What Hurricane Harvey teaches us about humanity

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
 | 
Ben Shapiro - Guest Columnist
https://twitter.com/BenShapiro

Ben ShapiroIt's inspirational when a natural disaster such as a massive hurricane unifies us. But it's far harder to unify against a threat if we're unwilling to identify it. So let's call it out: the true threat to America comes not from outside but from within.


The pictures, videos and social media posts coming out of Houston, Texas, thanks to Hurricane Harvey are horrifying: children camped out on kitchen counters in order to avoid flooding; elderly women stuck in rest homes and up to their waist in water; tweets from local police departments reminding residents to bring axes into their attic in case they have to cut their way through their roof to escape rising waters.

But just as many pictures and videos are inspirational: local men and women hopping into their boats and looking for victims to rescue; police carrying children out of flooded houses; Americans helping one another.

Whenever disaster strikes, we're always inspired by images of human beings helping one another. Disaster often brings out the best in us: our capacity for care, our bravery in risking our lives to help others. Then we're inevitably disappointed in our unending ability to leave those qualities behind the moment disaster ends. We'll rush into burning buildings to save each other, but we'll club each other on the head at political rallies.

Why?

Because there are certain enemies we hold in common. We hold death in common; we'll help all but our worst enemies escape the grave. We hold natural disasters in common as an enemy; we'll react to them by helping out our neighbors. And we hold civilizational threats in common; we'll fight together against the Nazi scourge or the Soviet threat.

But what about when there is no civilizational threat? What about when we're so powerful that serious threats seem unserious?

Former President Obama informed us routinely that radical Islamic terrorism didn't threaten our civilization. It's no wonder, then, that so few Americans see radical Islam as a threat worth unifying against. President Trump tells us that Russia isn't a civilizational threat, and neither is global warming. Without a credible existential threat, Americans don't unify.

But there is a credible existential threat to Americans. The problem is that it's internal.

America was built on the foundation of free speech, liberty in personal action, and freedom from violence and governmental tyranny. Those principles are now under attack by groups like antifa, far-left-leaning militants, which maintains that there is an existential threat that justifies wartime measures: the presence of the American system itself. Antifa members believe America is steeped in racism, bigotry, economic injustice and police barbarity. And they believe that this gives them the right to carve away at the foundations that hold us together.

This makes them an existential threat, a cancer gnawing at the vitals of the nation. They aren't the only ones, of course: Some violent members of the "alt-right," for example, believe that non-white Americans are the existential threat and use the same logic as antifa. But the true threat to America comes not from outside but from within. It's far harder to unify against that threat if we're unwilling to identify it.

But we should be willing to unify. We should all be willing to defend our neighbors in the peaceful expression of their rights – we should stand with them against violence. We should commit acts of kindness and heroism to help them. There is a storm coming. We must fight it together, or it will overwhelm us while we close our eyes to its danger.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM


Ben Shapiro, 33, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is The New York Times best-selling author of "Bullies."

This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by OneNewsNow.com are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network, OneNewsNow.com, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION
We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What is the most laughable claim by the Left over Russian 'collusion' and now an FBI informant?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  NFL's policy could mean a new playbook on protests this fall
  Officials: Weinstein to surrender in sexual misconduct probe
  Latest: 3 lava flows now reaching ocean off Hawaii
  Tesla in Autopilot sped up before Utah crash
Trump cancels North Korean summit, citing 'tremendous anger'
Dem, GOP leaders to get classified briefing on Russia probe
Border Patrol agent kills illegal immigrant after attack

LATEST FROM THE WEB

North Korea was no-show for summit planning meeting in Singapore last week, White House reveals
North Korea responds to Trump cancelling summit
Jury rejects Planned Parenthood claims against pro-lifer
What if school walkouts don't work?
In calling MS-13 gang members 'animals,' Trump was kind

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY