Supposedly when the Constitutional Convention concluded, Ben Franklin was asked what form of government America now had, and he said, “A Republic, Ma’am, if you can keep it.”
We lost it quite a ways back.
“Electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump cannot change that trajectory. Because each candidate represents constituencies hostile to republicanism, each in its own way, these individuals are not what this election is about. This election is about whether the Democratic Party, the ruling class’s enforcer, will impose its tastes more strongly and arbitrarily than ever, or whether constituencies opposed to that rule will get some ill-defined chance to strike back. Regardless of the election’s outcome, the republic established by America’s Founders is probably gone. But since the Democratic Party’s constituencies differ radically from their opponents’, and since the character of imperial governance depends inherently on the emperor, the election’s result will make a big difference in our lives.
Many Enemies, Few Friends
The overriding question of 2016 has been how eager the American people are to reject the bipartisan class that has ruled this country contrary to its majority’s convictions. Turned out, eager enough to throw out the baby with the dirty bathwater. The ruling class’s united front in response to the 2008 financial crisis had ignited the Tea Party’s call for adherence to the Constitution, and led to elections that gave control of both houses of Congress to the Republican Party. But as Republicans became full partners in the ruling class’s headlong rush in what most considered disastrous directions, Americans lost faith in the Constitution’s power to restrain the wrecking of their way of life.
From the primary season’s outset, the Democratic Party’s candidates promised even more radical “transformations.” When, rarely, they have been asked what gives them the right to do such things they have acted as if the only answer were Nancy Pelosi’s reply to whether the Constitution allows the government to force us into Obamacare: “Are you kidding? Are you kidding?”
On the Republican side, 17 hopefuls promised much, without dealing with the primordial fact that, in today’s America, those in power basically do what they please. Executive orders, phone calls, and the right judge mean a lot more than laws. They even trump state referenda. Over the past half-century, presidents have ruled not by enforcing laws but increasingly through agencies that write their own rules, interpret them, and punish unaccountably—the administrative state. As for the Supreme Court, the American people have seen it invent rights where there were none—e.g., abortion—while trammeling ones that had been the republic’s spine, such as the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech. The Court taught Americans that the word “public” can mean “private” (Kelo v. City of New London), that “penalty” can mean “tax” (King v. Burwell), and that holding an opinion contrary to its own can only be due to an “irrational animus” (Obergefell v. Hodges).”
I’m sad, but not in despair. Christians have lived under other regimes, do live under other regimes.
John Adams said that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
We have been neither for many decades now. We were never perfect, but we did at least once, as a nation, value both morality and religion, particularly the values of Christianity. We’ve been mocking them, scorning them, undermining them, and jettisoning them for ages.
So here we are. I have no predictions for what happens next. I’m not good with political predictions- I never took Trump seriously at all. I can’t believe Clinton is still around in spite of the pay for play, the incredible security breach and the clearly politically motivated FBI ‘investigation’ which granted immunity to just about anybody who ever worked for her and was intended to be a whitewash from the beginning- and Benghazi. Good Lord. Benghazi should have disgraced her forever. And yet here we are. So I don’t even have a guess what’s going to happen next.
I do know this- we can still serve God wherever we are, whatever the outcome, whatever the future. And that has always been what matters most.
We should do what we can, the best we can for the good of the people and places where we currently live, but we are all essentially living in a hotel. We have a permanent inheritance somewhere else.