The American political situation has arrived at a potentially explosive moment. The question that must be answered is fundamental and is one as ancient as Aristotle’s Politics. Will the many, or the few, hold the reins of power in America? The Washington cartel, including both establishment Republicans and Democrats, is as gluttonous for money and privilege as for power, and is anxiously scrambling to continue business as usual. Its unlikely adversary is none other than a billionaire named Trump, who has himself exploited the plutocratic promptings of America’s governing elite. Yet he is now basking in his newfound moral role as a populist protagonist while playing to stadiums of citizens. It is this figure that coarsely declares war on politicians’ incompetence and corruption as he leads the struggle to “make America great again.” 

The elite are, of course, holding on with white knuckles to what they consider theirs and preparing to defend it with all their resources. Their standard bearer is, appropriately enough, none other than Hillary Clinton, a notorious liar and unindicted felon and traitor. As one pundit has phrased it, she and her husband are “the penicillin-resistant syphilis of American politics.” Who else than she could better represent the vermin-infested Washington establishment? 

The war that will be waged between Hillary and The Donald is guaranteed to breach every standard of civility. The exchanges between them will grow increasingly acrimonious and mean-spirited as their campaigns progress. Nothing less than the right to forge the future identity of America hangs in the balance. Shoring up the holes in immigration, recognizing multiculturalism as a counter-cultural movement and political correctness as Orwellian, strengthening the military, leading from the front against terrorism, fixing the international imbalance of trade, and reinvigorating American business and commerce are initiatives that stand at a momentous crossroads. Invoking philosopher Thomas Kuhn’s terminology, America seems on the verge of a crucial “paradigm shift.” The people will decide whether to continue governance in a Tammany Hall tradition or to follow the direction of a compelling figure on a white horse. One option is intolerable while the other unpredictable. 

There is little doubt that Trump’s ideas, as he has expressed them, represent a reaction to the glaring perception that the United States is in decline. For obvious reasons however, the Republican establishment views its presumptive nominee as a threat to its power, and its leaders are spending more time lambasting him than offering even the mildest criticism of his Democrat adversary. Senator Lindsey Graham, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan are only three examples of those who have spat in the eye of the rank and file. 

So an immediate question arises: can The Donald or anyone else win the presidency without uniting the base of his or her own party? I think that the answer to this question is resoundingly negative. Every single poll shows Trump trailing Clinton, and June polls have typically, though not always, been an accurate prognostication of the November outcome. 

I would be the last to shout, “Game over!” One can never be sure what will happen in American politics. A November surprise is possible, and we can fervently hope. Yet I am inclined to believe that patriots had better begin thinking about a fallback position, and soon. Assuming that Trump does not win, then what? 

The millions who have enthusiastically supported him and his cause are not going away anytime soon. Hillary Clinton will remain what she has always been – shrill, cackling, opportunistic, perfidious, and devoid of charismatic leadership. I doubt that she has the moral authority to govern even a dissolute state. If and when she is elected, the political heat will be turned up on the American people. The monstrosity of Obamacare will remain in effect; the economy will remain stagnant; the borders will be more porous and unprotected than ever; giant corporations will continue their exodus from the country; gun rights will be curtailed; and American history will continue to be incrementally revised. 

Patriots had better decide what their next course of action will be. To profess shock and disbelief when Hillary Rodham Clinton is inaugurated the forty-fifth President of the United States will be too little too late.

June 20, 2016