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What’s Really at Stake in 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court, and the future of American democracy

By Matthew ContinettiThe Washington Free Beacon

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has clarified what is at stake in the 2020 election. It is not, as some believe, democracy itself. Nor is it, as others assume, our continued existence as a nation. Democracy will survive Donald Trump, and the United States of America will outlast Joe Biden. The question that 2020 will help to answer is what sort of democracy, and what sort of nation, America will be as it prepares to enter the second quarter of the 21st century.

The reaction to Ginsburg’s death, and to Republican plans to fill her seat on the Supreme Court, underscores the choice before the electorate: Does it prefer to live in a democratic republic ordered toward the principles of the Founders and the constitutional structure they designed to protect individual liberty? Or would it rather dwell in a plebiscitary democracy where the original meaning of the Constitution, when it is not explicitly repudiated, is politely overlooked in order to satisfy ever more radical egalitarian demands?

Needless to say, the answer is up in the air, and has been for some time. But we may be nearing a settlement, one way or another. The civil unrest of the past several months has made unignorable the existence of a large body of opinion that holds something is terribly wrong with America as founded, something that cannot be redeemed, and that American history and American institutions must be drastically revised to atone for the injustices committed against racial minorities. President Trump, in his inimitable way, has made the opposite argument, and called for a renewed appreciation of the American story and a resurgence of national pride.

Ginsburg’s passing heightened the tension. Suddenly an abstract cultural debate was transformed into a concrete political-legal struggle, and the prospect of lasting victory for one team (Trump and Mitch McConnell’s) looked real. The fight over the Supreme Court vacancy Ginsburg left behind also illuminated the lengths to which some progressives are prepared to go to make real their vision of the future. And it is in their openness to institutional upheaval that the real import of this election may be found. If enacted, the measures these Democrats propose would warp our constitutional system. They would turn the American government into a creature far different from the one the Founders made. This would be the upshot of the “structural reform” that, until the last week, lived mainly on Twitter and in the heads of policy wonks.

These Democrats say that, if President Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg is confirmed, and next year brings a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate, then the first order of business for the new government, in the middle of a pandemic and a troubled economy, will be abolishing the legislative filibuster and packing the Supreme Court by adding anywhere from two to four justices. Such a move, which even the greatest president of the 20th century was unable to achieve, would polarize this country even more than it already is, and delegitimize the Court in the eyes of millions. But it is just the start of what some on the Democratic left would like to accomplish.

The Electoral College has been on the chopping block since 2000. If it goes the way of the dodo, presidential campaigns thereafter will be determined by who has the greatest allegiance in the biggest cities of the largest states. To override the supposed Republican advantage in the Senate, where every state enjoys equal representation, some progressives would grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and to Puerto Rico, and maybe Guam and American Samoa while they’re at it. These changes would make it much easier for Congress to eliminate private health insurance, enact universal vote by mail, “decarbonize” the economy, grant citizenship to illegal immigrants and voting rights to noncitizens, suppress political speech, resume taxpayer funding of abortion, and cross out the Second Amendment. The sheer number of bad ideas in play would be overwhelming.

Now it is true that at least the first item on this agenda would be debated according to the present rules. And the multiple veto points within the American kludgeocracy would no doubt interfere with, and sometimes upend, the boldest plans of the progressive Democrats. It is also the case that incorporating new states gives rise to challenges both constitutional (are we really willing to grant the remaining residents of the federal District of Columbia—the first family—three electoral votes?) as well as political (does Puerto Rico even want to be a state?). But the very fact that we are having this conversation at all—and that Biden, at this writing, has neither ruled out the court-packing scheme nor said whom he would nominate to the Court—ought seriously to worry defenders of the Founders’ Constitution.

In 1963, in the first chapter of The Conservative Affirmation, Willmoore Kendall offered his definition of American conservatism. Conservatives, Kendall wrote, oppose the “Liberal Revolution” that would replace representative government with majoritarian democracy:

Put an end, the Liberals insist, to ‘rural overrepresentation’ in the lower house of Congress and in the state legislatures—bringing them in line with the principle one-man one-equal-vote. And that principle, once adopted (it is French political philosophy, not American), must call finally for abolition even of the U.S. Senate as a check on majorities, and would in any case make the House the creature of numerical majorities at the polls. Abolish the electoral college, the Liberals insist further, and so make the President also the direct agent of the popular majority. Reform the party system, the liberals insist still further, so that each of our parties shall be programmatic, ideological—like those of the ‘real’ democracies in Europe—and that the two parties together shall submit, at election time, a genuine choice to the electorate. Abolish the filibuster—so runs the next point in the program—because it frustrates, serves no other function except to frustrate, the will of the majority. Rescind the seniority-principle in congressional committees, the program continues; it also obstructs the will of the majority. Now give the Liberal attackers their way on all these points, and the form of government explicated in the Federalist Papers will be no more.

That is what 2020 is about.


