From the moment the 2016 election became a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I began to remark that it was a tragic situation. It was only recently I realized that no one understood what I was saying.
Americans don’t actually have the word tragic in their vocabulary or, that is, they only use it to mean “very sad.” The death of a young person is tragic, or an earthquake, or a crime.
That isn’t what I meant. I was using the word in reference to tragic drama. It refers to the disaster inherent in certain interactions between human nature and events. When great civilizations peak, for example, the people grow careless and stupid and destroy them. That’s an example of tragedy. On paper, it doesn’t have to happen. In life, it does happen, and once you reach the tragic stage of the process, there’s no way out.
The 2016 election was tragic because our political system had become so empty and our elites so decadent that the only choice they could put before us was between, one, a career criminal dedicated to the corrupt and immoral culture that was already stripping our ideals of their meaning and, two, a graceless outsider who is a creation of that culture and so – despite his many talents and excellent instincts – has no understanding of our higher purposes and absolutely no clue how to behave.
There is no playing three-dimensional chess with history. It will beat you every time. The 2016 choice was simple. A vote for Hillary – or a vote for no one which was in fact a vote for Hillary – was a vote to allow the decay to spread, perhaps irrevocably. A vote for Trump was a vote to throw a wrench in the machine and take our chances with the chaos that followed.
Don’t get me wrong. Trump, in my opinion, has done a very good job as president of a decadent and shambolic republic. With the world economy damaged by the Chinese pandemic, it’s easy to forget how much he has accomplished. Where’s the ISIS caliphate Obama’s incompetence created? Gone. Where are the border invasions from the south? Over. Where are the economy-killing regulations? Repealed. Where are the anti-constitutional leftist judges, the anti-Israel policy, the cozying up to terrorist Iran?
And while the Left hurls insults at Trump relentlessly, who the hell are they to talk? Barack Obama was so amazingly corrupt he unleashed our legal and intelligence powers on an opposing political candidate. Governor Andrew Cuomo thinks vandalizing statues is legitimate protest. Governor Gretchen Whitmer bans church services then marches in mass protests. Their candidate for president is a morally empty and senile old man who is fit to serve as nothing but a ventriloquist dummy for radicals. Their cities are on fire with riots, filthy with litter, littered with homeless, rife with drugs. Their press lies. They hate America – they say so. They don’t believe in free speech – they say that too.
But – and this is Trump’s tragedy and ours – the very personal qualities that give Trump the pugilism and the courage to stand up to the corruption of our broken system are the same qualities that make him unpalatable to a huge number of Americans.
That’s why the polls show Trump trailing in a race with an unscrupulous idiot. Because of the way he acts. Because of the way he talks. Because of the way he treats people who deserve respect, like Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions and James Mattis, so that they come back and bite him. We love him when he punches the press and the Democrats. They’re lowlifes. They deserve it. But he never turns it off, which makes you feel it’s not about fighting for us. It’s just personal. It’s just the way he is.
And yet we have to do all we can to ensure Trump wins the November election. I don’t know if our wobbly republic can withstand four years of governance by Marxist criminals with no regard for the rule of law. There is no opting out of this. Conservatives who pat themselves on the back for coming up with lovely theories that have no chance of becoming political reality – they’re part of the problem. They’re why the public chose Trump in the first place.
So we’re faced with a choice between a brain-dead corruption monkey on the Democrat side and a raging bull in a china shop on the Republican side. We know what we have to do, but let’s not kid ourselves. The choice is just as tragic as it was the last time.
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