In a few days it will be a year since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. Though I long supported many of the policies he eventually claimed as his own during his campaign, I was not one of the Trumpeters, confidently proclaiming that he was the changed man, chosen of God to "make America great again." His life's record, and his personally uncivil campaign "style," compelled me to conclude that his forays into conservative rhetoric would likely prove to be just that, rhetorical. Don't get me wrong, however. This wasn't at all about his frank articulation of tough policies upsetting America's foes, or weak-willed friends.
I've learned from much personal experience on the receiving end of such criticisms that, more often than not, they are a tactical ploy meant to discourage people from presenting pro-American policies with the passion and conviction needed to rally enthusiastic support. In my experience, that rallying effect first led the elitist faction's media minions to do everything they could to exclude me from participation. During my first campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, in 1996, they went so far as to have me arrested for showing up for a debate in Atlanta, despite the fact that the Georgia GOP had formally invited me to do so.
The adverse elitist reaction angered grass-roots voter, increasing their support for my efforts. So, during the 2000 GOP primaries, the elitist faction's media powers didn't repeat their overt efforts to cancel my participation. Instead they did everything possible to limit the number of people who heard the message I was determined to represent. In specific policy areas, it was in many respects not very different, in substance, from Donald Trump's message 16 years later. But like Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore today, I emphasized the God-acknowledging premises of American self-government, as articulated in our Declaration of Independence.
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Many voters who had the chance to hear it responded positively. But that produced unacceptably positive (for the elitist faction media minions, that is) results in the Iowa GOP primary that year. I finished third. Though that was significant, for reasons obvious and not so obvious, the elitist faction's media tools did everything they could to suppress it in their reporting. In subsequent primary contests, the same pattern of suppression prevailed. Except for this elitist faction suppression, I am morally certain the outcome of the 2000 election would have been substantially affected.
Let's be clear, however, that this suppression was not just about me, personally. It was about the elitist faction's deep hostility against grass-roots GOP voters. My message was unabashedly pro-life and pro-American. I argued my positions using the logic of the Declaration, repeatedly relying on its appeal to God as the author and standard of our responsibility to do right. I received enthusiastic applause from large GOP audiences everywhere I went, including in the states of the so-called "Deep South."
However, the elitist faction powers-that-be were determined to suppress this evidence that pro-life, fiscally conservative and deeply patriotic American voters responded with enthusiasm to the message I carried. The response of such voters empirically refuted the notion that fearful bigotry and racism prevailed over their good will for God and country, anywhere in the United States. More even than this, the elitist faction powers were fiercely determined to make sure the God-revering principles and logic of the Declaration of Independence did not become the focal point of the 2000 presidential election.
It took several more years before experience convinced me that elitist faction hostility to the Declaration was (and is) not confined to the (at that point still) crypto-socialist, would-be totalitarians of the Democratic Party. It is fully shared by the GOP's elitist faction leadership. The controlling powers in both parties now demonstrably reject America's founding premises. Instead of championing the Declaration's commitment to building an individual nation that respects and appeals to all humanity, according to God's intention, they now openly or tacitly adhere to an agenda that seeks to reject God's provisions for our nature, and the natural disposition, primordially expressed in procreative family life, that in the course of human events, gives rise to nations that represent the creatively diverse ways in which human beings choose to fulfill their God-endowed responsibility to humankind, as individuals and as nations.
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Instead of respecting the Declaration's commitment to government power so constituted as to challenge and rely on human individuals who voluntarily choose to exercise (implement) God-endowed rights (i.e., what God has determined to be right) for the whole community, the controlling leaders in both parties now seem committed to a more or less repressive, totalitarian enforcement of their faction's collective will. They seem set on replacing the regime of God-endowed liberty with a regime of self-destructive personal whimsy and licentiousness, that has no dutiful regard for the common good and that will complete the destruction of our people's character for self-government, no matter the façade of "democratic process" left to mask its demise.
I earnestly wish I could be reasonably certain that Donald Trump's presidency is not just part of that façade, skillfully staged to lull many conservatives into continuing in the mistaken belief that the elitist faction party system means to preserve America's constitutional self-government. But the facts are, thus far, simply not yet persuasive.
President Trump's combative demeanor seems still to be a substitute for effectual combat on behalf of America's exceptional character as a nation. His battles rouse the emotions of his supporters, but the episodes of possibly fake confrontation they often involve do little or nothing to reintroduce new generations of Americans to the sound logic of America's founding, or encourage in them the character required to follow it.
Some say that his greatest achievement, so far, is the appointment of judges and justices in the mold of Scalia. But Justice Scalia disavowed any notion that he revered the God-dependent logic of the Declaration. He emphasized respect for the words of the Constitution, but he emphatically did not accept or seek to act upon the logic of its fundamental premise: that the sovereign will of God is the rule and standard of justice that above all must govern the American, or any other people. Otherwise they will not do right by their claim to govern themselves.
I pray to God each day for President Trump: that the Lord will help him to appreciate and apply the Declaration premise of His authority over human justice, as the great theme of the Trump administration. Really getting to know Judge (with God's help, soon to be Sen.) Roy Moore would be a good start – an unmistakable sign that, despite its rugged outward appearance, President Trump's first year in office will indeed prove to have been a fruitful beginning. For, as we learn from Aristotle's "Ethics," "the beginning is thought to be more than half of the whole. …."