By Leslee Kulba- What went wrong this election cycle? The question is asked by somebody old enough to remember when the writings of John Locke and other great minds contributing to the Enlightenment and consequently the American Revolution were studied in civics and history classes in public schools. What were historically referred to as classical liberal ideals, like liberty and justice for all, were then appreciated. Since changing definitions are part of the diabolical destruction of the Founders’ vision, it is worth repeating that classical liberalism was the idea that no man was to be subject to another.
America was not to be a land of command-and-control or dominance-and-submission. A 200 year-old experiment substantiated the belief that, when left to their own devices with a government that only intervened when one person treaded on the liberty of others, society did indeed prosper.
But since corrupt forces feed frenziedly on power, our Founders left us a great legacy. The same men who risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to buck a tyrant in England wanted to gift their posterity a Constitution to protect against rule by the greedy, selfish, and powermonging; a situation that characterized much of human history to its detriment.
But kids don’t have a clue these days. They’re gung-ho about what is commonly referred to now as the lesser of two evils binary. One presidential candidate was known as a “tyrant extraordinaire” by CIA operatives, and her ambitions to be president were known from an early age. Judicial Watch published documents just now being released by network news that portray her as nothing but blind ambition, wanting the highest job in the land, but not feeling any responsibility to faithfully execute any public role with which she had been or would be entrusted.
The other talked like a conman, taking both sides on all issues, and that off-the-cuff with shallowness that some caution as silliness. He only referenced the Constitution in what from any other would be disqualifying gaffes. There was Article XII, having the Supreme Court Justices sign laws, ordering members of the military to commit war crimes, asking briefers three times why he couldn’t nuke other countries at will, and the statement that he would indeed like to get around to reading the Constitution someday.
But far be it from the mass media to get down to brass tacks. They’re all about the ratings. So, they had to go to the gutter. Most folks should have jumped off the how-low-can-you-go shtick months ago, but the media just kept digging deeper for more and more salaciousness to boost ratings. WWF and Jerry Springer have it going on, so why shouldn’t the leader of the free world get in on the knock-down, drag-out slapstick of reality TV? Intentionally not getting into the depraved details that have no place in civil discourse, we should think of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and others who gave their all so that our minds and souls could explore and pioneer new ways to improve the human condition. Instead, the mass media and college universities prefer to foist revisionist character assassinations on the Founders, as if their spokespeople cannot believe anybody could actually be honorable.
Wikileaks is slowly trickling documentation of how Hillary’s nomination process was rigged. But it isn’t shaking devotees to the D on their voter registrations. The R’s were no better. They nominated a man who held Democrat values up until he ran for office, continued to proclaim Democrat ideas until sat upon by party leadership, and retained surrogates who remained registered Democrats. His supporters can’t be blamed, though. Trump lied and ridiculed his worthy opponents. He monopolized the media. And then, at the convention, those fighting for Constitutional values were denied a roll call, denied access to the recipient of challenging documents, communicated mild threats like having to find their own transportation home, and ruled not to have shouted “Nay!” the loudest.
All the while, conservative media hosts blatantly lied. They acted so enamored. Rush Limbaugh, former mayor of Realsville, had to take to explaining how every uninformed gaffe was six-dimensional chess. Former constitutional conservative Sean Hannity took to verbally bullying listeners. Twitter memes took on the attitude of, “I am your master.” Fox News infobabes were all starry-eyed about Trump’s “positive energy” while he was saying things like “Beat ’em up!” or bragging he was so popular he could shoot somebody in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue. At least a couple times, Fox newscasters have, in sass-mouth voices, treated people as inferiors for putting the honoring of conscience above obedience to Fox (a.k.a. Trump) News.
Then, there were the endorsements. One by one, business leaders who had advocated for free-market capitalism, televangelists who preached the Word from the Bible, Tea Party members elected to public office – all decided their man was the casino playboy who craved fame and plated all he owned in gold. Something was definitely wrong.
What should have sounded even more alarms were the types of left-handed endorsements Trump was getting. It was reminiscent of the scene from Capricorn One when the astronaut made up memories to share with his wife to cryptically let her know he was not on Mars. Up until the election, Ted Cruz was still making robocalls imploring people to “vote their conscience up and down the ballot,” knowing full well Trump would be at odds with the conscience of former Cruz supporters. Pat McCrory, who has been in government a long while and now serves as governor with a Republican-led General Assembly, introduced Trump by saying Washington DC needs an outsider to fight corruption just like Raleigh does.
On the Clinton side, we saw FBI Director James Comey do something that is so commonplace with politicians these days it should have a name. It is the same thing Justice John Roberts did with the attempt to ditch Obamacare, and that is making the case for something and concluding the opposite. In fact, the way Clinton and Trump were ramrodded into their respective nominations, in spite of probably 200 million more qualified people, is reminiscent of the way the Constitutional overreach of Obamacare came to be – broken rule by broken rule.
One might, in retrospect, see a dastardly plot undermining what was left of our Constitutional order. Democrats already embraced anything contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Like a CS Lewis novel, Screwtape put a Democrat at the top of the Republican ticket with all sorts of “I am your master” commands to support him. It was then up to Republicans to decide how long they could hold on to any hope that party leadership would return to its senses. One by one they started dropping off, so the party that used to stand for sound economics, respect for all human life, and liberty and justice for all, was divided and conquered.