By Charlie Johnston
For several months now, it has become increasingly clear that the investigation into Russian collusion with Donald Trump to tilt the 2016 investigation was a complete sham, just a weaponized part of the “resistance” to discredit him. Over the last month the evidence has become compelling that the “investigation” was just a weaponized function of an ongoing bureaucratic coup attempt, aided through a conspiracy comprising top levels of federal law enforcement and intelligence officials. In the coming weeks, as what is already compelling evidence is fully released, it will become irrefutable evidence.
This is the only genuine coup attempt America has ever faced. Thank God when it came, it came through lawfare – the weaponization of the justice system and the bureaucracy – rather than warfare. Yet we have faced transformational scandals and assaults before. Most recently, the Watergate scandal divided the country in a stark way. Richard Nixon deeply divided the country by official efforts to try to cover up criminal abuses by a rogue element of his campaign committee in the 1972 election. I am no Nixon-hater. He was one of the most accomplished geo-political thinkers and actors in our history – and the nation has benefitted from his accomplishments. He did not know of the criminal acts of the “plumbers” group beforehand or during, but he did try to pervert the law to try to cover it up after the fact. That is not acceptable in a constitutional republic where the people are sovereign.
We were spared a potentially violent conflict because a host of Nixon’s fellow Republicans, though agreeing with him on most issues, stood up and told him, “This will not stand,” after the evidence of his misdeeds became compelling. These were men who were partisans – but patriots first.
In the case before us now, government involvement was not limited to trying to cover up criminal activity by campaign operatives after the fact. What is called the “deep state,” including top officials in the Dept. of Justice, FBI, and intelligence agencies were actively involved in trying to guarantee that Trump would not be elected. After he was, anyway, they shifted to trying to drive him out of office by any means, fair or (mostly) foul. Mollie Hemingway has a succinct summary of what we now know in “The Federalist.” While hardly comprehensive, it is damning. This is not to be confused with treason, which is to give aid and comfort to an enemy power. It is sedition, which is to try to overthrow a lawful government by illegal subterfuge or force.
One of the most worrisome things in all of this is the haunting question, where are the Democratic patriots? As new revelations of vindictive corruption at the top levels of government roll out on a daily, even an hourly, basis, the reaction of prominent Democrats is to advocate that all us little people not be allowed to see the evidence because we are too stupid to understand or handle the truth. As demands to release the memo trend up on Twitter and Facebook, our Democratic leaders insist that the demands are fueled by Russian bots – and demand that Facebook and Twitter censor them. (Facebook and Twitter responded that these subjects are trending from Americans – not the usual Russian suspects Democrats want to blame). Of course, five years ago, left-wing luminaries in politics, religion and the arts were telling us that Venezuela and Hugo Chavez were the archetypes of what enlightened leadership was and what we should aspire to become. Now that Venezuela is visibly a basket-case hellhole, where some families sell their children into sex slavery to survive, the left is not holding it up as what we should be – but I have not heard a single of those luminaries from five years ago say they were wrong and take responsibility for the error. Like a Bizarro-world Indiana Jones, they just leap from the collapsing ledge of their previous error onto a new collapsing ledge to opine anew without reflection or accountability.
One of the most common disorders among men is to substitute means for ends. When money becomes an obsession rather than a means to care for oneself and one’s family, a man becomes a miser – and miserable in the process. When food becomes an obsession rather than a means to maintain health and vigor, eating disorders take over and gluttony or anorexia is the result – and misery comes. When sex is reduced to obsession rather than a means to cement a full-dimensioned relationship, men become insatiable, perverted, and miserable.
