The US Won’t Be Fixed by Bedtime

At the beginning of the battle in King Henry IV Part One the cowardly drunk Falstaff whines to Prince Hal: “I would ‘twere bedtime, Hal, and all well.”

Don’t we all. A year ago we could all imagine that the American people would sensibly decide it was Time for a Change after eight years of Obamian race and gender politics, not to mention the disappointment of an economy thrashing in regulatory hell.

That’s what politics has been about for the last few decades, in retrospect. Yes, we all imagined the worst of the Other Party, but it now all seems a rather tame affair when compared to what is coming up. The two parties had their various political factions nicely house-trained, and made sure that they didn’t frighten the horses in the street. Not anymore.

Now we have people saying We Don’t Care, and looking for a fight. The white working class, the suckers of the last half century of race and gender politics, have found a leader that tells it like it is for people like them. Black Lives Matter is trying to kick over the traces of inner-city policing, openly encouraging young urban blacks to riot and mayhem. And who can fail to understand their anger after eight years that didn’t Hope and Change the lives of African Americans as advertised? Then there is the corps of social activists: they are not sated by their success with gay marriage and rape culture. They are inspired to greater efforts.

The last week has seen reports of Donald Trump “exhausted, bewildered,” and of Hillary Clinton seriously ill with recurrent seizures. What does that portend?

The coward Falstaff just wanted everyone to go home at the end of the day so that the professionals could compose their differences. But in fact the Wars of the Roses went on for a century and ended with the power of the feudal order demolished by the new nation-state of the Tudors, and many ordinary drunkards lost their lives in the process.

Are we beginning a Time of Troubles where people don’t go home any more after the election to let the politicians sort it all out in Washington DC? The Wars of the Roses started when the weak Richard II allowed the ambitious Bolingbroke to gather political strength while he was off fiddling around in Ireland. When he got back to England, the country had already joined up with the new Big Man.

But what about us? Will the white working class continue to die of despair or will it stand up and fight? Will Black Lives Matter burn the cities or unite the nation against it? Will the social activists declare victory and go home, or will they hunt down every last racist sexist bigot and get them fired from their jobs? Will the politicians do their job and curb the enthusiasm of their crazies, or will they egg them on to bigger and better outrages?

The idea of democracy is that we stage a sham fight every election at which our chosen hero battles with the other guy in single combat in the debates. Then we all come together as one nation and compromise our differences. This is perfectly satisfactory for those that are not that interested in power.

But it is not enough for the secular religion of “activism,” because they believe in power.

The idea of “activism,” peaceful protest version, is that you march and protest until your non-negotiable demands are met. The idea of “activism,” revolutionary version, is that you fight and burn until you destroy The Man and his racist police. Good little girls with Studies degrees think that their peaceful protests are all about peace and justice, because that is what they are taught. They are, in fact, merely just one end of a continuum of violence that aims to enforce its will by force, either by a demonstration -- a show of force -- or by the real thing. The other end of the continuum is frank rebellion and revolution, insurgencies and ISIS.

The ugly truth about the world is that periods of normal politics like ours, where things are settled by negotiation and compromise, are followed by Times of Troubles, where things are decided by force, and the losers are lucky to survive.

Our liberal “activist” friends think that they are all underdog Gandhis and Martin Luther Kings, nonviolently protesting for a better world. They do not understand that in the 21st century they are the tools of the ruling class and that their violation of the rules of democracy and government by legislation are unleashing the dogs of war, as they bully their opponents to the choice of submitting to injustice or resisting by force.

We can still hope that it will all be over by bedtime. But hope is not enough.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

At the beginning of the battle in King Henry IV Part One the cowardly drunk Falstaff whines to Prince Hal: “I would ‘twere bedtime, Hal, and all well.”

Don’t we all. A year ago we could all imagine that the American people would sensibly decide it was Time for a Change after eight years of Obamian race and gender politics, not to mention the disappointment of an economy thrashing in regulatory hell.

That’s what politics has been about for the last few decades, in retrospect. Yes, we all imagined the worst of the Other Party, but it now all seems a rather tame affair when compared to what is coming up. The two parties had their various political factions nicely house-trained, and made sure that they didn’t frighten the horses in the street. Not anymore.

Now we have people saying We Don’t Care, and looking for a fight. The white working class, the suckers of the last half century of race and gender politics, have found a leader that tells it like it is for people like them. Black Lives Matter is trying to kick over the traces of inner-city policing, openly encouraging young urban blacks to riot and mayhem. And who can fail to understand their anger after eight years that didn’t Hope and Change the lives of African Americans as advertised? Then there is the corps of social activists: they are not sated by their success with gay marriage and rape culture. They are inspired to greater efforts.

The last week has seen reports of Donald Trump “exhausted, bewildered,” and of Hillary Clinton seriously ill with recurrent seizures. What does that portend?

The coward Falstaff just wanted everyone to go home at the end of the day so that the professionals could compose their differences. But in fact the Wars of the Roses went on for a century and ended with the power of the feudal order demolished by the new nation-state of the Tudors, and many ordinary drunkards lost their lives in the process.

Are we beginning a Time of Troubles where people don’t go home any more after the election to let the politicians sort it all out in Washington DC? The Wars of the Roses started when the weak Richard II allowed the ambitious Bolingbroke to gather political strength while he was off fiddling around in Ireland. When he got back to England, the country had already joined up with the new Big Man.

But what about us? Will the white working class continue to die of despair or will it stand up and fight? Will Black Lives Matter burn the cities or unite the nation against it? Will the social activists declare victory and go home, or will they hunt down every last racist sexist bigot and get them fired from their jobs? Will the politicians do their job and curb the enthusiasm of their crazies, or will they egg them on to bigger and better outrages?

The idea of democracy is that we stage a sham fight every election at which our chosen hero battles with the other guy in single combat in the debates. Then we all come together as one nation and compromise our differences. This is perfectly satisfactory for those that are not that interested in power.

But it is not enough for the secular religion of “activism,” because they believe in power.

The idea of “activism,” peaceful protest version, is that you march and protest until your non-negotiable demands are met. The idea of “activism,” revolutionary version, is that you fight and burn until you destroy The Man and his racist police. Good little girls with Studies degrees think that their peaceful protests are all about peace and justice, because that is what they are taught. They are, in fact, merely just one end of a continuum of violence that aims to enforce its will by force, either by a demonstration -- a show of force -- or by the real thing. The other end of the continuum is frank rebellion and revolution, insurgencies and ISIS.

The ugly truth about the world is that periods of normal politics like ours, where things are settled by negotiation and compromise, are followed by Times of Troubles, where things are decided by force, and the losers are lucky to survive.

Our liberal “activist” friends think that they are all underdog Gandhis and Martin Luther Kings, nonviolently protesting for a better world. They do not understand that in the 21st century they are the tools of the ruling class and that their violation of the rules of democracy and government by legislation are unleashing the dogs of war, as they bully their opponents to the choice of submitting to injustice or resisting by force.

We can still hope that it will all be over by bedtime. But hope is not enough.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.