The Tempest and the Witch

In Shakespeare's play, The Tempest, the "damned witch" Sycorax is never seen and presumed dead, but her elemental force works upon the mind of Prospero throughout, suggesting a powerful but unknowable and inarticulate evil that threatens the spell-woven order of the magical island.  Although absent from the stage, the witch nevertheless represents a demonizing, subversive and thought-ending influence, the same human influence that every well-conceived constitutional order of government must meet and overcome if it is to endure.  But Sycorax, as it turns out, is not dead after all, for she has chosen this moment to enter into the liberal spirit of the Democratic Party and she is now plainly visible on the political stage as a crooked and unsympathetic figure, neither beloved nor trusted, in pursuit of the presidency of the United States of America

As the witch Sycorax was an unseen threat to Prospero’s well-laid order, Hillary Clinton and the liberal establishment represent a covert threat not only to the Constitution's fundamental law but also to the ideal of democracy itself.  The purpose of our republican form of government is to deny legitimate office to illegitimate power, because once political power has become entrenched, its administrators will always find the means, through a general disregard of constitutional order, to perpetuate their advantage and self-interests through their appropriated rule-making authority.  Democracies decline in this manner too easily into one-party rule and ultimately into a species of despotism, whether a despotism of the many, the few, or the one, as in the Venezuelan model.  It would be unwise to deem ourselves invulnerable to this historical imperative.

All democratic societies are vulnerable to the political choices available to them.  In the fallout of our present election, a Clinton presidency will further license a progression of entrenched power at the center of our government -- a state of affairs from which there can be little hope of recovery.

In one sense, Hillary Clinton represents an image of the stereotypical politician: ambitious, unprincipled, and guided only by political self-interest.  But in another more disturbing impression, she embodies all that is indecent and corruptible with human character in pursuit of power.  Her dishonesty precedes her like an advertisement.  Everyone knows she will lie, for she, like Obama, studies and calculates upon the political advantages that accrue to dishonest rhetoric.  Power is the opiate of the liberal mind.  She speaks the insider's voice and she is delirious on the insider's intoxication with power.  The elitist environment in which she swims is as undemocratic in its nature as despotism itself, and the spirit of Sycorax is manifest in her open contempt for the American people who, in her own words, are little more than "a basket of deplorables."  That she feels she must lie in every speech and upon all occasions in order to gain their votes is a clear signal of her disrespect for them.  It is a disease of our culture that the entire Democratic establishment finds political advantage and comfort in agreeing with her unconcealable disdain for the "stupidity" of millions who wish only to live their lives without the interference of government, and the fact that many of these same Americans, hearing and believing her lies, are willing to vote for her merely reinforces that liberal sentiment.

We have reached that point in our political affairs most feared by the founders of our republic: the virtual tyranny of one-party rule.  Progressive interests in the Democratic Party have discovered the means by which they may perpetuate themselves in power indefinitely, and they have only to win the presidency and the Senate at this time in order to achieve that victory over the American people they have sought after for one hundred years.

It should surprise no one then that America has now become the toy of faction.  The forthcoming election will tell us if the people understand its consequences: that whether or not we are interested in saving the future of America from the destruction of the democratic process by progressive interests within the Democratic Party.  We fear corruption at the highest levels, but we can no longer ignore the disastrous effects of entrenched power within the Obama administration.  We have experienced the failure of the FBI to recommend an indictment of any person to the Justice Department regarding Secretary Clinton’s illicit private email server and the subsequent closure of that department’s investigation.  We know that a top State Department official offered key overseas posts to the FBI in exchange for de-classifying certain Clinton emails found on the server -- an illegal "quid pro quo."  We have further discovered that the FBI issued numerous grants of immunity from prosecution to significant players under Secretary Clinton’s supervision in exchange for information, and that the FBI has subsequently allowed for the destruction of devices holding that information.  We understand that Attorney General Loretta Lynch may have been influenced by a meeting with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport immediately prior to the FBI's decision not to seek an indictment against his wife.  Further evidence of corruption regarding the State Department’s collusion with the pay-to-play culture inside the Clinton Foundation are too numerous to be listed here.

History will record the Obama presidency as an era of ideologically induced political injustice, the consequences of which would ensure the establishment of a significant class -- a permanent majority, in fact -- of American voters dependent entirely on government programs for their subsistence.  But subsistence is need without trust.  One may accept the benefits of government assistance while still disparaging the policies and conditions that make assistance necessary.  This is, however, the social programming scheme upon which the Democratic Party builds for its success.  A Clinton presidency will certainly do nothing to discourage the socialist promises of entitlement or the political disease and enmity infecting our culture.  Two very disturbing conclusions thus emerge from the consequences of liberal policies presently enacted: the first, that justice is the rule of the stronger party; and the second, that bad government creates an uncivil society.

We can feel the nation disintegrating as though from a disease we cannot name or understand.  But the disease is political in its nature and one of deep-running stasis, and a malignant progressive ideology is its cause.  We dream of medicines and cures, for it is not our republican form of government at fault, nor the Constitution that created it, but the bad people, maddened with ideology and emboldened by the conviction that they are above the law, who, by election or appointment, have entered into the system and cheapened every value necessary to self-government.

The catastrophe is foreseeable and credible, and therefore preventable.  America can no longer suffer for the entitlement schemes of a few in the power of office.  We have had the benefit of time to reflect upon the consequences of our last two presidential elections.  To anticipate that our lives and our fortunes will improve by electing another Democrat to the presidency is to embrace a cheating fancy and to bid farewell to reason -- for if America fails in her yet unfinished republican task, we shall know at last that neither ordered liberty nor self-government are possible in this world.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at

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