October 30, 2016

A Canadian’s reflection on an American election

David MacKenzieRebel Columnist

So, how are you all feeling about the final stretch of the American election? Tired yet? Bewildered, perhaps? You wouldn’t be alone. As some pundits have noted, it’s been like watching a circular firing squad.

It’s certainly been memorable. The debates, when not scaling the heights of hyperbole or descending to mere insults, definitely touched upon such key ideological contrasts as elitism versus populism, or statism versus individualism. Regardless of where one is on the political spectrum, most observers can likely agree on this much: though election day be in the same month as American Thanksgiving, and though the issues often appear black and white, neither candidate could possibly be accused of being a puritan. Historically speaking, however, one American Founder, James Madison, appears to have anticipated this very moment when he wrote:

“But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature. If men were angels, no government would be necessary”.

To look at government, then, is to look at ourselves. Government is us, merely magnified. Hence, as we peer into the mirror of our own governance, how is our own countenance? If an electorate ultimately votes its own values, then it already appears as though the majority of Americans are a bunch of lying, manipulative, litigious, elitists, or a group of randy, vainglorious, money-worshiping, fame-cultists. As a symbol, this can’t be good.

And although modern social progressives are hardly ones to believe the study of history fashionable, prudence would remind us of what early American leadership thought of their country’s own limitations:

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

To paraphrase Declaration of Independence signatory, the Rev. John Witherspoon, even a good form of government can only hold rotten materials together for so long.

Canadians, however, have zero reason to gloat over their southern neighbours.

Given the same Madison-esque theory of reflective politics, what shall we conclude about ourselves? Critics might say we look like groupies who follow a pop-band called “Sophie and the Selfie.” If leadership is a mirror of us, Canadians are about as shallow as a trending tweet.

Unwittingly, we might actually be helping the CRTC keep the oxymoron in the phrase, “Canadian content”. No, Canadian critics of American politics should likely remove the maple logs in our own eyes before commenting too much on the unsightly “eye-boogers” to our South.

For instance, does the Canadian Left do well to rail at Donald Trump’s designs to close American borders to illegals and radical Islamists when they themselves have already closed their “borders”, and built a vetting-wall, to exclude pro-lifers?

Isn’t it, in fact, amusing to watch the Left revelling in the distinction between consensual and non-consensual sensuality in the American Presidential race — they who despise, in Ontario and beyond, those parents not consenting to progressive sex education? In more general terms, isn’t it fascinating when a continent-wide liberal culture that routinely wallows in the muck of its own sexual license suddenly summons the capacity for moral outrage when it is confronted with the mirror-like fulfilment of its own sexual politics?

Just how old, after all, was Donald Trump when the “Summer of Love” was so aptly misnamed by the paragons of progressive culture? For the record, he was a malleable 21.

Is the Right, somehow, above all reproach? Not at all. Its American tendency to “gag with the flag”— to dismiss any criticism as unpatriotic — means that it can leave itself open to a form of confirmation bias, the insular perspective of a populist echo chamber. Contrary to trending political thought, one cannot actually “make America great again”, if the only humbling— the only repentance— necessary is someone else’s repentance. In truth, Madison’s mirror spares no one, and pride always balloons before a bust. While absolutely none of us are enamoured with our critics, absolutely everyone needs to listen to them occasionally. 

A democracy that publicly diminishes and routinely dismisses what is godly, right, and true, is decadent and moribund. Additionally, a Republic that increasingly votes its own financial wants and never its own desperate needs is adolescent— inexcusably puerile.

Moreover, a general public that thinks that it can glean a few convenient “goods” from the “inconvenience” of God is dangerously playing god. It builds a cultural Tower with one hand, all while tearing at its very foundation with the other. The lead-up to election 2016 in the United States has undeniably been the most polarized, ribald, and acrimonious political process I have ever witnessed — at times, even resembling theatre of the absurd.

It would be easy to suggest that neither of the two candidates deserve the Office of the President, or that the election of either one represents a significant breakdown in the nomination process.

Yet, I’m reminded that the failure of all politics is, ultimately, the failure of our own collective character. The same people who are “always right” on election night, the Bible (more honestly) describes as always wrong — or, at least, routinely sinful. Hence, except by an intervention of Divine grace, voters always get what we rightly deserve.

