By Gregory Buls
In 1796, America under George Washington enjoyed peace and prosperity unforeseen by even the most optimistic Founders. The election of 1796 was arguably the most important in the nation’s history because it represented our first true transfer of power. Many had urged Washington to be king. Instead, he willingly gave his power back to the people, who then placed it into the hands of our second president, John Adams. Though Adams beat Thomas Jefferson by a mere three electoral votes – and won just 71 out of 276 cast – thoughts of monarchy were forgotten, and America was set on a course it maintained for the next 204 years.
The presidential election of 2000 established a new paradigm, where the winner of the contest was considered illegitimate by a large part of the opposition. Ditto 2004 and 2016. Though the effort to de-legitimize President Bush was interrupted by 9/11, the new paradigm appears fixed: Democrat winners are as American as apple pie, and Republican winners are cheaters. The peaceful transfer of power is no longer a given.
As troubling as the new paradigm is, it is just another convenient political gambit for the irresponsible left. The prominence of the new paradigm should alarm every freedom-loving American. If unchecked, in time, it will force a breaking point. It also speaks to a palpable division that goes beyond anything we’ve seen since at least the Civil War. Politics is no longer the art of reasonable compromise; it has become an exercise in grudging, chafing tolerance, with one side consumed by a passionate hatred for the other side – a spreading hatred that threatens to consume both sides. America is at a tipping point, and the 2018 elections will likely determine which direction we take for a generation or more.
The fact that we still have a chance to save the country from the collectivist ash heap is miraculous, given that almost every force in society is aligned against its salvation:
- We toil under the baleful eye of the leftist corporate media, which ignores our successes; amplifies every perceived failing; and paints conservatism as intolerant and incompetent, stuffy, and stultifying.
- A small but loud resistance movement inside conservatism is endlessly paraded before the country, obsessing over what is “crass” and “gauche.” It is animated by a reeking desperation for approval of everyone outside the right and is utterly useless against a left that never puts form over substance.
- The population is widely dependent upon the largess the government has been dispensing for generations.
- The left seems near the end of its long march through society’s consciousness-forming institutions, dominating the media and almost wholly controlling academia, the arts, the sciences, and entertainment and making serious inroads into religion.
- The strings that connect and control the digital age are in the hands of the left, hands that gleefully strangle voices on the right.
- Even as “the right” controls the federal government, recent events have shown that rogue leftist elements within government are active and treasonous.
- The left is utterly ruthless, while the right still pretends propriety and decorum are indispensable hallmarks of civilization rather than civilization-threatening indulgences.
Problems such as the national debt and unfunded entitlements were once considered paramount. One can be forgiven for pining for such simple times.
Given the forces arrayed against us, it is hard to imagine that one election could make much difference. Cynics will argue that the cause is lost, the Republic died long ago in all but form, and the ascendancy and normalization of the left insures that it will be generations before it can be restored to its former glory. The combined power of the forces of unmaking seem congealed to form a fixed object. If that is so, then moving the left off its political center of gravity will require an unstoppable force.
The relentlessly energetic engine of that force exists in the person of President Trump, but the body of it consists of those Americans who still value freedom over entitlement, individualism over conformity, work over idleness, nationhood over globalism, and faith over self-worship and idolatry.
The elections this year are critical not because of any dire consequences that may directly result. Even if Republicans lose control of the House in 2018, Trump will remain in power and will be able to place the Department of Justice into more vigorous hands, so the ongoing coup against his presidency can still be exposed. It’s likely that victorious Democrats will try to hamstring his agenda with endless investigations, but he may merely settle into a more combative mode, achieving his ends through executive action or budgetary intransigence.
Even if the president can get along with fewer people in his corner, the fact that he will be more empowered to pursue his agenda if Republicans win is a given. Issues as fundamental as whether we will alter the population by importing poverty or importing merit are at stake.
As important as many of Trump’s agenda items are, this year’s election is the most important in more than two centuries because the left has fully embraced the new paradigm of illegitimacy. Leftists have never been more clearly defined, and the present moment affords us the best chance we have ever had to turn decisively away from their road to ruin. For the first time in a generation, the president and his allies have the country moving in the right direction, defined not by statistics, but by the fact that what he has already accomplished offers conservatism a real chance to be shown to work. All of the propaganda and histrionics of the left will fall on deaf ears if the people are confident about the direction of the country. The left still represents a cacophonous minority; most Americans are still animated by a desire to secure their place in a world where they can feel proud of themselves and their country.
We’ve been told for months that the left’s ascendancy in the House is a foregone conclusion: Trump alienates many people, and opinion polling is cast in stone, so don’t bother voting. Given that context, a Republican victory will be a devastating blow to the left and its machinations. Sitting out the elections is not merely a self-absorbed statement that you are offended by Trump’s personality; it is agreement that the left and its allies can be trusted with power.
The election of President Trump was a richly deserved blow to the establishment and to a political party that despises you if you are not a member of its club of malcontents. For the first time since their ascendancy, the left and their enablers are off balance and fully exposed. You can either help to deliver them a crippling blow or extend your hand to help them up. In this election, inaction is the most telling vote you can cast – it will say everything about you that is really worth knowing.