imageIf you think the choices between Hillary, Bernie, and Donald demonstrate progress in America….think again!  Seriously. THINK again, America. REASON and LOGIC have seemed to fall out of fashion in this country. Or, perhaps it’s become so fashionable, that we merely adorn ourselves with the latest intellectual ideas, and pass ourselves off as progressive.  Either way, take a good look at the fruits of our intellectual harvest. If you’re disgusted by these choices, then this blog might just be for you.

I’ve long awaited for the crossroads at which America has now arrived. On the left we have a fraction, split between those who were quietly reserving their socialistic impulses and those who earnestly believe the liberal cause can stay on the rails of capitalism.

But the right is so much more interesting. It’s taken another turn altogether. The Republican Party has never been more vulnerable to a split. And while I’ve long hoped for a split, and firmly believed one would soon happen, this isn’t quite what I had in mind. Trump discerned the same vulnerability and seized the opportunity to take the party into a direction it didn’t even know it demanded.  In many ways, politics is no different from business and economics. Supply often creates its own demand. Trump, much like Steve Jobs did with Apple, saw and seized an opportunity, then told the right what they wanted. In the political landscape there was a vacuum, and his business instincts simply helped him to capitalize on it. Powerful leaders throughout history (not necessarily moral ones) have always had this ability. It can be dangerous, which is, in fact, why we have the electoral college. But that’s a whole other opinion you never ask for.

The unrest in the GOP was palpable, but il-defined. There was a sense in the party that it abandoned its conservative roots (and therefore ceased to be, by definition, conservative at all). There was also a growing distrust of government. Trump played the Trump card at precisely the right moment. For the latter, all he needed to do was be the Donald. Screw political correctness, I’m going to say what I think. The people will take that for honesty and sincerity, and they’ll LOVE me for it. And we have. I’m not sure how much of what he says IS honest and sincere, but it sure the hell sounds like that, and it’s just the kind of branding that touches on the obscured discontent festering over Washington bullshit. Before Trump, the Republican Party sucked at branding, so it was cherry picking for a guy who’s mastered it.

Trump galvanize the masses by putting into words what they felt, but couldn’t quite articulate. His brand was political incorrectness. The kind that offends Bill Maher and others who pretend they’re not themselves politically correct. And the response was “Yeah. that’s right! Yes, that’s what we think. Sure! That, too!!”   If you’re among the masses, forgive me if that sounded offensive. Let me put it in another way. The masses are generally idiots, ya see. LOL  (I just ruined my political career before it started).  Okay, I’m sorry, that was mean. Frickin’ Trump! But seriously, the masses are NOT deep thinkers. That might sound terrible, and terribly arristocratic, but it’s a reality.  Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re probably not among them, so you’re off the hook (and the bell curve); you’re probably not an idiot, so don’t hate me.

Republicans who identify with conservative ideas know generally that they’re more capitalister, and that they want a smaller government than Democrats!  But, alas, how GRAND the Grand Old Party has become. It’s as grand as that canyon in Arizona, which is also a nice metaphor for the gulph between true conservatives and the ones who stole the title. But how easily can people be deafened by rhetoric, and ignore the actions beneath the words.

The good news is that conservatives still exists in America. And it’s found in a party far more liberal than the left. Nothing brought true and more positive change to the world than a government FOR and BY the people. No system more radically improved the economic conditions of the world, or elevated average citizens to higher classes than the PRINCIPLES of “free market” capitalism and limited government. Durging the Age Of Enlightenment “capitalism” wasn’t a dirty word. America was borne of this age, and the greatness it achieved wasn’t attributable to a great government, but to the PEOPLE that made it great. The principles of freedom, for the first time in the history of the world, freely rewarded self sufficiency, self reliance, personal responsibility. WE made this country great, not our government. Our founding fathers were the FIRST and possibly the LAST of the geniuses in U.S. government. They knew our greatness would be only be realized in a fertile environment of competing forces, unimpeded by a government that would only get in its way. And guess what…. They were right.

I know many of you are chomping at the bit to tell me how the market has NEVER been “free,” or how necessary is a system regulated by government, and how much the government must protect the earth, and help the underprivileged, etc. And I won’t disagree with many of those. The proper roles of government is debated even among Libertarian-leaning Independents such as myself. But whatever role we want our government to play, we should NEVER ABANDON the fundamental principles, and ignore those who possessed them, that made this country strong. We should also never forget our OWN role, as individuals, communities and businesses, to keep this nation strong, and to help make the world a better place. Mout of us want that. But nothing will bring about that change more effectively than a culture that embraces personal responsibility. Want change? BE THE CHANGE, as Gandhi once said. Don’t outsource that to a government you imagine will thrive on good intentions.

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