparitions, their voices muffled, shuffle patients in and out of examination rooms. My 90-year-old father seems bewildered by the scene, and he whispers to me that we appear to be the only Americans in the place. I’ve come to expect that waiting rooms will be filled with exotic menageries like one of those depictions of the races of man in dusty old encyclopedias. I note, however, that we are, after all, not alone–or are we? An obese white woman on one of those scooters now common among our growing non-ambulatory population is busily tapping away on her cell phone. Her enormous arms are covered with tattoos. Meanwhile, a TV screen hanging on the wall is telling us about the trials and tribulations of a “trans-gender” child. His–or her, I can’t tell which–parents, being virtuous people, naturally support the “transition,” since we must all be who we are, depending on who we feel like. Two Hispanic women, also covered with tattoos, seem entranced by the story.
This in one of the country’s more conservative big states, in a relatively conservative city. But are there any real conservative forces out there?
I’m there as a translator. My father is hard of hearing, for one thing, and for another, I know he won’t understand the heavily-accented speech of the cardiologist, an outgoing and fast-talking product of the Indian subcontinent. And, yes, she, too will be wearing a mask, so there’s that to deal with. She’s not bad as doctors go these days, and we are already on our second cardiologist (one cannot assume basic competence any longer), so we hope this relationship works out.
It’s not a bad visit. We get in and out in a little over an hour, which surprises me. The doctor scurries in with her assistant, who taps away on a laptop computer as the cardiologist fires questions at my father and I reply. I tell her I have decided that my father will not be taking one of his prescribed meds on the lengthy list we review in the exam room. She says I shouldn’t do that, but I cut her off … I see him every day, I think I know better than the various medicos we visit what he needs or doesn’t need. She doesn’t protest. Score one for her.
Outside, the last spasm of summer has produced another shimmering hot day. As I help my father into the car, I can’t help but feel a wave of bitter nostalgia. The cardiologist’s practice is housed in an ugly strip center. She’s a stranger, a foreigner, and we are among a dwindling number of Americans she tends to. She’s not inattentive and listens to her patients. But something is missing.
For just a passing moment in time, I recall the small brick building that housed our family doctor, a man who was also our friend, a general practitioner who delivered myself and my brothers in the same modest hospital. It was not just a matter of speaking the same language, but of sharing the same assumptions. Our family doctor was part of our world. He was family, too, and we all trusted him as if he were. His wife was the office nurse, and their family members were our friends as well. The other patients were people like us, and the level of trust among us was high. I think that’s what “community” used to mean before the term was politicized. That was back when “conversation” didn’t mean a dreary political harangue.
That country is long gone. In retrospect, it’s plain to see that whatever its faults, it was a far saner, more stable place than the disorienting freak show in which we are all unwilling actors. And it was our home, for that’s what nations are. I think people who have not been possessed by ideological demons know that. In that sense, we are all homeless now. America is on life support, a stream of memories that vivifies the morbid present, mingled with regrets at our failure to act to halt the destruction when there was still time.
We had better face the reality that we have lost. The border is wide open, and the system’s new majority is streaming across it in massive numbers, with more to come. There is no time for court cases or formal protests. Action to halt the human tidal wave can’t come fast enough, and the posturing of “conservative” politicians might make “the base” feel momentarily better, but it won’t save it. Even if the border is secured, the chances that the mass of aliens who have already arrived will be deported are slim at best.
Preparing for life as a minority doesn’t mean our situation is hopeless. As I wrote before, we must carve out enclaves for our people to live our lives as we see fit. Our counterrevolution should take the form of what the Mises Institute’s Jeff Deist calls “soft secession” based on geographical and ideological self-segregation — “The Great Sort,” he calls it — together with regionalism, localism, and nullification, something the Left has been practicing for years.
We must start with ourselves by personally seceding from the insanity. Don’t participate in it, don’t accept it, push back whenever possible. Pushing back won’t be easy and might be dangerous. But we have no chance of winning a wider struggle without each of us fighting our own battle.
We are not going to vote ourselves out of this.
Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.