America’s Clueless Idiots

By Dr. Miklos K. RadvanyiFrontiers of Freedom

Since the deadly biblical struggle between the two brothers Abel and Cain, humanity has grappled with the fundamentally existential paradoxes between good and evil, free will and subjugation, dominance and obedience, as well as fear and coercion.  These bifurcations of societies and communities into freedom by personal responsibility and disenchanted irresponsibility by surrender to seductive illusions have always been lurking under the notion of obligatory assimilation throughout the 244 years of American history.  The Declaration of Independence with its lofty ideals of ubiquitous equality and of inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, has always hidden the potential of disappointments in imperfect governments.  This interaction between the expectant masses and the thus pressurized governments has created a permanently unpredictable interplay between the majority that has needed guidance and the minority that has been elected to command.  The reactions to such an unstable situation have been either compliance or revolt.  Both have depended on circumstances that mostly have been foreseeable but occasionally subject to barely explainable circumstances.

The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an attempted arrest, has given rise to both open-ended peaceful protests and unbridled lawlessness.  Coupled with the relatively draconian anti-pandemic measures instituted by the federal and state governments, these two events have been the fundamental causes of the present infantile idiocy gripping the nation.  

The initial reaction to the unwarranted violence has been fear.  Cain was afraid of Abel, therefore, he killed him.  He was punished by having been uprooted and condemned to impermanence.  Similarly, those who destroy statues and monuments are devoid of solid roots in American society.  Having been grown up without serious parental guidance and having been confused by their scant education, they are miserable in their primitive loneliness.  Lacking any sense of personal responsibility, they demand absolute freedom for themselves and total subordination by the majority.  The result is complete, absolute, unconditional insecurity, as well as chaos, anarchy, and terror.  

Clearly, such a situation cannot be tolerated at all.  The overwhelming majority must transition from merely defending itself to going on the offensive against the unfounded charges of racism, white supremacy, intentional oppression of minorities, and the senseless denigration of a successful national history.  There is no institutionalized and systematic racism in the United States of America.  The charge of white supremacy is a myth.  Minorities are not oppressed.  On balance, the 244 years of American history is unequivocally positive.  

The only true meaning of democracy is that single issue minorities cannot seize power from the majority by force.  Any nation would be in mortal danger if minorities with destructive ideas would want to impose on the majority unworkable ideas that would run counter to the constitution, the laws, the traditions, and the morality of the nation. Attempting to replace the Judea-Christian-based spiritual realm with pseudo-Marxist and outrightly fascist social justice and inhuman rights rhetoric, would only lead to the demise of Western civilization.  Unless these minority movements can prove that their ideas and policies could win elections, they must be dealt with harshly within the confines of the rule of law. 

The American Republic can only survive if the majority refuses to excuse evil.  Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and like-minded minority movements are evil.  As long as they embrace violence, they must not be permitted to operate outside the law.  The media that promotes these evil movements must not be allowed to hide behind the First Amendment.  Such destructive opposition cannot be glorified by the Democrat Party without political consequences at the ballot boxes. 

The United States of America has its faults.  Yet, the constitutional and political powers upon which it has existed for almost two-and-a-half centuries rest on firm foundations.  For this reason, the United States of America has always possessed the strength necessary to progress without borrowing its inspiration from external sources, material or moral.  Its greatness has come from its individual as well as its collective ethos. 

The ultimate guarantee of this greatness resides in the character of the President, the Vice President, members of the cabinet, members of the House of Representatives, members of the Senate, and the office holders of the Judiciary.  What the Democrat Party and the various extremist movements represent is antithetical to the Judeo-Christian governance of America.  Marxism has always been against democracy, religion, the family, and the nation state.  Fascism is the despotic version of Marxism.  Thus, Marxism and Fascism can be defined as political regimes based on the rule of the minority over the majority, in which the minority controls politics and the economy.  Moreover, both are irrational, because they are forced to make bad compromises, in order to survive.  Finally, having trafficked in lousy ideas and disgraceful emotions, Marxism and Fascism ended up as abysmal failures whenever they were tried in practice.The state of the constitutional institutions have always determined the viability of a democracy.  Lawlessness, chaos, and anarchy engenders a feeling of uncertainty.  Adherence to the rule of law generates confidence.  Presently, only President Trump comprehends what is really happening in the United States of America.  Defending and reinforcing the Judeo-Christian foundations of America are the keys to preserving and strengthening the constitution-based governance of the greatest nation on earth.


Blame Congress for Politicizing the Court

By Senator Ben Sasse (NE) • Wall Street Journal

Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of hating women, hating children, hating clean air, wanting dirty water. He’s been declared an existential threat to the nation. Alumni of Yale Law School, incensed that faculty members at his alma mater praised his selection, wrote a public letter to the school saying: “People will die if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.”

It’s predictable now that every Supreme Court confirmation hearing will be a politicized circus. This is because Americans have accepted a bad new theory about how the three branches of government should work—and in particular about how the judiciary operates. Continue reading


McConnell Cancels August Recess, Citing Liberal Obstruction

By Jack Crowe • National Review

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell cancelled the upper chamber’s annual August recess Tuesday, citing the “historic obstruction” of his Democratic colleagues in a statement explaining his decision.

“Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled,” McConnell said in the statement. “Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.”

Senators were scheduled to depart Washington on August 3 and not return until after Labor Day, just three weeks before the October 1 end of the fiscal year. In order to avoid Continue reading


George Washington’s First Inaugural Address

“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

George Washington

Our first chief executive took his oath of office on April 30, 1789 in New York City on the balcony of the Senate Chamber at Federal Hall on Wall Street. [Excerpts]

Thursday, April 30, 1789

by George Washington

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

SUMMONED BY MY COUNTRY

I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years—a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. . . . Continue reading


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