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commented 2016-11-10 11:59:34 -0500
I am so glad to have come across this column, because david, it is so honest and illuminating. Hmmm…
“…elitism versus populism, or statism versus individualism …

Yes, I always love it, David, when political commentaries go back to the US constitution, still one of the greatest documents on governance we have ever saw.

And… “If leadership is a mirror of us, Canadians are about as shallow as a trending tweet…” I completely agree with that, in the general sense. This also means that the majority of Canadians are very unenlightened in politics. But, oh, they are so politically correct, aren’t they (we)?

As to the viciousness of this election campaign? You say “…the most polarized, ribald, and acrimonious political process I have ever witnessed.” Well, David, that’s because America’s collective sin was exposed, and has been exposed for some years now. And if half the voter turn-out of about 66% was for trump, then only a third of Americans even remotely sensed their sinfulness. It’s a change, but it will not stop the future tide that’s coming.

Any nation that denies or repudiates God will not succeed over the long run.
commented 2016-11-06 00:36:43 -0400
David Mackenzie:

Donald Trump may not be a polished politician, but as he said, this is a ‘movement’ against the political establishment. And one has to look at other Presidents who were not exactly the most politically correct, such as Teddy Roosevelt. He was a pretty wild and crazy guy.

Donald Trump changed his views on abortion due to people he knew who were faced with the dilemma of killing versus having the baby. That demonstrates he has grown as an individual, morally and spiritually. He has courageously stood up to the corruption of the establishment, not to say he is a saint, but to take on, challenge and try to change what the political establishment has been doing. He also speaks for those who have been silenced by this corruption, such as, in addition to the unborn babies, the sick, disabled and elderly who would be faced with assisted suicide and euthanasia laws, Christians and Christian Churches that have been silenced and threatened with removing their tax exemptions.

Neither of these candidates are perfect, but it is wrong to say neither of these candidates deserve the position. Quite simply, one is fighting for good, the other is fighting for evil. It is pretty much black and white. Its only the media and others who are not informed that have complicated and distorted the facts.

If Hillary Clinton wins, then yes, their educational system will be as ludicrous, destructive and definitely anti-Christian as our Ontario and Alberta sex-ed curriculum implementation.

A Clinton win will simply solidify that puerile (good word) mentality that Canada has because the youth in Canada have the loudest voices, and our Prime Minister exemplifies this immaturity and encourages it.
Canadians are too passive to say ‘no’ and now when they need to, no one is listening or respecting their ‘no’.

Pray for that intervention, pray.
commented 2016-10-31 19:04:34 -0400
The main sin of the right is self-delusion, and its inability to match the ruthlessness of the left, even to underestimate it.

I agree, that the content and form of the US election is a reflection of us, but not just our values, but our intelligence. Why does it come down to insults, and innuendo, and does its best to avoid facts and issues? Because most voters just cannot care enough or get their head screwed on straight by facts and issues. That is very depressing and perhaps makes me somewhat of a downer.

But consider that Trump lost momentum and declined in polls because he, once, a long time ago, referred disparagingly about the female anatomy. So because of that lets ignore the ruthlessness, the lies, the manipulation, Benghazi, Bill’s rapes, ect… Or consider the jury that let off OJ. Juries are a great reflection of the average American mindset. I can think of many more jury decisions where I wonder if there was some sort of questionnaire beforehand that required potential jurors to fail before being allowed on the jury.

I haven’t even gotten to the morality of the population in question.
commented 2016-10-31 13:37:45 -0400
Could be, who knows what evil lurks in the heart of (wo)men.
commented 2016-10-31 10:22:32 -0400
Robert Raymond, I’ve read that Hilary now sleeps with Huma, not Bill.
commented 2016-10-31 10:19:41 -0400
And one last one!
An article by Denis Prager

I have been broadcasting for 31 years and writing for longer than that. I do not recall ever saying on radio or in print that a president is doing lasting damage to our country.
I did not like the presidencies of Jimmy Carter (the last Democrat I voted for) or Bill Clinton.

Nor did I care for the “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush. In modern political parlance “compassionate” is a euphemism for ever-expanding government.

But I have never written or broadcast that our country was being seriously damaged by a president.

So it is with great sadness that I write that President Barack Obama has done and continues to do major damage to America. The only question is whether this can ever be undone.

This is equally true domestically and internationally.

