Who’d of thought the Chicago Cubs would be the 2016 World Series Champions. Throughout my elementary school years I spent summer after summer with my grandparents in Chicago and wasted many an afternoon watching the Cubs lose again on WGN – even got to Wrigley once or twice. And especially who would ever predict that they would win over the Cleveland Indians; who buckled under a three games to one lead like Galloping Gertie in the wind. Not that I am a die hard Cubbies fan either – there was that miserable year I lived in Cleveland and my dad helped me fight through the misery with several Indians games. An amazing end to an amazing series, and one that no one really saw coming.
So when friend John Eastman takes to Facebook to link to a piece that declares the future of the American Republic does not exist, one must exercise some skepticism. This piece is in the Claremont Review of Books – it is no scribbled off blog post by somebody nobody ever heard of. It makes a compelling case. Consider just the opening paragraph:
Over the past half century, the Reagan years notwithstanding, our ruling class’s changing preferences and habits have transformed public and private life in America. As John Marini shows in his essay, “Donald Trump and the American Crisis,” this has resulted in citizens morphing into either this class’s “stakeholders” or its subjects. And, as Publius Decius Mus argues, “America and the West” now are so firmly “on a trajectory toward something very bad” that it is no longer reasonable to hope that “all human outcomes are still possible,” by which he means restoration of the public and private practices that made the American republic. In fact, the 2016 election is sealing the United States’s transition from that republic to some kind of empire.
The piece has a decidedly anti-Trump tilt, but makes its case with either candidate winning the election. It is a compelling argument, and it projects a future I can see happening, but I remain unconvinced that it will happen. See here’s the thing – even if this election does not change “this trajectory” there will be another election and another opportunity to change things. The transition to empire is not complete until the mechanisms of empire are in place, which means the people can’t vote.
It’s inescapable folks. The problem is not our ruling class – it is us. They are our ruling class because we make them so. I grow weary of people decrying the end of the republic as we know it like we are somehow victims of its demise. We are no victims in the changes in this nation – we are the causes of those changes. It is the height of hubris to assume that we are chattel for some ruling elite and it is the nadir of slovenly citizenship to let people treat us that way.
There are no sudden lurches in a republic like ours, only slow transitions. There are no cliffs to fall off of, only slow rolling hills which, if we desire, we can stop rolling down and start climbing back up. We are in control of our destiny, all we have to do is believe that we are and act accordingly.
I can hear the protests ringing now, “There are no good choices this election.” I agree, there are not – but there are better and worse choices. We may not even be able to stop rolling down the hill this cycle, maybe the best we can accomplish is to slow the rolling. So be it. But this I know – the only way the republic dies is if we let it die.
The time is upon us to face facts. Regardless of the choices in front of us, the only way we lose the final battle is not to choose – to give up our power. I don’t think America is there yet. I sure as hell am not.