As a young boy, I asked my parents to order a box of magic tricks that I read about in a magazine. Weeks later, my box arrived. Locking my bedroom door, I tore into the package ready to learn the secret of fooling friends and family with my new magic wand, cape and hat, Ellis rings, trick card deck and dice, among other classics.
The accompanying booklet explained that the key to executing an audience- stumping magic trick was misdirection and sleight of hand techniques. After a few days of practice, I strung up Christmas lights in our basement, set chairs neatly in a row, and posted 8”x11” flyers around the house announcing the Saturday Morning Magic Show.
Tickets were twenty-five cents.
As an adult, I became fascinated with Houdini, Penn and Teller, and the flamboyant showman David Copperfield — whose current net worth is a reported $1 billion. One of Copperfield’s most ambitious tricks was promising to make the Statue of Liberty disappear in front of both a live on location and TV audience. No small feat.
Of course, what Copperfield was relying upon was the magical thinking of his audience. Fans wanted to believe Copperfield was able to make the statue disappear. They needed to believe in the possibilities — even though Lady Liberty stood 305’ tall, taller than a football field standing on its endzone. When the curtain dropped, defying logic, reason, and physics, the 450,000 pound statue was indeed gone. The crowd went wild. Watch the illusion here.
[Spoiler alert: Copperfield actually moves the audience, not the statue.]
Abortion advocates and those who oppose religious freedom, along with an enabling press, have spent years polishing their acts by leveraging the magical thinking of their audience. In many instances, they’ve attempted to put on a fantastical show, offering what they wanted to see and believe — but in the end, much of it was smoke and mirrors. The most recent magic trick? The Inauguration Day promise of America United.
As president, we’re supposed to believe Joe Biden will wave his wand and all that divides the country will magically disappear. On the surface that sounds wonderful. We, like fans of Copperfield, want to believe that the new president will do everything in his power to bring unity and healing — especially in the wake of the unrest in our streets dating back to last summer with a string of more than 10,000 demonstrations.
Far too many protests sparked acts of violence, where national monuments were destroyed and countless private businesses vandalized. This is why Team Biden’s America United promise of “a new national journey that restores the soul of America” and “brings the country together” is as urgently needed as it is inspirational.
Americans are at the breaking point. For the better part of a year, they’ve been locked down at home, masks strapped to their faces, with hands raw from washing them with industrial-strength anti-bacterial soap. They feel helpless as renegade governors, wielding unconstitutional powers, closed their jobs, churches and schools — while permitting strip clubs to remain open.
Worse, Americans are heartbroken over the reality that their jobs aren’t coming back because “60% of business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are now permanent.”
Given that January is the Sanctity of Life month, let’s explore that topic. Ever since Roe v. Wade, the country has been split on abortion rights. If President-elect Biden wants to see America United, some of his appointments are curious selections. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is well known for her staunch pro-abortion extremism. The National Right to Life Committee gave her a 0% rating in terms of her policies to protect the lives of the unborn while NARAL Pro- Choice America awarded Harris a 100% rating.
No sleight of hand trick can change that reality.
Likewise, how will Xavier Becerra, Biden’s cabinet pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, unify America? By all accounts, Becerra has an appalling record on life issues — from supporting partial-birth abortions to rejecting parental consent of minors seeking an abortion, he shares Harris’ 0% rating from the National Right to Life and a 100% perfect rating from NARAL. National Review describes him this way: “Becerra would be a radical pro-abortion warrior at HHS.”
Furthermore, President-elect Biden has promised to restore taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood in his “Agenda for Women.” That reversal is sure to alienate the 74 million Americans who voted for the last administration’s pro-life platform. At the risk of being redundant, does Mr. Biden think by promising America United he can conceal the truth— namely, that his slight of hand will endanger the lives of millions of preborn babies?
We applaud magicians who mystify us with their tricks. We’re less benevolent when politicians do the same.
Yes, I will pray that a President Biden, in spite of his early cabinet choices and stated policy changes, succeeds in being a peacemaker who unifies us. America needs much more than platitudes, promises, and magical thinking. She needs revival.
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