Domestically, his policies have had a grave impact on the American economy.
He has overseen the weakest recovery from a recession in modern American history.
He has mired the country in unprecedented levels of debt: about $6.5 trillion — that is 6,500 billion — in five years (this after calling his predecessor “unpatriotic” for adding nearly $5 trillion in eight years).

He has fashioned a country in which more Americans now receive government aid — means-tested, let alone non-means-tested — than work full-time.

He has no method of paying for this debt other than printing more money — thereby surreptitiously taxing everyone through inflation, including the poor he claims to be helping, and cheapening the dollar to the point that some countries are talking about another reserve currency — and saddling the next generations with enormous debts.

With his 2,500-page Affordable Care Act he has made it impossible for hundreds of thousands, soon millions, of Americans to keep their individual or employer-sponsored group health insurance; he has stymied American medical innovation with an utterly destructive tax on medical devices; and he has caused hundreds of thousands of workers to lose full-time jobs because of the health-care costs imposed by Obamacare on employers.

His Internal Revenue Service used its unparalleled power to stymie political dissent. No one has been held accountable.

His ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya. No one has been blamed. The only blame the Obama administration has leveled was on a video maker in California who had nothing to do with the assault.
In this president’s White House the buck stops nowhere.

Among presidents in modern American history, he has also been a uniquely divisive force. It began with his forcing Obamacare through Congress — the only major legislation in American history to be passed with no votes from the opposition party.

Though he has had a unique opportunity to do so, he has not only not helped heal racial tensions, he has exacerbated them. His intrusions into the Trayvon Martin affair (“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”) and into the confrontation between a white police officer and a black Harvard professor (the police “acted stupidly”) were unwarranted, irresponsible, demagogic, and, most of all, divisive.

He should have been reassuring black Americans that America is in fact the least racist country in the world — something he should know as well as anybody, having been raised only by whites and being the first (half breed) black elected the leader of a white-majority nation.

Instead, he echoed the inflammatory speech of professional race-baiters such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. He has also divided the country by economic class, using classic Marxist language against “the rich” and “corporate profits.”

Regarding America in the world, he has been, if possible, even more damaging. The United States is at its weakest, has fewer allies, and has less military and diplomatic influence than at any time since before World War II.

One wonders if there is a remaining ally nation that trusts him. And worse, no American enemy fears him. If you are a free movement (the democratic Iranian and Syrian oppositions) or a free country (Israel), you have little or no reason to believe that you have a steadfast ally in the United States .

Even non-democratic allies no longer trust America. Barack Obama has alienated our most important and longest standing Arab allies, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Both the anti–Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Iran Arab states have lost respect for him. And his complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq has left that country with weekly bloodbaths.

Virtually nothing Barack Obama has done has left America or the world better since he became president. Nearly everything he has touched has been made worse.

He did, however, promise before the 2008 election that “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America ..” That is the one promise he has kept.

What does it take for the American people to WAKE UP? Do we want four more years of this from Hillary?

Send This To Your Friends – We Are Losing This Country!
commented 2016-10-31 10:19:34 -0400
Daryl Herman, you are right!
commented 2016-10-31 10:16:17 -0400
Again, I can’t take credit but wanted to share,

An article appeared in yesterday’s (October 17, 2016) Boston Tribune titled “First Grandma to Receive $160K Lifetime Pension.”
Marian Robinson is Michelle Obama’s mother. When the Obamas moved into the White House in 2008, Grandma Robinson came along to care for her grandchildren, Malia and Sasha.
When the Obamas leave the White House in January 2017, for her eight years of “service” — caring for her own grandchildren, for God’s sake — she will receive a lifetime pension of $160,000 per year — of our taxpayer dollars, of course. She should not receive one friggin’ dime!
The Boston Tribune article states that it confirmed this information through a Freedom of Information request.
commented 2016-10-31 09:53:25 -0400
I can’t take the credit for this but I think it is interesting reading

Interesting History Will Be Made This November

Regardless of who wins the presidential election this November, we will witness history being made.

If Hillary Clinton wins, it will be the first time in history that two U.S. presidents have slept with each other.

If Donald Trump wins, it will be the first time in history that a billionaire moves into public housing vacated by a black family.

