A time for choosing


In 1964, Ronald Reagan burst upon the national political scene with his consequential speech about America’s worrisome move away from traditional American governance that focuses on the individual and reveres traditional morality. Americans nevertheless elected a Democrat who believed that smart government could right all wrongs.

That choice set America on the path to the 2020 election. This time, the choice is no longer between bigger or smaller government. Instead, Americans must choose between individual liberty under the Constitution or full-bore, totalitarian Marxism.

We chose wrong in 1964 but America’s inherent strength gave us a 46-year grace period. This time, however, we’d better get it right for there are no do-overs.

Conrad Black has written a compelling article focusing readers on the gaping chasm that now exists between Democrats and conservatives. Note that I do not say “between Democrats and Republicans.” Black explains that part of the breakdown in America today is that, beginning with George H. W. Bush,  Republicans elected to throw their weight in with the Democrats:

He [Bush, Sr.] was a dutiful vice president and competent president, but he never understood how or why Reagan had moved the Republican Party.

When Bush sought reelection in 1992, he lost 20 million mainly Republican votes to the political charlatan Ross Perot, thereby bringing the Clintons down upon America. President Clinton moved the Democratic Party closer to the center, away from the nostrums of Jimmy Carter and George McGovern. And the Bush-McCain-Romney Republicans were almost Clintonian political look-alikes.

It was OBushinton government for seven terms and, on balance, it was a disaster.

The  “Obushinton” world brought us one disaster after another, even as America managed to maintain a semblance of civil society: The Iraq War, the financial collapse of 2008 (flowing from Clinton’s regulatory policies), open borders, North Korea’s and Iran’s growing nuclear power, etc. As Black sums it up,

It was the most incompetent period of presidential government in American history, exceeding the decade prior to the Civil War and even the Prohibition, isolationism, and the crash of 1929 which led to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Distinctions became blurred between Republicans and Democrats, and the mediocre performance of the United States in the world and the failure of scores of millions of hard-working Americans to better their lot created the discontent in which Donald Trump was able to win control of the Republican Party by sweeping the primaries in 2016.

Or as James Taranto once explained (and I’m paraphrasing here, because I can’t find his original Wall Street Journal article), Republicans in Washington, D.C., docilely followed Democrats on almost all policies. The only difference was that Republicans fretted about how to pay for those policies.

Donald Trump was the great disrupter in this Obushinton world. He stood up to the Democrats and the Obushintons (whether the latter were politicians, pundits, or Deep Staters). Their convulsive desire to cast out the man whose stated goal has been to destroy them and to return America to a more traditional form of constitutional governance created the fever conditions that gave birth to the so-called “Resistance” and then led to the madness of 2020.

You could say that the American political body has a plague and the deadly buboes of that plague are, first, the Democrat response to the Wuhan virus (lockdowns, the reflexive opposition to hydroxychloroquine, the mask wars) and, second, the George Floyd riots that quickly morphed from mourning to all-out civil war, with violence on the streets and a sustained attack on every institution in America.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Somalia), gave voice to this deadly political and cultural sickness on Tuesday when she announced that America’s only hope lies in “dismantling” its “economy and political systems”:

To “dismantle” does not mean to “reform.” Instead, Omar is demanding that America “disassemble or pull down; take apart” an economy and liberty-oriented system of governance that has brought more people out of poverty and into freedom than any other system in the history of the world. This is the death of a liberty-oriented government.

The oath Omar took upon entering the House of Representatives, the one that calls upon her to support the Constitution, means nothing to a woman steeped in Marxist Islamic doctrine. But note well: Omar didn’t walk into the House on her own. Voters put her there, and the Democrat party considers her the voice of the future.

For those voters bewildered or bemused by what’s playing out before them – the willfully destroyed economy, the street riots that Democrat politicians and bureaucrats encourage, the media that has abandoned any function other than attacking Trump, the cancel culture that is infecting every aspect of American society, the speech codes imposed on us through big tech and our employers, and the elevation of a Nazi-style obsession with race – this is our time for choosing. 


July 8, 2020 | 8 Comments » | 1,037 views

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. Excellent analysis of where we are at and how we got there. But the questions remains: Can we survive as a nation. C’est la question.

  2. @ Adam Dalgliesh:
    “Can we survive as a nation”?

