This is precisely what the approaching election is all about. It is not an election like any other, simply to determine which party occupies the seat of power for the next four years. It is an election in which the fate of the nation will be resolved for all the years to come. Roger Simon argues that a second administration for Obama would lead not to socialism or to a political and economic cataclysm, but to “stultifying stagnation.” We would all just fall asleep, as did Vice-President Joe Biden during the president’s April 12 budgetary address. Simon presents a best-case scenario that relies on the presumed effectiveness of a “Republican House and, most likely, a Republican Senate,” a rather debatable proposition. Obama may well be the most cloying, insipid, and insurmountably tedious president in living memory, but going to sleep is not an option.
In fact, the stakes could not be higher. This assessment is not an example of mere hyperbole to be scoffed at and dismissed as wilful scare-mongering. The United States is demonstrably teetering on the edge of the historical abyss. Will it go the way of Europe, a “demotic culture in decadence,” to cite Jacques Barzun’s magisterial work From Dawn to Decadence, a culture which suffers from both “paralysis” and “incompetence”? Have we become the casualties of our institutions and public agencies which are now “disintegrating, working against their best intentions, and unable to change”?
Or is a belated prologue still possible, a “renascent culture” and “resurrected enthusiasm,” as Barzun hopes? Will the American electorate seize the chance to repudiate the practice of autocratic decision-making — Tocqueville’s “administrative despotism,” the flagrant illegality of much of the Department of Justice’s present race-based conduct, the outrage of permeable borders resulting in festering violence and illegal immigration, the tendency to cede political autonomy to international bodies like the United Nations and the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the ongoing effort to circumvent Congress, the catering to an Islamic fifth column and its attempt to insinuate Sharia law into the life of the nation, a military establishment that condemns the burning of a single Koran but approves the mass incineration of Bibles, the pie-in-the-sky economics that ensures the massive accumulation of unpayable debt and the gradual impoverishment of the middle class under the sign of income redistribution? Will the American public reject the president’s stated, and currently enacted, promise to “fundamentally transform” the country into what is nothing less than a moribund caricature of its former self? For in the final analysis, this is a president, as Michael Ledeen writes, “who sees America as the root cause of mischief, and perhaps even evil, in the world, and is more concerned about punishing his own people than fighting our enemies.” Nevertheless, the opportunity for genuine ‘hope and change” is there.
The defeat of Barack Obama, who plainly does not have the best interests of his country at heart and oversees a degrading “state of the nation,” will not miraculously usher in a bright new dawn. The left-leaning Democratic Party, the supercilious coastal elites, the insatiable public sector unions, the vapid but insidious punditariat, and the venal, anti-republican media juggernaut will remain forces to be reckoned with. “The annoying thing about discredited gospels,” grumbles novelist John Gardner, “is that they continue, though dead as doornails, to exert their effect.” It will be a long night’s journey into day. But the early glimmer of a kind of zodiacal light signaled by Obama’s failure to win re-election may presage a new beginning. In a very real sense, it does not matter who fills the presidential vacancy, provided it is not a Democrat. Or, for that matter, a temporizing RINO. But there is a palpable desire for change in the air and there are a sufficient number of excellent Republican candidates to mine the silver lining of an otherwise cloudy future.
Failing this providential turn of events, it really will be Bye Bye Miss American Pie, leaving, in Don McLean’s words, “a generation lost in space, with no time left to start again.”