I find it troubling how the media exaggerates and condemns discord stemming from political debate.
For discord is the bedrock of democracy. Silence is democracy’s opposite, and should be feared, for it means a drugged populace, whose speech has been taken from them.
As we watch both political parties engage in heated debate, I see the heat as healthy. We should be celebrating the candidates’ right to speak, their passion. To be sure, there are degrees of civility and incivility, lines we don’t like crossed, a continuum that can be slippery, but that is the rough-and-tumble nature of freedom. “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” Not entirely true, but true enough. We have laws governing the degree of hurt, of slander, of libel, and when dealing with public figures the laws stretch to accommodate the free speech necessary to the public square.
I celebrate the fierce rivalry displayed over the last year between our many candidates. But I also celebrate those who bemoan the incivility, the name calling, the “tricks” played with “rules” regarding delegate selection. Let those who bemoan continue to be the brave watchdogs that report the crossing of lines and the slipping down the slope of unmannerly dialogue.
All this is good for our country, healthy for America. And there are other kinds of dogs in our political arena – underdogs, those who have been surrounded and bullied by both the left and the right and the media. While it is difficult at times to view Mr. Trump as an underdog, he is clearly beset by his own party powers-that-be, as well as his opposing party and the media both left and right. It is difficult not to root for such a knight clanking clumsily about in his rusty armor, such a strange American hero disguised in rich man’s clothing. For our knights since the time of Arthur and Lancelot are supposed to be gallant and polite. Our heroes are supposed to be in rags. The riches are ordained to come later, after the conquest, like trophies. Mr. Trump is a curious hero appearing on the American scene. He is rich and he is unpolished. Upper classes call such persons “boors.” They are embarrassed by him.
America is not a monarchy and because her people are fighters in both word and deed, they have saved the disintegrating, nominal Western monarchies from foreign occupation. Essentially, America has fought their wars, rescued them. And so when I see the upper crust in Britain and France bemoan our gutter candidates, looking down at such American roughnecks, I wonder at their grasp of reality, their knowledge of history. Remember World War II? Remember the London bombing? Remember Dunkirk? Remember the Holocaust threatening Britain?
The world is affected by America’s national elections. We make a difference in the balance of power, and how we structure our elections matters immensely. While I’m not a fan of the electoral college, I understand its history and the place of state’s rights. As a conservative in California my vote has rarely counted in Presidential elections. I would like to see more enfranchisement and less disenfranchisement. I would like to see, as Mr. Trump would like to see, a complete overhaul of the electoral system.
I would like to see a more honest media, both left and right. I have read again and again allusions to Mr. Trump’s invective against Muslims, Mexicans, and women. The “invective” as I recall regarding Muslims, while poorly stated, called for a temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims entering our country until the borders were better secured against terrorists. Makes sense to me. The “invective” regarding Mexicans, again poorly stated, called for building a wall to keep the drug traffic out and to require all immigrants to enter legally and obey our laws once here. Makes sense to me. The “invective” regarding women, while again poorly stated, concerned a reaction to the slurs against his wife by the Cruz campaign. Makes sense to me.
Mr. Trump does not yet have my vote, such as it is. I am concerned, as many are, as to whom he will nominate to the Supreme Court. I am concerned about religious liberty and compromises he might make with Congress, in his deal making. But then, candidates promise all kinds of things and don’t deliver. This we know. At least he isn’t making specific false promises.
I believe that if America is made strong again, both militarily and economically, many problems will be solved or slowly dissolve. But without a strong military and a robust economy we will not be able to survive the many invasions across our borders that will destroy our culture, silencing our freedoms. Tyranny will reign, and those polished monarchies across the seas with their good manners will not send us aid, for they will have been silenced by sharia law.
It might be the time to elect a bumbling bear of a fighter, an unpolished knight in rusty armor. Perhaps he can improve his manners, polish his act. Perhaps he can be more “presidential” as his wife has urged him to be.
It might be the time to elect a strongman to protect the weak, a strongman who celebrates law, freedom, and the rule of the people. Ineffective leadership at this crossroads in our nation’s history will invite an even stronger regime from outside or from within. Americans want peace at home and abroad, but do they want marshal law, curfews, and a police state? History tells us, in the midst of anarchy, such an answer lurks in the shadows.
Let us celebrate and honor all of our candidates, for America truly has an embarrassment of riches, so many highly qualified men and women of varying ethnicities. The debate has been enriching, informing, and has awakened a sleeping giant, millions of voters paying attention. We are showing the world our greatest strength is our people. We are showing the world we are unafraid of confrontation, of free speech, and of searching for the truth. We may stumble and bumble and even be unmannerly but we will always fight to keep our Camelot democratic and free.