Now an entire ideology – and most of a political party – have become obsessed with power for power’s sake. Like an hysterical lothario, they say whatever they think is necessary to get what they really want, completely unconcerned with the ruin they leave in their wake, even on the rare occasions when they notice it at all. These power gambits are sustained by the delusion that they are somehow morally and intellectually superior to other men, so their unsavory tactics are justified. They have become masters at ignoring the results – the fruit – of their work in order to sustain the delusion. Their purported moral and intellectual superiority is not a goal to which they strive, but rather what they think to be a quality of their very identity, a given, like having blue eyes or brown hair. To seriously question that would be to create a psychological crisis akin to learning that your parents are not your parents at all. So they don’t question it at all and have become incapable of self-examination and emotional growth. Now, though, cascading revelations threaten to topple all the pious pretensions propping up the entire progressive edifice.
After revelation comes confrontation – a trickier business than it first seems. There is, of course, the confrontation between those who have led the assault on decency and those who have been assaulted. That confrontation is complicated by the reality that, in sustained cultural assaults, the victimizers almost always imagine themselves the victims to justify their malice. Nazis and all too many ordinary Germans, even in the immediate aftermath of the war, told themselves they were victims of Jewish mendacity, rather than perpetrators and enablers of one of the greatest atrocities in history. The modern domestic terror group, Antifa, literally mimics the goals, tactics and dress of fascist brownshirts – and yet its name is short for ‘anti-fascists,’ one of the most colossal ironies in history. It has to convince itself it is fighting what it actually, itself, is.
The left now must confront the fact that it has been systematically doing all the ugly things it has (usually baselessly) accused its opponents of doing. And it is all coming in a rush. The anti-God left routinely accused the God-fearing of being ignorant misogynists who abuse women. In the last quarter of last year, evidence and news came flooding that the same leftists routinely and systematically prey on women, treating them as things to be used rather than people to be respected. And the ratio between leftist and conservative abusers has been consistently about 10-1. Thus, in the ‘God-fearing,’ circles such abuse is – as the God-fearing constantly proclaim (to sneers from the left) aberrant. Amongst the anti-God left, it is so common as to be standard practice. According to the left, the tax reform package of last month was to be an economic Armageddon. Instead it has resulted in large bonuses, raises and repatriation of assets held in other countries back to America – benefits the left sneers at as “crumbs.” (Of course, these are crumbs that never show up under leftist policies). Back in the 80’s and 90’s I sometimes worked with Democrats on economic issues. It was never their strong suit, but the sheer economic illiteracy of the modern left is absolutely willful in its blindness. It is hard not to notice that everything they say will be good for “the people” enhances their own stranglehold and power over those same people. They may be economically illiterate – or they may have cynically chosen power over the public good and used publicly expressed concern for that good to cement their power. Perhaps it is a bit of both. Now, confronted with the evidence that their “Armageddon” is everyone else’s “Recovery,” they double down and haughtily demand that people believe the left rather than their own lying eyes. Now, worst of all, with all the allegations of corruption and collusion the left so freely throws at all opponents, it is a solidly established fact that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) rigged the primary system so that only Hillary could win, whatever the little people wanted. The evidence is now compelling that, with collaboration from the highest levels of the US justice and intelligence communities, they tried to rig the general election in the same way. Failing that, they have been engaged in a year-long effort at a bureaucratic coup, using corrupt officials in the FBI, Justice Dept, intelligence community and sporadically in the rest of the federal bureaucracy. The Democrats response, thus far, has been to desperately try to prevent the evidence from being released to the American people , claiming that the little folks are not smart enough to understand the “context” of the evidence. So far, leftist patriots who put country and stated principles above party and ideology have not been heard from.
