Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A Cause for War? - By E.M. Cadwaladr

For a republic to be worthy of the name, it must have certain features. Most obviously, political power must, in some meaningful sense, reside with the people and be expressed through their elected officials. Even at this most basic level, our country has a problem. To the extent that we are governed by an unelected bureaucracy we are no longer a republic. Unfortunately, the political disease that afflicts America runs far deeper than that. For power to reside with “the people” there must be a single, generally unified nation which can be identified as “the people.” This nation need not be racially, ethnically, or even religiously homogenous, but the overwhelming majority of its members do need to agree on some common set of interests and values. They need a common identity. That is what a nation is. American now contains at least two nations, and arguably many more. Democratic institutions like elections, intended to settle differences between fellow countrymen, of people who simply disagree on means or minor matters of policy -- cannot settle differences of national identity. This is why organizations like the European Union and the United Nations are only superficially democratic. More to the point, elections staged between competingnations trapped under the authority of a single state -- nations so different in their ideals that each seeks the other’s subjugation or destruction -- such elections settle nothing. Any election that takes place under such conditions will inevitably be seen as illegitimate by the losing side. Trump, progressives say, is not their president -- and neither would Hillary ever have been ours.
When elections and legislatures attempt to assert the dominance of one nation of people over another they are, in effect, engaging in a kind of warfare. It is a civil war with a bit less bloodshed -- or, perhaps, it is a civil war in its initial shouting and shoving phase. Our daily outrage at the dishonest press, the usurpation of power by minor federal judges, and the predictable shrieking lunacy of our opponents only shows that most of us have not yet come to terms with the reality of our situation. We are in an existential conflict between competing nations -- we are not debating the merits of particular policies. Our differences will not be resolved by orderly procedural means. Reason no longer persuades. Hallowed traditions are despised. The law has become unworthy of respect, because it is so often merely the convenient weapon of people who are willing to cause us real and tangible harm. Indeed, as progressives and conservatives have diverged, we have seen the federal authorities selectively disregard the laws made by their opponents and favor governing by the fiat of executive orders. “I have a phone and I have a pen,” Obama famously declared. He might just as well have added: “…and I don’t care what happens to those hicks in Kentucky and Kansas.”
A federal government attempting to preside over separate nations bent on one another’s destruction can be neither legitimate nor effective. Our federal government has become little more than a hideous game of ideological badminton between opposing camps of corrupt officials -- smacking enraged and increasingly divided peons back and forth across the political net. Winning national elections no longer means anything, not merely because the individual officials themselves are crooked, but because the institutions they head are now unfit to govern a republic.
It is no longer possible for conservatives and progressives to coexist within a single state. Sooner or later, the emerging blood feud between our separate nations will overwhelm the superficial political game. It must. We are nationalistic; they are globalists. We are the inheritors of Western civilization; they are its detractors. We are the voice of stability; they are the voice of chaos. We are the battered remnants of Christendom; they are the unholy and improbable alliance of militant atheism and Islam.
In the last few years I have heard quite a few ordinary conservatives raise the terrifying specter of secession. I am sympathetic to their frustration but am dumbstruck by the irony. How can we secede from the suicidal, anti-American institutions the lunatic left has produced? Have progressives not, in every way imaginable, already seceded from us? How can we rebel against the United States by trying to uphold the U.S. Constitution? Are we radical and rebellious in thinking that men are men and women are women? Are we xenophobic bigots because we do not believe that every one of the 7.5 billion people in the world should be, for all practical purposes, counted as U.S. citizens? We cannot rebel against a government that has been so thoroughly usurped. We can only declare, eventually, its utter illegitimacy.
Only God can know precisely how events are going to unfold, but one need not foresee the details to feel the bitter hatred escalating. Donald Trump, though he may be well-meaning, an able manager, and the greatest showman since P.T. Barnum, lacks the power to make a unified country from two utterly antithetical and hostile nations. The more he thwarts the progressive agenda, the more desperate and violent our enemies are likely to become. Left-wing celebrities have been insulting Republican presidents for decades, but this is the first time they have raised one’s bloody head in effigy. War, the last resort of desperate people when all political and legal remedies have failed, waits only for a triggering event. It waits for people to believe their futures and their children’s futures will be so unbearable that they have nothing left to lose.