The Entrenched Parties Have Weakened America
Last weekend I listened briefly to some local Binghamton, NY persons I do not know give their opinion of Martin Luther King over the radio. They talked about his sense of community as going beyond one’s immediate family and neighborhood. They talked about a new world order reminiscent of an international community out of Orwell’s 1984. This is a dangerous goal given the makeup of the United Nations, where many nations are not our friends. One of them interviewed expressed that King’s greatness came from his rooting within the Gospels, believing in peaceful means to accomplish worthy goals. Today, we rarely hear anyone in our national public discourse express strength through religion, let alone Christianity. It was shocking to my ears to hear these ideas conflated especially as the world is on fire.
The same weekend the History Channel reran its series on World War I and II, where many leaders hoped for world peace, but instead guaranteed thirty years of war and 100 million deaths. Sadly, it is not in the nature of many maniacal leaders who prefer dictatorial powers to accept a world at peace. They reject a representative republic which is American-inspired. Some of our people think that we are the cause of so much destruction, but we have only been a nation for over two hundred years. We were late to the two World Wars and ended the conflagration.
Our country is so fragmented. One group thought that through the cult of personality of President Obama, the world’s ills could be corrected. This was the same type of madness that led Germany to install Adolf Hitler (a dominating personality) as chancellor during the 1930s. The controlled and restrained approach to war-fare that President Obama has chosen in battling Islamic terrorists, whether they are ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban, the Islamic mullahs of Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood has not contained the ideology. This appeasement reminds one of Britain’s Neville Chamberlain and his hope to avoid war. It was utterly futile then and will be so now.
Other groups believe that they can elect a new president to repair the disease that has taken hold of America. This country is like a large ship. It cannot be swiftly turned around. The act itself renders us vulnerable as we are out of defensive position. No one president can reverse the many ills affecting America. It is time to remove the party bureaucracy and established bosses who have given us the present mess. Our economy is weak; our treasury is depleted through deficit spending, and we cannot manage our foreign policy objectives. The election in 2016 will give the nation the opportunity to end dependency and reverse the destruction of our manufacturing base. Yet, 45% of the nation is prepared at the outset to continue with similar policies (and elect a Democrat). Santayana had warned that history could only serve a lesson to one willing to learn.
To be sure, most Republican candidates cannot fix what ails our country. They have never created any business assets, personal wealth, maneuvered political obstacles, built anything, created significant numbers of jobs, managed destructive governmental rules, nor provided a national consensus for a new direction.
The election of 2008 was a wave election in which Obama was able to move the nation toward socialism. We must halt this movement to safeguard our Constitution and restore our national purpose. This effort will take unity among the competing entities of the Republican Party. Four years ago this division gave us the re-election of Obama over a decent man, Mitt Romney. Three remaining candidates do have experience as governors. This is a helpful background, but does not guarantee success. There is too much ego and too little statesmanship among our politicians; a far cry from our founding fathers. Ronald Reagan would not recognize this Republican Party in which his “eleventh commandment” is routinely ignored.
The election of 1980 was a wave election in which Reagan moved the country toward more self-reliance. He did not complete the job and the federal government continued to grow. The effort to restore federalism is far from completed; under this concept, federal government has three competing branches and the states have sovereignty. The national politicians have usurped power over the past 100 years, but the greatness of America lies in its people and ability to renew its institutions as the need arises.
The rise of Trump is not a fluke, but it reflects anger with the establishment. His vocabulary is inflammatory; he is braggadocio to a fault. The establishment opponents do not understand the frustrations of the citizenry. Our conservative leaders have not redeemed their promise to halt Obama’s Executive Orders, his damage to our military, the bleeding of our treasury, the division among the races, illegal immigration at the expense of citizens and states, and loss of national pride and exceptionalism. Our nation is resilient, but our politicians have created this mess. We would benefit from fewer politicians, the new aristocracy which most Americans resent.
The list of problems is substantial. A president would be successful if a few of these issues could be corrected. The trajectory could be fixed, which would allow American ingenuity to repair the damage caused by politicians. The Federalist Papers were written to provide the intellectual basis for the Constitution after the failure of the Articles of Confederation was recognized. Our founders understood the desire for ever-increasing power and attempted to mitigate this risk. At various times the Congress and the Supreme Court have exerted their power, but they are overwhelmed by the president in our modern world. The system is subject to the mediocrity of our politicians. This may be a wave election akin to that of 1860. Lincoln was forced to remake the union through war. Let us hope that the next president will remake the coalition that allows us to escape our morass.