United States – In the Preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence, Jefferson gave us the purpose of government, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights… That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The purpose of government is simply to secure the inalienable rights of the people – that is the pact we form with one another, that is the Constitution we form with one another.
When Benjamin Franklin was walking out of the Convention, he was famously asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” His response is illuminating, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Populism, a philosophy which advocates for the common person overthrowing elites, is itself noble in the problems it seeks to address. Unfortunately, populism quickly degenerates into mob rule. Today many of our citizens vote for representatives who will implement a populist version of mob rule without regard to the Constitution or to the Republic. The ban on prayer in some schools can be seen as an example of such a transgression. Lawmakers fall to into the trap of thinking that they must balance the right to pray against some supposed right not to hear a prayer in a public setting, an imaginary non-existent right that does not exist because people abandon an expectation to privacy in most public settings.
The examples of these transgressions are countless. Government does not have any authority to define marriage, infringe on gun rights, limit free speech, to enact sodomy laws or sterilise certain people yet in all of these cases it does or has in the past. Government illegally transgresses on the inalienable rights of people on a regular basis because it is popular – it is populist. These transgressions are, or were at one point, the will of the mob. It was the zeitgeist – it was fashionable and trendy at a time. When the mob is religious, religiously dogmatic laws are enacted that suppress other religions or impose one religion above others. When the mob is secular, religious intolerance laws and attacks on all religions are enacted, because secularism is itself a quasi-religion. This populism is not the form of government that America was founded upon. That is not to say that populism as originally intended is not an important and powerful tool to keep oligarchs in check.
Jefferson warned us that, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.” The Founders saw democracy as an imperfect solution to the need of selecting representatives who would administer the Republic. The intent was that these representatives would handle the “policy” decisions that were needed to tend to government while making sure that the Republic was adhering to its charter of securing the citizen’s rights. All elected leaders, public servants, and soldiers swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. The oath is to the Republic itself, not to the will of a majority mob. Diluting or destroying the Republic is not an “option” that elected leaders have. The dismantling of the Republic is never “on the table,” regardless of the voter turnout.
The pact that the I have with my fellow-citizens is that “I form Constitution with my fellow citizens to safeguard our rights.” That is the extent of the pact. The role of government is not to balance rights. The role of government isn’t even to define the contours of liberty – that task is charged to a jury on a case by case basis when a transgression is suspected to have occurred. Every power that government derives is directly drawn from that original Constitution to secure the people’s rights: the need to keep order; the need to provide for the common defence; the need for conveyance, traffic laws; and countless other laws. The mob majority or the mob minority have no business deciding where inalienable rights start or end. If a transgression on someone’s rights occurs, then on a case by case basis a local jury of peers decides the degree of the transgression and the punishment. That is the common-law system established for the Republic.
Jefferson rightfully understood that Rights come from God, the Creator. The Founders correctly identified Rights to be out of the reach of the state because if the state can manoeuvre into the role of granting Rights or into the equally dangerous role of balancing Rights then the government will invariably destroy the people’s Inalienable Rights. The examples of government transgressions on human rights are laid bare in history and in today’s countless governments of the world who carry the name “republic” in their title. Many of these so-called republics are just tyrannies, oligopolies, or mob rule governments. Sadly, Britain and so many European democracies are exactly mob rule states who today happen to benefit from an educated and moderate citizenry; however, the oppression by a mob, even an educated mob, is as dangerous and repugnant as the oppression of a tyrant. A mob is never fit to rule. That is why the Founders intelligently created a Republic, not a populist democracy.
Unfortunately, in the United States today, the Democratic party is attacking the First and Second Amendments with abandon. The Republicans are not faring much better. Republicans attack the Fourth Amendment in the name of safety, a false appeal – because the opposite of safety is not freedom.
Beyond the issue of Rights, there are too many foreign influences on American politics and on our elected officials. America strikes suboptimal trade deals. It’s far easier for a corporation to move their manufacturing to a country that does not have strong environmental laws or labour laws, while the people in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania see their livelihoods wither. The people of those states are left in poverty, unable to compete on the world stage. America can never reasonably compete with countries that use child labour; countries who pour raw sewage into their waterways; countries with no fossil fuel emissions limits; countries that devalue their currency to dump their products on American shores – all under the guise of free trade. Americans trying to sell cars in Germany or Japan are met with a Trump-Like wall’s worth of rules and obstructions. True free trade is an illusion.
In looking at the candidates, one stands out as unqualified to be President and Commander in Chief. What Hillary Clinton has done with Benghazi; with the Clinton Foundation; with the late-breaking revelations from the FBI that investigation into her e-mails continue; and with her dual positions (one for bankers and one for the public) is disqualifying and in some cases, criminal in my opinion.
Mrs Clinton set up a public e-mail server to keep her communications out of the eyes of the voters. Her dealings between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation held potential conflicts of interest that many suspect she did not want exposed to the citizenry. Why else would she have her servers bleached clean and the computer hard drives and phones destroyed with hammers? In taking the actions that she did, she exposed our national security to foreign powers and broke the many laws that deal with the handling of classified information. As proof, today the White House claims executive privilege in not releasing certain e-mails. 30,000 other e-mails were deleted. Still, not a day goes by when WikiLeaks, an international transparency group, does not release a trove of e-mails from Mrs Clinton’s files.
