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The morning after this tumultuous election cycle finally ended, residents waited to see if chaos would unfold around them. Some took to the streets believing the power shift would spell the end of America and the unraveling of our country.

But the real power shift occurred the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1800, as the United States experienced its first peaceful transition of power – between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans.

The election of 1800 is extraordinary in that it was the first major shift in American political power not to be marked by extended violence, conflict or loss of life.

A peaceful transition of political power is something that has long since been integral to the democracy of the American Republic.

It speaks to the great unity that America has always relied on, a unity that is currently threatened, but one we must retain if we are to move forward.

Now here we are in 2016 with people protesting in the streets, wasting tax dollars and law enforcement resources, and halting our freeways that everyday workers and emergency services need – all because some people were unhappy with the result of an election.

There is no legitimate reason to protest; the president-elect hasn’t even been given a chance to lead. Yet protest they did with bitterness and vexation.

At my university, too, I was routinely stopped and grilled by student protesters who wouldn’t let students pass in an attempt to shame all students who did not join them.

This is not the America that we were meant to have. America was envisioned as a strong republic, built on the rule of law and the idea that civilized politics no longer had to result in a loss of life or seizure of power by other means.

Unfortunately, we seem to be reverting to a pre-1800 frame of mind when it comes to our transfers of power.

This, I would argue, is the result of years of identity politics driven at pointing out what divides us, rather than what unites us as Americans. Gender, race, religion, ethnicity – all have become things used to create pocket identities that strip away from a greater American identity.

A few days ago, a man by the name of Richard Spencer held a convention during which he espoused “white nationalist” ideas and claimed to be a representative of the “Alt-Right.”

In this conference he used much of the same style of rhetoric used by those on the left, claiming whites needed a (safe) space for themselves.

This is not what conservatism or the right in America stand for – Trump’s victory is a testament to the fact that Americans are sick of identity politics ripping us apart.

Strategists and lobbyists like Richard Spencer from both the left and the right not only create separate ideas about our allegiance and who we identify as our group, but also create antagonists for our group to direct its anger against.

If you’re a woman, then it is the white heterosexual men who are the reason for your ills. If you’re a person of color, then it is all those of European ancestry who can be blamed.

Or if you’re white, then you need to be separate from the “other,” as Spencer puts it.

This creates the conditions in which people stop viewing the election as a democratic and peaceful transfer of power within their own country, but instead see it as a hostile takeover by whatever “other” wins.

“The New Right,” a term that I believe most accurately describes the conservative political movement of the youth, sees that these identity politics have failed us and will only continue to lead us down a dark and desolate path.

Conservatism is not about trying to relive the past, but about making us remember the fundamentals our society was built on.

It is about reinvigorating those fundamentals in an effort to create a country of people who aspire to something greater than themselves.

Identity politics seeks to divide and conquer us.

The New Right is here to make sure we are united and strong.

Erick Werner is a West Ranch alumni, Santa Clarita resident and university student.

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  • Brian Baker

    Well said, Erik. Bravo.

    Young people like you give me hope for the future of this country.

    • indy

      I’m not sure if the response by this poster is going to be proven true although I do believe for the first time, this Op-ed writer actually came down to earth a bit and started seeing what many Americans desire: Unity.

      As we’ve seen here at this board the name calling and character assassination doesn’t map to unity. Rather than debate openly for a solution that can be demonstrated to work, we get partisan ideology attacks most of which lack merit and add nothing to unity.

      As far as the transition of power President Obama was quick to invite Trump to the White House and openly tell his staff to provide any support needed during the transition.

      As far as the public protest regarding Trump’s election, anyone reading the news would have seen the white supremacy groups becoming ‘empowered’ by Trump’s election rhetoric . . . thinking back in history where citizens faced with super nationalism who didn’t speak up often lost their lives later.

      So the Op-ed writer’s assertion that ‘There is no legitimate reason to protest’ lacks credibility with respect to current events. This is the danger of cocooning oneself into partisan media outlets that ‘frame’ news to meet the ‘beliefs’ of their followers versus any objective reporting that would alerted the Op-ed writer to the issues he’s addressing here.

      Where the Op-ed writer wrote: “This, I would argue, is the result of years of identity politics driven at pointing out what divides us, rather than what unites us as Americans. Gender, race, religion, ethnicity – all have become things used to create pocket identities that strip away from a greater American identity.” This ignores much of the issues relating to such important topics as pay equality, equal protection under the law, and maintaining religious freedom for ‘all’ religions.

