A few months ago, I concluded I am a man without a country. “How can that be?”, you ask. After all, I have a home, a rather spacious, nice home near the beach in a generally warm southern state right here in the good old USA. I pay income and property taxes on time to the federal government, the state government, the county and my municipality. So far as I know I am not in arrears, so there will be no sheriff’s sale of my property to the highest bidder. I vote in the majority of elections. For timing reasons—mostly travel and not being in the right place—I have missed a few elections over the course of my life, but not many more. (Can’t see that elections matter all that much anymore.) With perhaps two exceptions, I have always voted for the Republican or the conservative candidate believing that, on the whole, Republicans were for “less government and lower taxes.” I have now permanently dismissed the “Vote Republican for less government and lower taxes” slogan as nothing more than a political bromide, a political platitude. I have more or less permanent indigestion from being enticed to swallow the policies that Republicans and their democratic allies have cajoled me to ingest.
In 2016, it took a change of heart for me to vote for Donald Trump for President, as I didn’t really care for him, and I liked his style of campaigning even less. Two considerations turned me toward him, enabling me to vote for him: 1. My best friend Hank proudly admitted that he was an ardent Trump supporter. I have known Hank almost 55 years. We’re cut from the same conservative cloth. Knowing that Hank liked Donald Trump encouraged me to reevaluate his candidacy. 2. I listened intently to Trump’s speech before the Union League Club in Philadelphia prior to the election, wherein he unequivocally stated that he was for strong borders and a strong military. “O.K.,” thought I, “If Trump is for strong borders and a strong military, then I will vote for him.” After all, without borders, you haven’t a country and without a strong military, you haven’t one either. With both— even if you are on the other side of the political argument—we can argue all day long about policy differences. With neither, we will spend the majority of each day defending ourselves, our lives and our rights: what I would indelicately refer to as “struggling to prevent having your pocket picked and your ass shot off.” I know someone in the military who had that happen to him in battle. As he sadly told me, missing one cheek is extremely uncomfortable when one is sitting. I would hate to lose both.
So, I am a man without a country, soon to be, anyway. Why? My vote doesn’t count and the institutions I support and believe in—the church, a government based on the Constitution of the United States of America and a free press— where open and honest debate are encouraged— are not being supported by those for whom I vote and those who claim to uphold the Constitution and champion the First Amendment. Neither of the latter two institutions is being supported by those who have benefited the most from them: millennials. Even my college, whose founding dates back to before the founding of our country, doesn’t encourage open and honest debate. Seems the snowflakes on campus are not limited to wintertime. Many, if not most all, of the professors are liberal, just like when I attended, and my college sports the typical array of liberal cause-embracing campus organizations and special interest groups. The college accepts federal money for the usual reasons, student loans, for instance, which gives the federal government enormous sway and control over many decisions. (In contrast, Hillsdale College does not take any federal money for any reason, and so the federal government does not affect policy and influence the curriculum in the way it does at my college.) Hello Hillsdale! Might you have space in one of your dorms? I am open to being a perpetual student.
In my youth, I believed that my civic duty was to vote to elect candidates whom I believed would carry out my wishes. As a conservative, I always voted for less government and lower taxes at all three levels of government: local, state and federal. Voting since age 18—I am now 60—in 42 years, the closest I ever came to achieve that for which I voted was during the Reagan administration, January 20, 1981 to January 20, 1989. What a blessed time! What an inspiration Reagan was! He had charm and a knack—honed over many years in films and hosting “General Electric Theater.”
So, here’s my record: 42 years of voting and only 8 years of achievements. How does that happen in a center-right country? It happens because of character weakness of the men and women for whom I have voted. (Mostly men, come to think of it.) Every election my candidate would make promises, and after every election cycle he would break them, often with apologies for not having had enough like-minded men and woman on our side to make a difference. Balderdash! Almost every single time. Phooey! Additionally, it’s not possible for me or the average citizen to watch every single piece of legislation wrought by these men and women. Weasels will ultimately only serve themselves. Making at least some effort to keep them in check, taking my late father’s sage advice, I would call and write or email on issues of great concern to me, often hoping to influence votes, but as far as I could tell, that never happened, not a single time. At some point it became clear to me that my candidates were always going to vote the way they wanted—serving their own narrow political interest—no matter what I had written or said on the phone. Clearly, powerful, influential forces worked behind the scenes, pressuring these men and women with much greater will than the drive to embrace the concerns of their constituents. Otherwise, we would have almost no peacetime federal debt (currently $22 trillion), lower income taxes, a solvent social security system, no AMT, no inheritance tax, and we surely wouldn’t have the sham of all shams, Obamacare.
