“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just” (Thomas Jefferson)
June 8 was truly an historic day, not just for the Democratic Party, but for the majority of the entire Nation. Our bad habits have finally come home to roost. Yesterday, a known criminal, with blood on her hands, was nominated by the her party to stand as its candidate for President of the United States.
And the rest of America just stood by, not even trying to look embarrassed.
Mrs Clinton may yet not be able to carry her “historic win” onto election day. The FBI may break ranks and go public. Or the Democrats themselves may realize she is a general election liability and pull her nomination. There are always ways.
But America’s guilt is realized today, making our national shame palpable.
It was not until the most hated man in America, himself worthy of some “historic” honorable mention for being the first private businessman to win a major party’s presidential nomination, strode to a microphone only a couple of weeks ago to declare that Hillary Clinton was a criminal has the subject of America’s shame even been raised.
Fox News never mentioned it even once, except in the offhanded way the American media mentioned slavery during the days of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision, not as a subject of national shame, but as a topic for political discussion. And the rest of the American media hadn’t mentioned the dark side of government since Nixon left office. Glenn Beck, Erick Erickson and others are ashamed that Trump is running agianst Hillary, but not that Hillary is the candidate. How tragic is that?
So this is about how this self-delusion has been injected into our national psyche so as to appear as ordinary as slavery once was. Like being surprised that we have developed lung cancer after smoking three packs a day for thirty years, it’s time we looked at the pictures.
This has been a long process, and it requires some background as to how the American people have gone from a common sense, independent people into a herd of led-by-the nose laboratory rats. But the process did not begin with Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances twenty years ago, who only spread the cancer, or even Barack Obama, who finally, after almost a century, made political cynicism the nation’s official religion.
Cynicism about government actually began in 1828 with the formation of the national Democratic Party, placing the reins of national government in the hands of a first-generation American president, our only one, Andrew Jackson. Shaped more by Martin Van Buren, who would succeed Jackson, the Democrat Party would control American politics in all but two election cycles leading up to the Civil War, and it was built on the notion of politics for politics sake, “dedicated to no other principle than holding onto power” (Schweikart and Allen, Patriot’s History of the United States) From that notion, arose the idea of patronage and the desirability of job-seeking in government, and with it a new kind of corruption; government for sale. Politics for the sake of politics, with fringe benefits to go around. Sound familiar?
In Van Buren’s defense, his design was against the backdrop of an independent, moral American society, who was parsimonious in giving its money to Washington, and a Party that wasn’t especially ideological other than the aforementioned cancer seed, “politics for politics sake.” If Van Buren were alive today, he’d probably say “Who knew?” as thousands of smokers no doubt have done.
But as a by-product to this new idea of government, there had to be made a political accommodation about slavery. Slavery as a moral issue was taken off the national political table, left for preachers to rail about from their pulpits. Democrats saw it merely as a balance-of-power issue, insuring that neither slave states nor anti-slave states had a majority in Congress. The underlying moral issues were buried, and as expected, festered, like an untended boil. What could have been lanced with a hat-pin dipped in alcohol in 1830 required a surgical procedure by 1861. The law of unintended consequence writ large.
(It goes without saying that Bernie Sanders is wrong, wrong, wrong when he says, ad nauseum, that America was born a racist nation. It wasn’t even born a slave nation. From 1860-65, 2.2 million young white men left their farm cots and 365,000 laid down their lives for a people the vast majority of them had never even seen, thus setting down one of the first markers for what is now known as “American exceptionalism”, inasmuch as the children of those same freed slaves, and waves of later immigrants, Hispanic, Asian, southern European, would do likewise in subsequent generations.)
It would take another backwoods president, but with six generations of “being an American,” and a new party, the Republican, and 365,000 lives, to lance the cynicism of that original Democratic Party brand. But the Democrats only paused, for they continued until the Party finally injected a drop of ideology, just a smidge, or so they thought, to become the party of Labor in 1896, having buried the original intent of the Founders and the Constitution by jettisoning Grover Cleveland, the last Constitution-fearing Democrat. Politics for the sake of politics had taken a definite leftward turn by the time of Woodrow Wilson.
So while Jim Crow was defining the Party one way, by inventing identity politics in a way you probably haven’t considered as a Democrat creation, their identity with the working man (at least those working in unions shops) sealed the Democrats’ image. In the 1960s they were able to merge these two seemingly opposite camps by re-instituting the plantation system with the welfare state, destroying black families by offering free housing, RC Colas and moon pies, but no jobs, under the cynical guise of civil rights.
By this time, a few Americans saw the Democrat’s long game for what it was, and tried to warn us, but we moved ignorantly forward with naïve gullibility worthy of a Mr. Rogers: that government was fundamentally good, when all it was was good-paying. By the late 60s, classical liberalism was all but dead.
Then, it was only for Van Buren’s “politics for the sake of politics” to be redefined ideologically, which it had been increasingly since FDR. In 1976 it sneaked out of the closet, when, during the Carter-Ford campaign, syndicated columnist Mary McGrory let the cat out of the bag when she wrote (and I paraphrase) “the purpose of modern liberalism is that all human behavior should be subject to the political process.”…a total reversal of the Founders’ intentions, but a close approximation of what Marx and Alinsky always had in mind.
Carter begat Reagan, who, like GW Bush a decade later, simply could not bring himself to believe that any American politician could entertain such thoughts (I forgive RR more than GW on generational grounds. GW should have known better), but as still a naïve people, even as Bill Clinton was able to introduce all sorts of once-unforgivable sins into a once sacred White House, instead of storming the fence we watched on TV as it were all a soap opera. Oval office oral sex was simply redefined as “private conduct,” and once condoned by a cynical media, a cynical Democrat Party, and a cravenly cowed “other” Party, combined to convince the American populace that maybe it isn’t that big a deal after all. As a culture, we gave ourselves a pass. Even those of us who knew somebody should be storming those White House gates in ’98, still we were sitting home waiting for someone else to do it.
So, by the time Obama strode in it was simple, after a century of planning, to finally put his party’s cards on the table and expose its longer game; that everything from the Constitution to a common morality in America is the product of a by-gone era. Today, with the popular approval of a felon to become our next president by a party that represents over half of the American population and holds the economy (the present) and the education system (the future), and the opposition party in a testicle lock-box, it seems like a fait accompli.
Since obviously not that many people seem to think this is anything out of the ordinary, I didn’t come here to complain, or show you a way back. I just came to show you the X-ray. The most hated man in America, Donald Trump, recommends surgery. It may be too little too late, but I do know if he is elected, it will be the Democrats who will be storming the gates, and in keeping with a whisper in the ear from an old Army Ranger friend in the Dakotas, quoting Patrick Henry, that may be a good thing.