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Imagine for a moment that one of your close friends is in charge of quality control at a factory that produces, let’s say, automobiles. For years, his inspectors find cars with minor flaws (e.g., paint scratches, badly installed trim, flawed upholstery) but that are otherwise fully functional. Then comes a time when every car examined has a fatal flaw, i.e., one that prevents the car from functioning or makes it unsafe to operate (bad transmission, bad brakes, faulty ignition, inoperative headlights, door latches that don’t hold, leaky fluid reservoirs, an EBS that kicks in suddenly at high speeds, etc.). They duly note the flaws and reject the vehicles for sale. After a while your friend gets wind of the fact that his colleagues are whispering about the poor performance of his department. They fault his leadership, saying that he is encouraging arrogance, inflexibility, a bad attitude toward the company.

Then the weekly newsletter features a commentary from the executive VP about the counterproductive effects of hypercritical perfectionism. Finally, the company CEO calls him in for a private chat. “You need to stop being such a perfectionist,” he advises. “No car is going to be perfect. The cars you’re rejecting are 80 or 90 percent ready for the road and 100 percent better than anything our competition can produce. Your hypercritical approach will just give them the chance to take customers away from us. Is that what you want?”

What would you conclude about your friend’s company? You’d probably advise him to spruce up his résumé. Obviously, the problem isn’t just with this or that car. There’s a problem with the company itself. Beating the competition has become the only standard of performance. Offering customers a product that is safe, reliable and of the highest quality possible no longer matters. In a truly competitive, free-enterprise economy we would expect a company like this to lose out and go under as customers learn from experience that its cars are lemons.

But what if a socialist faction has established itself in government? What if they have created a legal and regulatory environment in which only two government-favored companies can effectively offer people their products? Car buyers are given a choice between unreliable, unsafe cars (in a choice of colors and designer styles arrived at after careful consumer research) that will eventually be involved in a fatal accident, and unreliable, unsafe cars (in only one style and color) that will pretty much fall apart within a mile of the car dealership?

I expect that many self-styled conservative Republicans easily recognize this hypothetical exercise for what it is: an effort to get people to focus on one of the key reasons for the syndrome of stagnation and failure characteristic of socialist economies. Why is it that people who easily recognize this characteristic and fatal flaw of socialism in economics stubbornly cooperate in imposing it on the politics of their country?

I find myself thinking about this as I read some of the comments and emails I invariably receive after I write a column thinking through one of the fatal flaws of this or that GOP candidate for president (as I did with respect to Herman Cain’s self-canceling pro-life stance). My critics say that people who reject the GOP candidates, however real their flaws, are just helping Obama win. They say (and not always politely) that I am being inflexible, arrogant and counterproductive. They ask huffily whether any candidate will ever be good enough for me, and so forth.

But the important thing isn’t whether these candidates are good enough for me (whatever that means). What concerns me is each one has a flaw that is bad enough to accomplish the moral, spiritual or material destruction of my country. What good does it do to defeat Barack Obama if one of the engines of destruction he presently aims at the heart of America’s way of life is left in place to achieve its fatal purpose?

Obama’s conservative critics portray him as frightful precisely because he is the summum malum of anti-American policies: From Obamacare to the isolation and destruction of Israel, from his unprecedented expansion of U.S. indebtedness to his abandonment of the key premise of American liberty (i.e., respect for unalienable rights that are God endowed, not invented and enforced by government in contradiction of God’s endowment, such as the right to abortion or homosexual “marriage”), Obama promotes policies, ideas and outcomes any one of which strikes a fatal blow at a vital spiritual, moral or material organ of the American body politic.

But for each one of the fatal flaws that Obama brings together, there is a GOP candidate who wraps that same flaw in packaging that appears, in other respects, to be diametrically opposed to Obama. On Israel, the Middle East and the ongoing threat of terrorist Islamic fundamentalism, for example, Ron Paul’s foreign policy stance is indistinguishable from Obama’s. On immigration, border security and the extension of benefits to illegal aliens, Rick Perry’s criticism and opposition to the deep concerns of patriotic Americans is much the same as Obama’s. On so-called abortion rights, the promotion of civil unions and the acceptance of gay marriage, Mitt Romney’s record of active support rivals Obama’s. When it comes to blaming American workers for the government-induced collapse of the most job-productive sectors of our economy, when it comes to excusing, shielding and defending the Federal Reserve System, when it comes to excusing the elite faction’s self-serving manipulation of the banking sector, Herman Cain’s dutiful apologetics are more than a match for anything we have seen from Barack Obama.

When it comes to contempt for the words of the U.S. Constitution, is there even one featured Republican candidate who has broken the discipline of silence, indifference or open contempt for the Constitution’s clear and plain requirements the elitists have imposed on any discussion of Obama’s failure to establish his constitutional eligibility for the office of president? Worse still, is there even one who has had the integrity to make it clear that the constitutional eligibility of Marco Rubio and other similarly situated Republicans is also questionable?

The current sham two-party system offers us a choice of fatal ills. Americans can embrace Obama, and see their country die quickly from general organ failure. Or they can embrace this or that GOP candidate and watch their country die a bit more slowly as external enemies devise and launch the fatal assaults that will complete the work begun on Sept. 11, 2001, or usurping judges and bureaucrats remove its constitutional brain, or aggressively globalist, secularist politicians force the pace of selfish depravity and abdication until the country’s spiritual liver fails or its moral heart gives out, or its financial circulatory system collapses, or invasively alien cancer cells metastasize, spreading deadly malaise throughout its body.

It may be that our demise is so far advanced that no word of warning will do any good, that no effort will avail to pierce the shroud of lies and manipulation being used to herd us toward destruction. But I believe, as America’s prevailing founders did, if we trust in God enough to follow with courage the logic of His self-evident truth, we will regain the confidence to call on Him to help our nation throw off the deadly shroud of this bipartisan sham. And I believe that once we do so, we will have eyes to see and hearts to follow the way by which we can restore our constitutional republic’s once and future strength.

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