Wolf Howling gave me permission to re-print in its entirety his splendid, insightful, intelligent, informed, far-reaching, and tightly-written rant about everything that’s wrong with the American political system as we head into the 2016 election. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:
Caesar: Who is it in the press that calls on me? I hear a tongue shriller than all the music cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.
Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.
Caesar: What man is that?
Brutus: A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19
On the 15th of March, 44 B.C., the Roman Republic signed its death warrant when the Senators conspired to kill Julius Caesar. It was perhaps the most famous political assassination in history. It certainly was an inflection point in world history, marking the demise of the Roman Republic and its degeneration into rule by emperors. Somehow, I think we are seeing a variant on that history play out today on both the left and the right. The election of Trump could well spell the end our Republic. The plot to steal the nomination from him at a contested convention would surely be the end of the Republican Party. And the refusal to indict Hillary would be a de facto end to our nation as a nation of laws existing under the Constitution.
The nation has just suffered through nearly eight years seeing what rule by a progressive left ideologue looks like — a combination of extra-constitutional rule, cronyism, and identity politics reaching to its ludicrous conclusions. We have an economy that is failing a declining middle class and has been propped up — barely and only — by a Fed running the printing presses non-stop and now considering negative interest rates. And Obama will leave the White House in 2017 with America in a much more precarious position in terms of national security — his insane deal to give Iran a glide path to a nuclear arsenal being the suicidal cherry on top.
Much of what the Obama and the progressive left have accomplished has been enabled by a Court system whose progressive members consider themselves a politburo not bound by the Constitution or democracy, by closed public sector unions that pump incredible sums of laundered taxpayer money back into politics on behalf of progressives, an education system that indoctrinates for progressivism, a system of crony capitalism that operates to disadvantage the middle class and crush entrepreneurship, and by a progressive regulatory bureaucracy that operates outside of the Constitution, passing rules – none voted on by Congress yet still with the force of law — that are working fundamental change to our nation.
I will admit to high hopes coming into the 2016 election. If you look hard at most of these issues, you will see that they are systemic problems that can only be solved by affirmative political action. Reining in the court system requires action by Congress, as does ending closed sector public unions and putting the regulatory bureaucracy wholly under Congressional control. And I had high hopes that this year, the pendulum would swing far enough to the right that we could elect a conservative for President who would address these systemic issues. Cruz, I thought and still think, understood all of these issues and would be most likely to address them. That said, we had 17 candidates on the Republican side at the start this year and almost all of them would have made decent presidents, if not as effective as Cruz. Rubio understood the national security picture best of all of them. Fiorina understood the problems with cronyism, regulation and Congressional accounting. Carson was an honorable man whose heart was in the right place. Even the weakest of the lot, Kasich and Bush, could have been expected to govern at least as milquetoast centrists, addressing none of the systemic problems but at least making none of them worse.