We all knew it would happen one day, this final divorce from the political scene. It’s been building for a long time, but before I get ahead of myself, let me explain how I got into politics.
I’ve never really been in politics, per se. I’ve never run for office, I’ve never been an active part of a party, but I have donated, worked hard to persuade others of my views, and diligently voted, as well as followed the political scene very closely. It all began my final year at Clemson University. I recall being in Johnston Hall in a small dormitory room (are there any other sizes?), along with about twenty other guys. We were packed in, and all watching Jimmy Carter debate Ronald Reagan. Reagan handed him a resounding defeat, and at that time we were all Reagan supporters. The entire campus, it felt like, thought like we did. There couldn’t be found a single student on campus who supported Jimmy Carter, or if there could, he didn’t say so out loud.
In addition to studying engineering into the late hours every night, we were carefully and diligently following every particular, every detail, of the political scene, and understood fairly well the theoretical and philosophical basis of the choices the candidates made. Those were heady days – from Calculus and engineering mechanics to political theory and theology and the Bible and back again to physics and chemistry (Even then, the humanities department was infected with progressives, and if we wanted to learn we had to teach ourselves. I’m reminded of a friend studying philosophy at another college who had to ignore his classes and read Frederick Copleston to learn philosophy, but that’s another story). The Reagan revolution was strong at Clemson in those days, and we survived on caffeine and late night snacks. More than a few pots of coffee were made in that horrible kitchen in Johnston Hall at midnight.
We won, and it wasn’t that we won, so much as our ideas held sway. I do wish that Reagan had been a little more into the details of things, because I hold these four things against him: (1) the first amnesty, (2) Sandra Day O’Conner and Anthony Kennedy, (3) The Hughes Amendment, and (4) deploying the Marines to the barracks in Beirut, only to withdraw them after attack by Hezbollah. Every one of these things have been shown to have deleterious effects on America (including the Hughes amendment which has caused a lack of investment and design engineering in weapons for our military). Those are four big failures, but still, we knew that the unborn had a champion, small government had an advocate, and that the danger of “near peers” wouldn’t be underestimated.
Over the course of time, compromise began to occur. Deals were made, and the mantra of electing the “conservative” who was most electable replaced principled conservatism. As the democratic party moved more to the left, republicans moved with them in order to stay “relevant.” The same disease afflicts the American church, leading to the defenestration of doctrine in favor of relevancy. Whereas the church used to talk about the vicarious atonement, the sovereignty of God and the Council of Nicea, it now focuses on racial reconciliation, nuclear weapons, and gender identity.
We all knew this would happen one day. By not stopping the diminution of the party, we fed the monster of big government, largesse, entitlements, debt, money printing, high stakes gambling on Wall Street, corporatism, open borders to feed low wage labor, hospital emergency rooms functioning as primary care clinics all paid for by the middle class (so that those low wage workers can work for the corporate masters), crony capitalism and its attendant involvement in the drafting of millions of pages of law, regulation and federal register notices to ensure that the corporations “get theirs.”
I wasn’t surprised at the revolution of the voters this election cycle. I suspected that it would occur. What did surprise me was the popularity of Donald Trump. South Carolina broke my heart, and I knew it was over for Ted Cruz at that point. Here was the perfect chance to elect someone who would come as close as possible to taking us back to the Reagan revolution, and perhaps even do better than that, in Ted Cruz. He is a champion of the unborn, has an even stronger position on work visas than Donald Trump, is against the imperialistic military meddling in the affairs of other states and has said so quite clearly (the effect of this position in alienating him from the likes of George W. Bush, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and the rest of the neocons, has been underestimated and is ripe territory for study), has always been a strong supporter of the right to bear arms, has successfully argued before the Supreme Court and understands its machinations well enough to appoint reliably constitutionalist jurists, favors a flat tax, has tried his best to shut down funding for Obamacare (with no help from his senate colleagues), and has sworn to overthrow the single payer health care system.
I have relayed what I heard Louie Gohmert say regarding the meetings between Cruz, Lee, Brat, Gohmert and Duncan, among others, in Cruz’s office, to overturn support for the “gang of eight” bill. Cruz was hated inside the beltway for very good reason. While Jeff Sessions was telling us that only Trump would “bust up the Oligarchy” in Washington, Cruz was doing just that. Busting up the Oligarchy is sure to make the Oligarchs mad. It doesn’t bother me at all that Cruz was hated by others in Washington. I would have been even more his supporter if Cruz had advocated an old fashioned lynching of most of the Senators and Representatives, or perhaps tar and feathering. No one is angrier than I am over the devolution of things in Washington.
And yet the people have chosen Donald Trump. A man who mocks the handicapped, who considers free speech a disgrace, who triangulated a position so nonsensical on North Carolina’s bathroom law that no one knows what he means, who is a proven hypocrite on foreign workers and immigration, who wants to increase the lands owned by federal government rather than decreasing federal power and turning over the lands to the states, who has never asked anyone for forgiveness, most especially God, who only recently triangulated his position on gun rights when previously supporting an “assault weapons” ban, who supports abortion, who believes that Maryanne Trump Barry (who supports infanticide) would make a fine supreme court justice, who criticizes women for their appearance, who calls people disgusting because of pictures taken of them while they eat, and who believes in a single payer health care system.