When America’s embassy mission came under attack in Benghazi, Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama simply did not pick up the phone. Mrs Clinton did not send help. She likely did not send help because it would have hurt Mr Obama’s reelection campaign and because of the nature of the work that the mission was engaged in Libya – work that could have been dealing with arms and Syria. Irrespective, Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton ignored the phone ringing at 3AM, a phone call from our brave men and women who were under attack. America had assets in the region, Aviano Italy is a short flight away. America had assets in Tripoli that were ready to respond. Mr Obama’s and Mrs Clinton’s lack of action that night disqualified them from serving as Commanders in Chief.
Mr Trump, on the other hand, has lived life as a rich bachelor: he is brash; he is arrogant; he can be petty; he is accustomed to getting his way in life on most matters. Men with money are that way. John F. Kennedy was that way. President Kennedy had numerous affairs and had an eye for beautiful women, something the media conveniently shielded the American people from seeing. Mr Trump’s initial negotiating positions on most business deals are absolute and border on the irrationally unacceptable, but that negotiating tactic allows him to emerge out of negotiations with favourable deals for himself and for his investors. To use two metaphors, Mr Trump does not telegraph his moves and he does not show his cards. Mr Trump takes the same tact in politics. A strong negotiator who does not show his cards is exactly the type of person America needs sitting across from Putin or from people who I feel have taken advantage of America.
Mr Trump is unquestionably 100% American. Categorically, America does not need someone like Mrs Clinton; someone who is engaged in personal and professional entanglements with foreign countries and international corporations. Beyond his nature, many of the things that Mr Trump is accused of saying he simply did not say. A cursory review of the transcripts of his words or a review of video tapes show that pundits regularly misrepresent Mr Trump’s statements. The mass media companies including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and to an extent even FOX have during the campaign either officially been anti-Trump, or they favour commentators who are anti-Trump – the result is the same anti-Trump bias from the major networks.
Sadly, Mr Trump has not been the only one to suffer under the unbalanced reporting of the major networks, magazines, and newspapers. Senators Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul also received very unbalanced treatment from major media providers. If anything, this election has laid bare that while the system might not be completely “Rigged” the deck is certainly “Stacked” against any non-establishment candidate.
I would like a candidate who would best protect The Republic, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and all our Inalienable Rights. Mr Trump is not perfect, but he is, in my view, the least dangerous to our Constitution and Bill of Rights. To be more specific, Hillary Clinton would immediately begin to erode both the First and Second Amendments via Supreme Court appointments and legislation. I would like a candidate who is not heavily indebted to lobbyist from establishment bankers or international corporations. Those same interested parties will attempt to lobby Mr Trump and he might become beholden to them at some point, but the process of influencing Mr Trump might allow the citizenry a degree of transparency obfuscated by today’s ingrained establishment. This rearrangement of power and influence might become visible to the citizenry, and, once revealed, the citizenry can continue to set things to right.
The United States needs an American, not a Globalist, as President. Globalism has given the world some great things, notably peace in the first world. Globalism has also created a more multi-cultural and tolerant world – which is a very good thing for long term peace and diplomacy. At the same time, globalism is moving too fast and most countries of the world are not yet ready for a borderless world. Laws have not caught up in all countries of the world to create a level playing field. Cultures have not all progressed to where they can all peacefully settle their differences. Maybe a social utopia where people live peacefully and where the environment is protected will one day exist, but the author views this as distant.
In a republic, elections are not meant to be a popularity contest, and they’re not meant to be a decision that imposes the views of one group on another group. Elections are about selecting the candidate who will best safeguard the Constitution and the Republic and whom will faithfully represent the American People’s Interests on the world stage. Trump claims he will “make America great again” but America is already a great country. Only in America do people enjoy freedoms of the kind that countless other people only dream about. Still, the slogan is appropriate and powerful. The slogan is appropriate because it speaks to the people of the United States who have been left behind in the last 50 years. A group of people that is rapidly growing.
However, Trump’s support base does not simply consist of the forgotten. I hold advanced political degrees, have travelled the world for business and pleasure, visiting over 100 countries. I am a decorated combat veteran. I have meticulously studied the Federalist Papers. I have studied Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Hume, Hobbs, Montesquieu, Gibbon and many other notable thinkers. I do not, as many have been labelled, consider myself a low information voter. I am not what Hillary would term to exist in a basket of deplorable’s.
Most of the ills that society faces are a combination of both Republicans and Democrats disrespecting and abusing the Constitution. Those abuses will not be corrected until both the Republican and Democratic party start allowing more Libertarians and Classical Liberals like Rand Paul into leadership roles. Sadly, it seems that is going to take a lot of work and quite a bit of time. To leverage a terrible cast-system term for convenience only, the Middle Class is not as wealthy as it used to be. To those people, America is not as great as it used to be for their fathers. People yearn for that greatness again. In that respect, it is a very appropriate slogan and one that speaks well to the campaign of Mr Trump.
These are the reasons why I voted for Donald Trump.