Some Thoughts on the Election
The November/December, 2012, Gilbert Magazine Editorial
The election is over, and Republicans are pointing fingers, trying to assess blame for why Mitt Romney lost to a spectacularly weak candidate like President Obama. By any standard, the President has shown himself to be beneath his pay grade. A tunnel-visioned ideologue, instead of pushing policies to create jobs Obama made a government takeover of the health care industry the centerpiece of his first term—a “reform” that is guaranteed to make a bad system worse.
The value of the dollar continues to fall; “bailouts” that were supposed to create jobs went to cronies whose businesses subsequently failed. On national security, Obama gave himself the authority to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial, and those he doesn’t want to jail, he adds to an infamous “kill list.” He has slaughtered innocent civilians with drone attacks in Pakistan, and literally bows to leaders of Third World nations. He and his staff watched—in real time—while highly organized militia in Benghazi, Libya, murdered the U.S. ambassador there and three others. Then they lied about it, blaming the attack on a YouTube video that no one had heard of. This last outrage was two months before the election.
And Romney still lost.
But that wasn’t the strange bit. What was strange was seeing our president attacked by his own people. I’m referring, of course, to Dale Ahlquist, the President of the American Chesterton Society, who was attacked by members of the society because he takes G.K. Chesterton seriously. He really does believe that Hudge and Gudge are against Jones. He made it clear that he would cast his vote for neither of the two major candidates for the President of that other society, the United States of America. The two parties those two candidates represented do not champion Jones; rather, they represent Big Government and Big Business. Neither do they cherish the God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (as opposed to the pursuit of pleasure). They certainly do not represent the Christian ideal. In fact, the Democratic and Republican parties have but two real purposes: to perpetuate a thoroughly corrupt two-party system, and to con voters into thinking they represent an actual choice.
Jones is told that he must vote for the lesser of two evils. But we are Chestertonians, and that choice is unacceptable. We believe in fighting for the good even if the battle is a losing one—and the odds in this fight do not look good. American society is falling apart. Contrary to the lies of Hudge and Gudge, the government is not going to save us. Neither will Wall Street.
One of many points that Dale’s critics missed entirely is that when both candidates talked about the economy they could only measure it in terms of jobs, that is, in the number of wage-slaves. If Gilbert Magazine readers do not yet see this fallacy, then they should expect that “politics as usual” will always be “business as usual,” and they should also expect the coming economic and social collapse.
Jones has been caught in this whirlpool because no one speaks for him. Big Government has robbed him of his freedom and the little capital he had. Big Business has done the same. Jones the welfare recipient is not much different from Jones the wage-slave. He wants everything done for him: his health care, his retirement, his vacation, his calendar. Our entire system is anti-family, and it’s not surprising that we are trying to re-define the family, because what we really want is to be taken care of, including receiving the same employee benefits that whomever we’re sleeping with is receiving. Those who object risk condemnation by the elites, showing once again that, as G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Modern broad-mindedness benefits the rich; and benefits nobody else.”
Our country is moving toward the Left, and the Right is moving left along with it. These two trends are connected. “Conservative” once meant anti-communism coupled with a desire for limited, constitutional domestic government and as little foreign adventurism as possible. Now it means constant warfare to push democracy at the point of a gun, obscene civil rights abuses like torture, unfettered domestic surveillance, and unbridled domestic spending. In other words, it means Woodrow Wilson liberalism abroad and Lyndon Johnson liberalism at home—all policies that, yes, Romney supported.
We warned in this space a few months ago that Occupy Wall Street protesters represent a real frustration that the Right has dismissed at its peril. We noted that the Tea Party Movement also represents a real frustration that, despite its noble purpose, does not yet offer a comprehensive solution. Until common people peel the scales from their eyes and quit lying to themselves, nothing will change, and our two ruling political parties will continue to elect Presidents that perpetuate the status quo, who serve Hudge and Gudge and crush Jones. It is no longer Left vs. Right, but the ruling class vs. the rest of us. Those of us who constitute “the rest of us” must learn to put aside the petty selfishness that is dividing America.
Readers of Gilbert Magazine know all too well how deep some of those divisions are. The ruling class is powerful, and we’re fighting what appears to be a losing battle. But as Chesterton says, “The one perfectly divine thing, the one glimpse of God’s paradise given on earth, is to fight a losing battle—and not lose it.”
—Sean P. Dailey for the editorial board of Gilbert Magazine