Is this a great country or what?
commented 2016-10-31 09:52:20 -0400
….but what happens to the race if Hillary is indicted (and consequently found guilty)? Does Trump win by default or do we get stuck with Obama? This has never happened before. What would the protocol be?
commented 2016-10-31 05:57:04 -0400
Anyone supporting Clintoon is criminally minded! Anyone who thinks Trump is an idiot hasn’t listened to any of his rally speeches and is the idiot for calling him & the Movement idiot! The American people have had their fill of treasonous tyranny from Obumer & Clintoon(s) and it is now time to Drain the Swamp & shoot all the alligators!! TruDope, Obumer & Clintoon need to be tried for high-treason & put before a firing squad! When leaders of governments bring into their countries sworn enemies of that countries people – at the cost of those peoples’ taxes & lives & safety – high treason is the treachery of the day!!! Should the criminal Clintoon steel the election – people – it’s time to lock & load – a civil war is at hand!
commented 2016-10-31 02:53:37 -0400
@sean Penson….“Americans are not ready to turn to a crazy idiot to be the POTUS”.

What are you talking about Sean? They elected Obama didn’t they?

The villain Hillary is in trouble. Just watching her at her rallys is revealing. After almost every statement she says she follows with the word “right”. She is seeking validation after almost every word. Almost in a begging way.

It is especially fun watching her sycophants and apologists squirm trying to defend the chronic liar and crook. Martin O’Mally and Robbie Mook were exceptionally sickening this morning.

Sean are you some kind of Clinton insider? You seem to have all the answers. Better re-pack your parachute, wouldn’t want to hit the ground toooooo hard on Nov. 9th

DJBT et al
commented 2016-10-31 02:10:35 -0400
Hillary will persevere! The Clinton’s always survive accusations, whether false or not.

Americans are not ready to turn to a crazy idiot to be the POTUS.

With warts, and a whole lot of corruption, it will be Hillary’s election to lose, and she won’t
commented 2016-10-31 01:56:52 -0400
So what happens now? Run a whole new election or is this where Obama calls for martial law and stays forever?
commented 2016-10-31 01:45:52 -0400
Great article and great posts. I would just like to add one point that concerns me. Trump obviously can’t yet speak of the religion/ideology (that can’t be named) until he gets elected, but I hope he has plans to deal with the quiet Muslim jihad that has been allowed, even invited into the Obama/Clinton administration. This needs to be exposed, rooted out and stopped in its tracks post haste.
commented 2016-10-31 01:45:08 -0400
Bill Elder, God works in mysterious ways.
commented 2016-10-31 00:53:01 -0400
DC Insiser Says FBI ready to INDICT Clinton – If DOJ resists, Will Blow Whistle on DC corrption.

“This is bombshell announcement! Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) just shared damning news for Hillary Clinton on The Steve Malzberg Show just now: The FBI is ready to indict Hillary Clinton and if its recommendation isn’t followed by the U.S. attorney general, the agency’s investigators plan to blow the whistle and go public with their findings, former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay tells Newsmax TV. “I have friends that are in the FBI and they tell me they’re ready to indict,” DeLay said Monday on “The Steve Malzberg Show.” “They’re ready to recommend an indictment and they also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they’re going public.” Clinton is under FBI investigation for her use of a private server to conduct confidential government business while she was secretary of state. But some Republicans fear any FBI recommendation that hurts Clinton will be squashed by the Obama administration. DeLay, a Texas Republican and Washington Times radio host, said: “One way or another either she’s going to be indicted and that process begins, or we try her in the public eye with her campaign. One way or another she’s going to have to face these charges.”

Team Hillary is already admitting this will likely happen. Amazingly, the Clinton campaign has been busy accusing Obama’s intelligence Inspector General, Charles McCullough, of coordinating releases of information to help Republicans. (!) McCullough’s investigations found Clinton was sharing documents which were “beyond top secret”… a crime that should not only disqualify Hillary Clinton from the White House, but should carry a lengthy prison sentence! http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/breaking-fbi-is-ready-to-indict-hillary-rodham-clinton/#ixzz4OdTMPSPC
commented 2016-10-30 23:26:02 -0400
Accurate analysis and great summary. Kind of like the one on labour unions: “Companies deserve the unions they get” . People deserve the government they get. Every problem is a spiritual problem at its core. Until we deal with ourselves we have no hope of a better system. Our society is just the sum of its parts.
commented 2016-10-30 22:36:38 -0400
“Yet, I’m reminded that the failure of all politics is, ultimately, the failure of our own collective character.”
Mr. Menzies… Wow…!!
commented 2016-10-30 22:35:01 -0400
Despite his supposed ‘warts’, of course played up by the biased leftist media and downplayed for Hillary, people need to stop being driven by emotion and check out their respective platforms and where they stand on the various issues, for example, the appointment of Supreme Court judges which is crucial. Trump, unlike Hillary who considers it the greatest threat to mankind, refreshingly calls out man-made climate change as the bunk it is. And his calling for a tempering of the influx of Muslim refugees seems a prudent idea to protect America’s citizens. Etc.
commented 2016-10-30 19:44:35 -0400
People are so sick of the current corrupt system that candidates like Trump, even with the warts, is a breath of fresh air.

