Writing for the SBC website a piece posted a couple of weeks ago, I asked, “to what extent is Donald Trump in charge” of his own Administration. Some readers probably hadn’t even seen it before the question was answered. That was when an anonymous “senior official” of the Administration boasted in an op-ed article published by the New York Times that he (or she) is a member of a “Resistance” inside government — “adults in the room,” the writer called them — working to thwart the President.
The NYT op-ed article appeared at the same time the public was hearing about a new book by Bob Woodward, famously instrumental in helping to depose President Richard Nixon at the time of Watergate. In his new book Woodward tells, among much else, of White House aides removing papers from Trump’s desk so that they would not be signed.
The whole theory of liberal democracy is that government is supposed to operate according to “the will of the people.” As a traditionalist Catholic I don’t believe that is how government should operate. I believe it should be according to the will of God. That is, in a contest between majority opinion and natural law the latter should prevail.
However, what a Catholic believes is not the question now any more than it was to the founders of our liberal republic, their heads full of John Locke, when they convened in Philadelphia to produce the U.S. Constitution, a document proclaiming that “we the people,” not God and His rights, are to govern. This is to be accomplished, in part, by the people electing every four years as President someone they believe will execute their will.
After decades of celebrity and a popular television show topped by a long series of Republican Party primary debates and campaign appearances, the American people could see that Donald Trump was a self-aggrandizing, infantile, highly erratic blowhard apparently incapable of holding his thoughts long enough to express them in complete sentences, but in 2016 they elected him anyway. Some number of votes for him can be explained by the peculiarly American fascination with displays of glitzy wealth. Fear of the alternative candidate accounted for very many more. Even other women were turned off by her bellicosity, as when she declared (while still secretary of state) that “it is not a question of if, but when” President Assad of Syria would be removed from power. Then there was her voiced comparison of Vladimir Putin with Adolf Hitler as if he had to be eliminated at any cost. In contrast to her, Trump asked whether it wouldn’t be a better deal if the U.S. could “get along” with Russia. Lots of voters, at least ones tired of American lives and treasure being sacrificed for the sake of “regime change” in foreign lands, evidently decided he was the lesser of two evils.
It remains, Trump’s supporters along with everybody else (and maybe even Trump himself) were stunned when he actually won. How explain his victory? The explanation that stuck was that the Russians meddled in the election.
That they did, we keep hearing, is “the consensus of the intelligence community.” Those would be the same people who told us once upon a time that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Along with other elements of government’s permanent bureaucracy and private actors including lobbyists, journalists, media bigwigs, some think tanks, heads of corporations, defense contractors, Pentagon brass and others, they constitute what has come to be known as the Deep State, which is dedicated to maintaining globalist hegemony in the U.S., Britain and Europe (as represented by the E.U.). Forget meddling. The Deep State has now revealed itself as determined to nullify the result of the 2016 election. In short, they want “regime change” in Washington.
Since there is no longer a Christian people anywhere in the West today, neither is there a Christian government. Traditionalist Catholics can dream of there being one and may do what they can to prepare for its advent someday, even if that is no more than to keep alive the idea of it, but it is not what exists. What we actually have in the U.S. is the Trump Administration. It is to be hoped that those seeking to topple it will not succeed.
N.B. My statement that “since there is no longer a Christian people anywhere in the West today, neither is there a Christian government” was too sweeping. It ignored the governing Law and Justice Party in Poland, Prime Minister Victor Orban in Hungary, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Austria, AfD becoming the main opposition party in Germany and, most recently, the emergence of Matteo Salvini as the dominant figure in the new Italian government.
Photo by Gage Skidmore