In a little over 200 days we’ll be knee deep in what is quite likely the most important midterm election in United States history. If the makeup of the Senate doesn’t move decisively and dramatically to the right we may have lost everything this country has ever been. It will be a do-or-die election – I have no sense that a presidential election will happen again if we don’t clarify the issues facing us.
What are those issues? The economy. National defense. Tax reform. Education. Health care. Family stability. Religious freedom. Immigration. A long list, but not really a daunting one. It’s not like mankind has never faced these issues before. It’s not like we don’t know what to do to fix them. We know what works. Just as there are scientific laws that govern the natural world, there are economic and social laws that govern human society. We just need to follow those laws.
But we can’t do that by imitating those who want to repeat failed, illogical social experiments. Establishment Republicans want to embrace illegal immigrants, expand the government’s regulatory power, accept the nonsense of global warming, and increase the federal budget ad infinitum. They seem ready to just take it when the president issues his papal bulls, brazenly flipping off the Constitution. “Now-now, “they fuss. “We can’t seem too extreme, too right wing, too Christian. We have to appeal to the middle-of-the-road voters.”
Nonsense. We’ve tried that and it’s been a resounding failure – Dole, McCain, Romney. We’ve tried the Brooks Brothers, Karl Rove, country-club approach. We tried acting like King George’s redcoats – marching in rigid lines wearing big white X’s on our chests and refusing to break ranks and fight the guerilla war raging all around us. We’re being attacked on all sides and all we appear to be doing about it is inviting the other side over for tea.
Our mistake has been to pretend that a middle ground exists on which both the left and right could meet and agree. I would say that is pure fairytale thinking, but even fairytales have good guys and bad guys and no one in between. Even in fairytales we don’t expect that the evil queen is going to meet Prince Charming half way, or that Saint George will be able to negotiate with the dragon.
This pretense has, in the first place, lost us our schools; somehow we thought there could be a neutral position from which to teach history, culture, science. We forgot that either the United States is a force for good or for evil, that either we use art and music and drama to celebrate the good or the bad, that you either believe God created the world or you don’t; that we either teach kids the truth or we lie to them. I was once told that I had to teach Paradise Lost without reference to Genesis. Really? As Aldous Huxley said in his introduction to Brave New World, “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” I hate it that he was right.
Because we’ve lost the schools, we’ve lost the media – journalists aren’t so biased as they are completely ignorant of the truth, completely uninterested in truth, convinced it doesn’t exist, convinced that their function is one of advocacy not of truth telling.
And, as a result, we, everyday Americans, have lost control over our government. We are going to have to fight – head on, duty-is-mine-consequences-belong-to-God, unflinching. We can no longer play parlor games. Either we’re right or we’re wrong. If we’re right, eventually we’ll win. If we’re wrong and the world is now going to be a one-world collectivist, poverty-ridden dictatorship, then we don’t want to be part of it anyway.
Millions of us all across this country are praying for God’s help with this, because we’re going to need it. We’ve been driving on a flat tire now for so long that the car has listed clear to the left and we’re now traveling down a very dark, ugly road – one that will end, as this road always has, in a frightening kingdom where everyone but the king, and his over-dressed wife, is poor and vulnerable.
We must risk over-correcting; talking nicely to this drunk driver isn’t going to get us back on the all-American highway. So what if we veer off to the right and have to do a little off-roading to fix this? Our Constitution allows for that. It may cause some upheaval to audit the Federal Reserve, dismantle the IRS, balance the budget, close down intrusive government agencies, build a fence at the border, and stop the intrusion of Sharia law; it’s not going to be easy to undo Obamacare. Those are drastic measures, but we have to take them and we need gutsy leadership to do that.
I can’t say that our state representative – Greg Walden -- has done badly in Congress – he voted against raising the debt ceiling, but he hasn’t taken any of this mess by the throat, he hasn’t stepped forward and taken a strong stand. I’m going to be voting for someone who will. I don’t want people who think we have to “reach across the aisle.” For over two hundred years we’ve maintained this carefully balanced marriage between the right and the left, but we have come to a breaking point; there have been too many infidelities for compromise, for forgiveness. It’s no longer a matter of who’s going to do the dishes and who’s going to take out the trash. Evil has entered the equation and even if it doesn’t win, it will leave a stain.
I think we can hope. Such leadership is stepping up and we can measure the strength of the Cruz-Lee-Paul-Gowdy guys by the stridency of the opposition to them, from both Republican and Democratic lairs. These guys will need our support for they are indeed “some men with guns going somewhere to do something dangerous.”* We must ride with them.
Swarthout, Glendon. Bless the Beasts and Children. New York. Doubleday. 1970.