It’s like watching an awful reality show or perhaps an interstate wreck at high speed. Donald Trump is an obscene, narcissistic, self serving, hateful, vengeful, grotesque, moral monster who hates anything that isn’t rewarding him for being him. He is the post-modern man, evolved past Sartre and Camus and (I suppose, finding emptiness) circling back to the pinnacle of self indulgence, Marquis de Sade. He is an awful man. I’ve repeatedly heard that Ted Cruz was born in Canada or wherever, or that he took a loan from such-and-such bank. The former issue never got any traction with me, and as for the later issue, so taking loans is now illegal or immoral? I have a loan on my house. So what? And as for Trump’s bankruptcies? That’s okay, because sadism is all about self indulgence at the expense of someone else.
I get the revolutionary flavor of the current political scene. But instead of supporting the only real revolutionary, the GOP voters have collectively dropped their drawers and mooned God and everyone else in a protest of the preceding years. It’s a sad thing to watch. They chose the wrong symbol of protest, and will end up getting what they most loathe, as they become what disgusts and repels them. The people have raised their fist to God and shouted, “give us a king like all the others.” And the Lord has said, “very well.” Suck it up folks, because you’re getting ready to reap the rewards of your choice.
Voting for the least bad candidate is partly what got us here. Oh, I blame the GOPe, the establishment, 100% for this debacle. This is a protest vote. The voters are burning it all down because of your corruption, and the sad, sorry truth is that you still don’t get it. But it doesn’t stop there for me. I also blame the voters, 100%. It isn’t either-or with me, it’s both-and. No one held a gun to your head and forced you to vote this way in the booth. You could have chosen to be thinking men and women, but you didn’t. You became an unthinking mob. So we are where we are.
And for me, that means that I’ve cast my last vote. I am bidding farewell to voting. I am now a disenfranchised conservative Christian, and if a third party opens up for me, I might decide to rejoin in the struggle, but I’ve won’t vote GOP again for the rest of my life. The GOP has left me – establishment and voters. It’s no longer my party. I have no party. But if I ever vote for an upstart party that is true to my conservative, constitutional ideals, I won’t cast my vote because I think politics will save us. I don’t. As John Adams has observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
If we are to be saved, no piece of paper or parchment will do it. Thus, I sympathize with my friend Claire Wolfe on our sad state of affairs.
In part it’s because I see so many angry people putting so much hope in Trump — a man who, should he manage to buy his way into office (or tumble in by default after Hillary gets indicted) will betray them even worse than than the poltroons of 1994 betrayed We the Hopeful Fools.
But also because, horrible as the prospect of either President Trump or President Clinton the Second is, it’s a relief not to feel hope.
Or despair, for that matter. Horrible as the prospects are, it’s glorious to know how very little it really matters. For freedom. For anything that counts. Oh sure, either pretender to the throne has the potential to make a ghastly mess of things — up to and including World War III (unlikely, but someday somebody’s going to do it). Or building a wall to keep us all in. Or decreeing that all guns must Go Away Now, So There, I Have Spoken. More likely not much happens except the routine bad getting routinely worse. And millions ignoring whatever “the most important leader in the world” says, decrees, promises, etc.
And those poor hopeful fools losing hope. Been there. Done that. It hurts. It burns. It makes you want to go postal. (That was the state of mind I was in from about February 1995, when the betrayal became obvious, to late 1996 when I took my life back, laughed, sat down, and wrote 101 Things to do ‘Til the Revolution.)
Yeah, it hurts. But it hurts like growing up and learning that Santa didn’t really put those presents under the tree.
To be sure, while Cruz called out Senator Mitch McConnell for being the liar he is, I fully expect to see Trump rubbing shoulders with McConnell, Paul Ryan, and so on. He will cut deals with them. He said so. Have you ever heard Trump attack McConnel, Ryan, Eric Cantor, or any of the other creeps that helped to get us here? No, you’ve only heard him attack fellow candidates.
But unlike Claire, I never expected government to work right any more than I believe presents come from Santa Claus. I’ve always treated my vote as a precious gift from God whether I effect change with it or not, a power over which I had stewardship and for which I will one day answer to the most high. I have always voted based on principle rather than pragmatism, or at least I have tried to, and because of principle I am now out of the process until a third party develops that is true to my beliefs.
As for the voters, enjoy what you have created. When you build you house on sand, don’t be surprised when the first heavy rain knocks it down. I bid you farewell. Oh, I’ll poke fun on occasion and remind you of your choices, and I’ll get a good chuckle out of all of this. But I’m out of the political scene. I won’t be voting for Donald Trump. As for my mockery of the situation, I’ll see you over the transom.