      Remember, there are extremist in all religions . . . even here in the US with the dominate religion.

      Trump is saying the same things as Bush did about being the ‘uniter’ but lets do as the Op-ed writer suggest, give Trump his opportunity and end the campaign rancor most of which is geared toward the GOP ‘base’ versus the general public.

      Finally, the Op-ed writer restates the premise of conservatism: “Conservatism is not about trying to relive the past, but about making us remember the fundamentals our society was built on.” . . . but this premise ignores the changing world we live in.

      Relying on beliefs that no longer map to the modern world only creates more voter frustration and not unity.

      It’s going to be interesting to see if the highly partisan ‘alt-right’ movement accepts any compromise to support the Op-ed writers’ assertions.

      Time will tell . . .

  • nohatejustdebate

    Erik, you’re actually exercising your brain and thinking for yourself. You’ll never be a Democrat. You stated it well that conservatism is about conserving those values and practices that made America the greatest nation in the history of mankind. This election enough Americans were able to see through the smokescreen of fear, hate, and identify politics to take America back from the failed policies of socialistic ideology that has never worked, any where, any time, for anybody.

    The Democratic Party has become a regional party of the left coast and the northeast. Of the 5,000 counties in the United States, Hillary Clinton won 300 of them. So what have they done to expand their party’s reach? Appointed leaders in the Senate and the House from New York and San Francisco to be the face and voice of their party. I l-o-v-e it!

    • Brian Baker

      “Of the 5,000 counties in the United States, Hillary Clinton won 300 of them.”

      And that’s exactly the point of the Electoral College. Our country is a confederation of independent states, consisting of lesser entities known as counties or, in the case of Louisiana, parishes. We’re not a monolithic country like Russia (for example). The EC recognizes this fact and is the mechanism that allows those independent states to express their preferences in a way that assures that their own interests will be represented.

      A direct democracy that eliminated the EC would be the practical equivalent of three foxes and a hen voting on what’s for dinner, and was something the Founders explicitly wanted to prevent.

      • tech

        Precisely. Stated with a different cast of animals, this:

        http://imgur.com/a/LudYN

        Direct democracy is how we get citizens voting on taxes increases that others will pay and surrender of liberty like Prop 63.

        “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” – George Bernard Shaw

    • tech

      Noting Indy’s absolutely predictable responses to Mr. Werner’s columns, do you think he objects to the latter’s independent thinking, NHJD? Or would prefer acceptance of Bernie Sanders socialist programming?

  • nohatejustdebate

    Three foxes and a hen voting on what’s for dinner is how Democrats define democracy and how the media defines journalism. Anything other than this blatant bias is considered bigotry, hatred, racism, and every phobia you can puke up. Part of the reason Democrats are in such shock is because their trusted brand of identity politics and toxic polarization didn’t work this time around. Obama was seductive enough to cover it up as a candidate but Clinton was like fingernails on a chalkboard.

  • nohatejustdebate

    tech, I’ve noticed in this new format that sometimes comments that get posted seem to get lost or jumbled in order later. Didn’t catch your question about Indy. Remember how he embraced the Occupy Wall Street Movement which was yet another Socialistic failure on the trash heap of history.

    I did notice how Indy commended Barack Obama for inviting Trump to the White House and offered to assist in any way he can during the transition. Uhhhh….shouldn’t this be expected? I guess for Democrats the standard for class is so low that Obama’s gestures seem remarkable.

    • tech

      “Sustainable” Utopians wish to destroy non-government institutions to make way for a future led by the Socialist New Man who would reconstruct society unfettered by private rights, morals, property, etc. Hence the constant according of the term “folklore” for key elements of Western Civilization.

  • nohatejustdebate

    And let us not forget how the “ancient texts” that teach about honoring God, our parents, not killing, not stealing, staying true to our spouse, and not coveting no longer map to the modern world. The ideals of today’s modern culture work so much better for society.

  • Nishka

    To quote Indy : The two opinions below are most profound !!!!!
    Indy thank you for your input. Always intelligent, insightful and for me deeply felt!!!!!

    “Conservatism is not about trying to relive the past, but about making us remember the fundamentals our society was built on.” . . . but this premise ignores the changing world we live in.”

    “Relying on beliefs that no longer map to the modern world only creates more voter frustration and not unity.”

    • tech

      JFK paraphrased this quote in a 1945 notebook.:

      “In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.” – G.K. Chesterton, The Thing 1929