Further complicating matters has been that, since the 2008 election, the establishment media in this country has been “all in” for the left, acting as both press office for the progressive movement and gatekeeper against revelations of its scandals. The press has been complicit in the offenses, so its credibility is at stake, as well. Even so, their participation has been as confederates rather than as principles. In many years’ experience, I have always watched for confederates to start hedging their bets and covering their rears as primary early signs that a seemingly impregnable organizational edifice is starting to collapse. When the Democrats shut down the government (actually just a slowdown) on behalf of illegal aliens, confidently expecting the media to blame Republicans, instead such legacy media institutions as The New York Times, AP, and CNN instead laid responsibility squarely on the Democrats. I knew then that the confederates were thinking survival strategies rather than just mindlessly carrying water for their long-time allies. Yesterday, PBS ran a lengthy story on the cascading revelations of corruption at the top levels of justice and intelligence. Oh, the legacy media is still sympathetic to its old allies, but it is clearly hedging its bets. Once a corrupt edifice is no longer seen as impregnable, its actual fall is nigh. For the better part of a century, being a leftist in this country has meant never having to say you’re sorry, never having to apologize for (or even acknowledge) disastrous policy failures. Now harvest time is at hand.
This brings still another level of confrontation: the confrontation of the God-fearing with their own resentments and instincts. We have to walk a knife’s edge. On the one hand, the right’s tolerance of leftist abuses over the decades has enabled those abuses and mangled our culture. People who have assaulted our culture and liberty must be held to account. Some people must go to prison and all who have used their publicly-granted authority to conspire against that very public must be forever barred from holding positions of public trust. The general practice has been not to even know about successful assaults while stopping some of those discovered, but refusing to hold those who mounted them to account. That has taught the malevolently ambitious that the worst-case scenario of failure is to lose office and keep your pension and freedom. That has enabled serial outrages and must end now. The Lois Lerners, John Koskinens, Peter Strzoks, Loretta Lynchs and James Comeys must go to jail for a time, losing their pensions and privileges.
On the other hand, an orgy of vengeance for the sake of vengeance would simply replace their thugs and bums with our thugs and bums. Too many right-wing activists are almost as contemptuous of God and the God-fearing as the left. A secular right state would be every bit as soulless and corrupt as the existing secular left deep state – and eventually every bit as oppressive. There must be examples to establish that we are going to once again be a nation of laws and a common culture. But limit it to high-level betrayals of public trust, and arrests of active lawbreakers. Thus, even as negotiations on DACA continue, arrest and deport any illegal aliens whose sense of entitlement leads them to publicly demonstrate against America while flaunting their status. Arrest and give real prison sentences to Antifa and ANY rioters who use violence to make their point. Shut down public universities that do not defend free speech – and bar private universities which do the same from any public monies, either in the form of research grants or federal tuition assistance. Indict for sedition public officials, such as California Atty. Gen. Javier Becerra for threatening to imprison citizens who obey federal law. Protect the right to lawfully protest, but give no toleration at all to violent street theatre.
The left must grapple with the reality that it is neither morally nor intellectually superior – but is, in fact, a bunch of morally and intellectually inferior rubes. It does not have to stay that way. The right must grapple with whether it is going to renew society to the classically liberal flower of western civilization that our Constitutional Republic originally envisioned, or just become mirror images of the corrupt bureaucrats of the left. Is it a mere contest for power or an effort for real renewal and reconciliation?
This will be a year of strife. It would be a miracle to get through it with no serious episodes of violence, given the challenges from without and from within. I constantly go back to Abraham Lincoln’s final year. He would accept nothing but the unconditional surrender of the south. The rebellion had been an intolerable offense to national unity and he would accept nothing less than the rebels accepting full responsibility. Yet his policy of reconciliation was to “let ‘em up easy,” to act with malice towards none and charity for all who sought reconciliation as brothers in our common nation. It was a carefully-calibrated policy of steel and velvet, and perhaps the only policy that could have knit the nation back together as a functional whole.
Without re-embracing God as the center and foundation of our culture, we will simply replace one form of doom with another. The history of western civilization IS the history of Christianity. It is Christianity which spurred the classically liberalizing impulses which made individual freedom and self-government possible. In the post-Christian era that has been accelerating since the “Enlightenment,” we have not gotten better but have been progressively degenerating into raw contests for power, weaponizing all things, including the law itself, in that contest. This year we will choose who we are. We must either become resolute heralds of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart or degenerate into roving bands of rival warlords. Acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around you. That is our call as the corrupt progressive edifice falls.