This is what is missing in our country, many new players come and go that have tried to breakthrough the establishment only to be a career back bencher. Canada has been a banana republic for many years now. It’s always been a country that is only one law away from being a dictatorship. And now we have the right numbskull in power to make that happen.
commented 2016-10-30 19:00:13 -0400
I like the Madison quote, "But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature. If men were angels, no government would be necessary”. So true. A culture is a representation of the underlying predominant worldview.
commented 2016-10-30 18:36:34 -0400
Glenn Craig commented -“So how come the CBC is acting like she is falsely accused and circling the wagons around her? What is their dog in this race?”

Soros funding of the LPC through ghost Donors
commented 2016-10-30 18:27:42 -0400
By the way, how could I forget Governor Huckabee in Trump’s inner circle. Wonderful! Any one of them could be an excellent President but Trump is such a fighter that we know he loves his country so much that is the reason he’s running for the office of President. He knows the dangerous direction of decline it is descending into, fast! Nothing seems to discourage him from fighting for his country.
commented 2016-10-30 16:34:40 -0400
I can’t wait for Trump to expose Trudeau for the incompetent man-child that he is.
commented 2016-10-30 16:27:30 -0400
Great piece. I loved it. Very perceptive. Keep them coming.
commented 2016-10-30 15:50:42 -0400
I may be giving away my age but, remember when our parents used to say, ‘you will be judged by the people you hang around with’? Just think, the Clinton’s hang around with Anthony Wiener, pervert and Joe Biden or “uncle” Joe people like to call him but more like the embarrassing uncle that’s invited only because he’s family, Nancy Pelosi another one who comes out with outrageous, foolish and ridiculous comments, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, so disliked she was asked to step down, then Hillary appoints her to head up her campaign, on and on. I can’t think of one Democrat within the administration that comes across as having any ethical principles whatsoever, before ! forget to mention the master hypocrite, Kaine VP! To me, that says it all.

Mitt Romney blew it in the second debate against Obama by caving in to the false inaccurate correction by the moderator, and now trying once again to sabotage the election for the Republicans only this time, deliberately, by trying to influence people in his State not to vote for Trump, sour grapes and petty, in my opinionated opinion.

Then we have Trump who was ostracized for allowing himself to be goaded on by a nephew of the elder Bush and cousin of the younger Bush’s. However, in Trump’s inner circle we have Newt Gingrich, a statesman if there ever was one, also the best! Former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Ben Carson, famous neurosurgeon and all around great guy, Judge Napolitano who sets it all straight for us and many other patriots. Last but not least a totally great family, wife and sons and daughter. I would say he has good solid councils around him that are trustworthy and speak to his good judgement. Impressive!
commented 2016-10-30 15:18:51 -0400
First time I have ever witnessed an uncontrolled politician, if that is a fair definition of Mr. Trump, that has and is, running the msm, the bankers, the politicians, the elite, the globalists, hollywood, USA govt., health care systems, etc. etc., through the meat grinder, and exposing their lies and deception. Point your finger up this way too, Donald, as CTV, CBC, and our lefty govt. need their deception exposed just as much. We can use all the help we can get.
commented 2016-10-30 15:11:59 -0400
So how come the CBC is acting like she is falsely accused and circling the wagons around her? What is their dog in this race?
commented 2016-10-30 15:10:53 -0400
Hillary Clinton “believes her own BS” because she and Bill have gotten away with it for decades now!… If she gets away with it again, come November the 8th., then the world’s most powerful democracy will rather quickly slide into “banana republic” status – the obvious goal of Obama over the past eight years…