    Vietnam survives. Cambodia survives. Red China survives. Cuba survives. Russia survives. Germany survives. Sure, we can “survive as a nation”. Hong Kond survives as a “special administrative region”. Sweden survives. France survies; but I wouldn’t want to live in any of those places. They survive; but without the freedom they once had, without the safety they once had, without the dignity they once had.

    Freedom that can’t be taken away, is the ability to choose death rather than slavery.

  3. I am more pessimistic than Michael. Sociologogists have pointed out over the years that nations need a “civil religion” in order to hold together, achieve political stability and prosper. A civil religion includes, among other things, a veneration of the nation’s founders and other national heroes. By villifiying our nation’s chief founder, George Washington, and Thomas Jeffereson the author of the document that defines America’s civil religion, and numerous other national heroes, such as Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant. Woodrow Wilson, even Columbus, the rebels have attempted to destroy America’s civil religion. They have also done this by denouncing our foundational documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constituion, and declaring the U.S. as incurably racist. To the extent that this delegitimizing of our civil religion is accepted by most Americans, including whites, the results will be a take-over of the country by a Bolshevik-style regime that will create a new system of government (undemocratic minority rule, absolute power without law by the new rulers). If on the other hand, whites reject the rebellion and the radicals, a more or less endless civil war, a la Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, will insue.

  4. Another “problem” is that if the disorders persist, and many Americans refuse to accept the results of the November election, or it has to be canceled because of the disorder, foreign investors will pull their investments out of the United States, and transfer them to what they consider safer havens. Since all that has kept our country afloat economically for years has been the flood of foreign investments to the United States, by foreigners who have believed it to be a safe haven, this development will mean the collapse of the United States economy.

  5. There are many problems in US society today and systemic racism is certainly among them. It has been rampant since 1776 and before. Still, the Union has survived and even flourished. The problems we hear and read about daily, however, are not the ones of the past. They are not caused by the suppression of non whites but by the non acceptance of the reality of emancipation by a minority of frightened white people. They are afraid that without the benefits of ‘white privilege’ that they have always enjoyed they will be unable to maintain their lifestyle. These are, in many cases legitimate fears; but not legitimate complaints. I understand their position but they must learn to accept reality. Until they do they will be unhappy and the country will suffer.
    @ Adam Dalgliesh:

  6. @ Adam Dalgliesh:
    Hi, Adam

    I see what you mean about a “civil religion”. I’m surprised to see a name missing from your list, as well as from President Trump’s list for his “garden of the heroes” — namely, Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower expedition, my direct ancestor..

    I guess I have an ultra-Yankee perspective on things, which I admit I did not have before learning of my heritage. Some of my ancestors did fight under George Washington; and others later fought under Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War; but there, too, I never sensed any connection before studying my family tree. It was during that study, that I realized US History didn’t begin in 1776, but, to a far greater extent, in 1620. The bloodiest battle ever fought in North America, in the relationship between battle deaths and population, was King Philip’s War of 1675-78, a fact that I never learned in US History class. Also, the largest non-Catholic religious group in America, the Baptists, began not in the South but in New England — founded by Roger Williams and my ancestor Thomas Angel. As I said, though, I didn’t know about these things before studying my personal genealogy several years ago.

    I did study US history in high school, during the Sixties; but it was laughably poorly presented. That class was the most unruly one I had ever attended. The student in the desk next to mine literally brought a screwdriver to school and dismantled his desk right while class was going on. The teacher was an unfortunate alcoholic; and her method of teaching was having us go through the chapter and memorize all the numbers and the events connected with them. It wasn’t until college, that I learned about truly important, formative events like the Cane Ridge Revivlal of 1801, or the impact on American culture of figures like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.

    Considering Boone and Crockett, it’s interesting that Walt Disney, the King of Fantasy, probably had more to do with shaping the psyche of US young people who grew up in my generation. Despite that great impact, I didn’t learn until later about those men in some detail — for instance, that the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare were his constant companions.

    Those two books, along with Poor Richard’s Almanac, probably had more to do with American culture than any other single influence; so the ignorance of them among youth and politicians alike today is a dismal testimony of what America has come to. In this, I share your pessimism. My “optimism” comes only from my religion — through which I see the world as ultimately in the hands of God, not man; and in a sure expectation of an eternal life that will make today’s troubles seem like a passing fancy.

  7. “civil religion” American historians call the idea that the masses have of their history “mythos” (not myth, not mythology).
    This is their scientific term for the way the people imagine their country’s history.

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