2016 Election Bottom Line: More of the Same, or Something Different?


In the end, more than they wanted freedom they wanted security and a comfortable life.  And they lost all security, comfort and freedom.  The [Americans] finally wanted not to give to society, but for society to give to them.  When the freedom they wished for most was the freedom from responsibility, then [America] ceased to be free. – Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Gibbon actually was writing about the city-state Athens and its decline, but his words are a razor-sharp indictment of the United States of the past several decades.

Just as the Athenians did, Americans have for the most part abandoned their responsibilities as citizens of a free republic and succumbed to the siren’s call of material comfort and ease, focusing on leisure activities, entertainment and frivolous distractions (e.g., TV sports, the manufactured drama of ‘reality TV,’ the endless shouting matches of radio and TV talk shows, etc.).  In so doing we have surrendered the reins of self-government to a cadre of hired guns, a class of career politicians distinguished from career criminals only in their level of education, subtlety of tactics, attire (camera-friendly pastel shirt-and-tie, rather than catburglar black) and, especially, level of success in their lawless endeavors.

It would be interesting to see what Gibbon would write about the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but in his absence, I offer here my own perspective.  Setting aside the question of why, out of over 325 million Americans, we’re saddled with the “choice” of these two, let’s just look at what our choice really boils down to, keeping in mind the admonition that “those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat its mistakes.” –

First, Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman who surprised the GOP establishment (and everyone else) by winning the GOP nomination.  But with the good ol’ boy network of Republican Party officials and powerful, longtime incumbents in the House and Senate, how did he manage to pull that off?

Simple: Republican voters, many of a more Conservative worldview, finally got fed up with the continual betrayal of the Republican Party and decided to go with the “anybody else” candidate, instead of the same old tired GOP hacks like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, et al.  Republican voters finally realized that the promises to actually oppose the liberal Democrats’ social engineering, dismantling of our military, increase of the national debt, etc., were never going to be fulfilled by any GOP establishment candidate.  So they chose not just an Outsider (i.e., one not subject to the influence of the existing powers-that-be), but one who showed a willingness to fight for principles Republican voters care about, instead of just roll over to the Democrats.

Woodrow Wilcox


I’m not a Trumpster, by any stretch (I supported Ted Cruz); however, those who support Trump recognize that at least he’s not the spineless Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan, who both simply gave the leftist Democrats and president everything they wanted, without even the semblance of opposition.  Trump says that, like many Americans, he’s fed up with the corruption and cronyism of politics-as-usual, that he wants American interests to be primary in any dealings with foreign governments, that he wants to close our borders and suspend immigration from the Middle East until we can reliably ensure we’re not welcoming terrorists into this nation, that American businesses that take jobs oversees should pay a price for that, etc.  He says he’s against late-term abortions, and against any attack on our Second Amendment rights.

But perhaps the best reason I can think of to vote for him is simply what he is not: he’s not a career politician who’s more beholden to his political party than to the American people; he’s not a career hack who can’t be successful in anything else (like so many of our politicians); and, most of all, he’s not Hillary Clinton.



As one who has had to hold his nose and cast votes in presidential elections for most of my life, I assure you that I detest the notion of voting based on such an evaluation.  But let’s look at his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and see what has made me reach this conclusion –

Hillary Clinton is the embodiment of the modern liberal philosophy that I call “government of the squeaky wheel.”  That is, Democrats have for decades now ignored the needs and desires of the majority of Americans in favor of the purported grievances of minority groups.  When 84% of Americans professed to be Christians, the Democrats led the banning of the Bible and prayer in schools, and then in courthouses and in public arenas.

When the Civil Rights legislation in 1964 enabled the Democrats to, in effect, permanently capture a significant voting block (the 13% of the U.S. population that is black), they recognized they were onto something, and quickly applied that divide-and-conquer strategy to other minority groups.  Although women are hardly a minority, the feminist view of womanhood certainly is, but they’ve used their rhetoric to convince many women that motherhood and raising a family are somehow inferior to the joys of a corporate career.  The result, of course, is generations of children practically raising themselves, and the further breakdown of the nuclear family, the primary socializing means of a society.