Along came Donald Trump, not my favorite candidate. (I was a Ben Carson man, then a Ted Cruz man.) Although I deplore some of his methods and tactics, Trump beat 16 candidates, if memory serves, most of whom were RINOs (“Republican’s In Name Only”). I remain mystified as to what the Republican National Committee was thinking when they allowed such a crowded field, unless the unspoken goal was to assist the GOP voter in diluting his vote and his losing faith in the electoral process in order to elect Hilary Clinton. To my mind, having more than 6 challengers in any political party is a waste of time and money. I haven’t funded the RNC in years. I will give them my money when you produce a candidate that truly lowers my taxes and gets rid of the AMT.
Donald Trump beat every candidate to the cheers of millions who attended his rallies. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them; I never caught the fever. Despite early misgivings, on Inauguration Day he even had me popping champagne and weeping for joy that the scourge of Barrack Obama’s presidency had finally ended. I loved President Trump’s inaugural address—taking to my feet and applauding several times throughout. “How could anyone who loves America not be ecstatic?”, so I thought. As I replayed President Trump’s speech again recently, over and over I pondered, “Whatever happened to that promise?” I believed in him, but it looks like he too, is going to let me down. So sad! Beyond sad, it’s a tragedy for the nation, for America. For sure a reluctant convert, I felt he was the only political hope I had left.
Lately, I have been thinking, “When are we conservatives going to mobilize?” As I wrote earlier, I for one am choking to death on political bromides and platitudes. To hell with them and those who utter them! We citizens write our representatives. We vote for those whom we think will fight our battles, ending up with the likes of Senators Thom Tillis and Susan Collins. We converse endlessly among ourselves—expressing vehement outrage, outright disgust and forlorn chagrin, but we do not cause change like the liberals. We don’t take peaceful protest to the streets. Despite the prevalence of Fox News and AM talk radio, we’re perpetually on the losing end of every legislative battle with such vacuous compromises that just put us further behind. We have a minority of the press outlets in our own country. Forget about the new media. I used to have a voice on the internet, now I am shadow-banned by both Facebook and Twitter. Where is the counterbalance for that? “Hello FCC?, I would like to report an oligopoly.” Meanwhile, someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grows in power by preaching lies to the exponentially-increasing uninformed. Spouting pure sophistry—I hesitate to use that word— as her specious sanctimony insults the logic of the sophists. Joseph Goebbels….here we go again. This time the goal is to politically suffocate the conservative citizenry and euthanize our once magnificent republic.
I pose the question: “Do I really have to vote anymore?” If my elected representatives from the President on down betray my trust, that’s bad enough. Worse, the opposition party, the Democrats, openly advocate socialist policies, open borders and confer de facto citizenship to anyone, regardless of health or criminal history. Democrats have fought every single attempt by President Trump to secure our southern border, aided and abetted by feckless Republicans. Democrats openly advocate letting millions of people flood our country who—strangers to our culture and the rule of law—come without money, without jobs, without certificate of vaccination, and often with violent criminal records. Staunchly opposed to the Second Amendment for their own citizens (us), Democrats see no problem with letting illegal alien gun smugglers and terrorists flow across the border at will. Illegal aliens don’t pay taxes; they draw from the federal and state funds of those of us who do. Without controlling this rampant illegal immigration, the Democrats will nullify my vote if they haven’t already.
If I pay taxes to a corrupt system to support those who do not pay taxes, doesn’t that make me a bound serf? After all, I am forced to pay by threat of legal confiscation of my property. In some states, illegals can vote without ID, and they can receive benefits. Arguably, by receiving benefits and not paying taxes, illegals enjoy more rights than I do. Only a fool would vote to elect leaders who prioritize the rights of non-citizens over his own rights as a citizen. Yet, with very few exceptions, that is exactly what most Americans, including myself, end up doing. Wittingly and unwittingly.
By nefarious design of politicians whom I once trusted, almost voiceless and soon to be disenfranchised, truly, I am a man without a country.
Photo credit: top of page: Everett Historical/Shutterstock