It was a close call. We barely escaped losing our old republic and succumbing to rule by an unelected bureaucracy of intelligence officials. A “special counsel” – a creature with not a lick of constitutional legitimacy – was given de facto unlimited power and allowed to run rampant through official Washington, settling old scores, and creating some new ones. Lives were destroyed – innocent lives, of which there are few and far between in that vicinity – and dragged through the muck and mire. Demagogues, armed with one of the least plausible conspiracy theories of all time, drew up new rules whereby one measured truth or falsehood. These were the Bizarro World rules, which operate on the general principle of the least evidence there is for a proposition the more likely it is to be true.
It was and is a conspiracy theory built largely around the conceit of the perpetrators. After all, how could their candidate – smooth, (over-prepared), backed by over a billion bucks, leading in every poll, and so obviously destined to take the prize – wind up defeated?
This is the question torturing the liberal mind, and coming up with answers none of which explain the flaw in their supposedly flawless strategy. After all, they had a computer program named “Ada” named after the first woman in cybernetics that told them every move to make. Yes, identity politics dominated the Clintonian strategy to that extent.
Should we have that event on Monday or Tuesday? Who are we mere flesh and blood humans to know? Ask Ada! Should Hillary go to some Starbucks in West Hollywood and commune with her biggest fans – or would a visit to Michigan’s Harry’s Diner in the devastated world of the Deplorables serve her purposes better? Ada said no to Harry’s and so it was that the Clintonians worked their own turf, and ignored the rest of the voters. Maybe the campaign didn’t know they were avoiding counties where the casualty rate from Hillary’s wars was highest, and maybe they did – but that indeed is what happened.
The 2016 election revealed the real class lines in this country: not rich versus poor, white versus black, or north versus south – although these factors count to some extent – but the alienated versus the well-adjusted.
Are you adjusted to the idea that the community you once knew is gone and irrecoverable forever? Does it bother you that you can’t get through the day without ten milligrams of oxycodone? Is your monthly visit to the Veterans Administration hospital a ritual of enforced humiliation and minor but painful torture?
Wouldn’t you like to wipe that smug self-satisfied smirk off Jeff Bezos’s face?
These and many more often subtle but unmistakable signs are the insignia of alienation. And when they become so acute that even such worthies as legislators, journalists, and even cloistered academics must acknowledge them, what you have is a revolution on your hands.
The scenario of an empowered national security apparatus exercising veto power over who should and should not exercise power was set in place long ago – just about the time the Surveillance State was set up to supposedly protect us from terrorism. Did anyone really think that setting up a special set of rules unconstrained by the rule of law and the Constitution would exempt political figures, dissidents, presidential candidates from the same kind of surveillance as a wannabe terrorist from Somalia?
I heard a Republican congressman of conservative disposition wonder aloud on Fox News why we have this secret FISA court to begin with. Because of one thing we can now be certain – it’s not in order to catch terrorists.
In Russia-gate we see the real purpose of the system of universal surveillance: to track and control the channels of dissidence in this country. Centralized in the upper reaches of the “intelligence” community, such a store of knowledge can be weaponized at a moment’s notice.
This time they were weaponized, as the President put it, in an attempt to overthrow the duly elected government of the United States – and not for the last time, either. There are people in this country – powerful people – who feel entitled to the almost unlimited power they wield. They will stop at nothing to preserve and defend it.
We can and must defeat them by disempowering the instruments of control – the FBI, the CIA, and the entire national security bureaucracy – and making an example in this most egregious case. John Brennan must be charged and prosecuted. The FBI cabal that turned a federal law enforcement agency into an arm of an incipient police state must be held accountable in a court of law.
The Trumpian revolution survives. The Establishment Counterrevolution has been defeated – but only for now. They’ll be back, and so must we – ready to fight to keep what we have won.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.