But the left also used that “civil rights” tactic with homosexuals, proclaiming its normalcy (when not celebrating it as “courageous”) and imposing special protections for homosexuals in everything from the workplace to housing to purchasing wedding cakes.  All this for perhaps 3% of the population, and to hell with the 97% of Americans.

More recently, for maybe 700,000 transgender people in the U.S., they’ve insisted on allowing male transgenders use female bathrooms in schools and the public.  The sentiments and concerns of the other 320+ million Americans are apparently symptoms of “homophobia” and to be ignored.  Wonder if the daughters of Democrat politicians, in their private schools, are forced into such conditions?

When President Obama introduced Obamacare, he said it was because 8 million Americans were without any kind of health insurance (a number they gradually inflated to 11 million, then 17, and finally 30 million).  OK, the sensible thing would have been to create a program for those few million, right?  Instead, in order to establish government control over health insurance, which is about 20% of the American economy, he upended health care for ALL American!  As with all government endeavors, it has failed miserably, even while being more expensive.

Just last night in the third presidential debate, Hillary trotted out the “toddlers are killing people with guns” meme to support her gun control position, even though the Center for Disease Control statistics show that less than 1.5% of accidental deaths for children through age 14 are from guns (far less than drownings, choking or several other causes that aren’t as politically opportune as gun control).  Like the politician she is, Hillary won’t let the truth get in the way of a good campaign sound bite.

One other thing from last night, which stunned me: Hillary actually had the gall to decry the “foreign influence on U.S. elections.”  I guess she’s forgotten those donations from China for Bill’s second campaign (with China mysteriously ending up with all our nuclear secrets), or the hundreds of millions she has accepted for the Clinton Foundation from the worst nations on the world stage, when it comes to human rights violations.  And her actual solicitation, via those emails on her private server, of donations from foreign governments!  (What, you thought using a private email server was just for convenience, and not to hide those solicitations?)  Not to mention her aides enlisting the help of the FBI to declassify documents she’s sent, just so she could lie about it.  But she probably didn’t know they did that, right?

While Donald Trump is a relative unknown in politics, Hillary is very well known, and almost all of it is bad, and much of it even unlawful.  She has been running for the presidency since college, and has maintained her unholy alliance with Bill – enduring the shame of his many affairs and even attacking his accusers – just for this purpose.

Donald Trump, as much as I wish it were somebody else, represents a break from the corrupt past of party politics, one that could be a harbinger of further housecleaning when it comes to the Congress and Executive Branch agencies.  Even his personal failings pale in comparison to Hillary’s vindictiveness, contempt for ordinary Americans (“basket of deplorables”) and treatment of others, even her Secret Service staff.

Hillary Clinton is the very embodiment of the political corruption and amorality that has ruined this nation and resulted in a national debt that has made us more vulnerable than at any other time in our history.  She has been a politician her entire life, yet even her supporters can’t point to one positive accomplishment, either as Senator or as Secretary of State.  But there are dozens of failures, lies and even deaths attributable to her fecklessness and corruption.  Her foundation has collected hundreds of millions, yet given only about 5% to charities, its supposed reason for existing.

I’m fed up, and I’m all for something else.  Barack Obama and the Democrats have, indeed, “fundamentally transformed this nation,” and to our detriment in every way.  I’m convinced that this nation will never recover from a Hillary Clinton presidency.  Being responsible means sometimes you have to do things that aren’t pleasant, that you don’t like, such as go to work, discipline your children, confront wrongdoing, etc.  Because I’m a responsible citizen, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Donald Trump in November.

Great nations are not destroyed from the barbarians outside. It is the civilized people who will destroy the nation from within. – Cicero

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Formerly a liberal and an atheist, Paul E. Scates served as a Marine in Vietnam and is a lifelong student of American history, politics and culture. A former contributor to national website TooGoodReports.com, he writes his staunchly independent Conservative and informed Christian commentary for his fellow ordinary, working Americans, the “we, the people” who are ultimately responsible for preserving our Constitutional liberties.
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