America Needs An Intervention
Trump, Clinton and the End of Democracy?
The Washington Post recently released a video recording Trump saying the most disgusting things about women. I won’t repeat them here.
To be honest, despite his overtly despicable public persona, I have always been a little bit sympathetic to Trump.
His scrambling of the right wing orthodoxy in the US is something the Republicans do need in the shadow of the Bush years – particularly his vocal opposition to the foreign wars that have dominated US foreign policy since the first President Bush, right through the Clinton, second Bush, and Obama presidencies.
I also think the working class have needed a champion in politics – somebody who respects their social conservatism as well as their need for help in a harsh globalized world. Exporting all your economy’s manufacturing to sweat shops in the East has obviously caused some problems.
Finally, Trump is not wrong to say that a country needs borders. You cannot simply normalize illegal immigration. It’s terrible for the poor, first of all.
But this video shows why Trump is a poor spokesman for these causes, and nothing but a political opportunist. A person like Trump just doesn’t have the character necessary to wield power.
The trouble is I really don’t think Clinton is any better politically – or even morally!
First of all, sleaze has followed the Clintons everywhere they have gone. Their Foundation is a nest of corruption. Bill, like Trump, has been closely linked with the billionaire serial paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein – and his own sexual escapades are no less sleazy than Trump’s – especially when they involve young interns in the Oval Office.
Secondly, the so-called argument of competence is a myth – Hillary was right there cheering on the invasions of both Iraq and Libya – two of the worst foreign policy decisions of all time. (Remember, Bush’s cabinet and staff had more experience than any other White House in history – I would take good policy sense over experience and even personal morality every time.)
Ideally, a broadly acceptable and ideologically restrained third candidate would now enter the race and unify the country to avoid electing either of these candidates.
But that won’t happen. People need an emperor.
Instead, Clinton will probably win and her certain unpopularity and scandal will probably help reignite Republican opposition come next election. She might even start a few more wars.
What this election is teaching us is that democracy is in trouble. When two such compromised, unethical candidates (one overtly so, the other more subtly so) can win the support of the two major parties, it’s a signal something has gone terribly wrong.
Democracy, it turns out, is not a self-sustaining good. Liberty means nothing in an age of decadence. Democracy requires public virtue, in order for the majority not to choose freely their own decline.
As the French politician and writer, Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote of America in the 19th century:
“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
Being the world’s epicentre of cheap consumer pleasure and unnecessary warfare is hurting the US badly. An arbitrary freedom, a decadent democracy, means increasingly little in the face of a decrepit body politic.
America, bring all your troops home.
There’s a war at home – a spiritual war – and the stakes are no less than the soul of your country.