In the next two pieces, three questions will (hopefully) be answered.
- First, what are Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump’s political beliefs?
- Second, what does it mean to be a president of the US in 2016?
- And finally, if democracy is so weakened, what do you expect us to do about it, Mr. Smartipants?
There’s an old saying in advertising: if it looks like the argument is about to be lost, change the conversation. Would it surprise anyone to discover this is precisely what is happening?
For a long time in the US, the difference between a Republican and a Democrat has been in name only. They were portrayed as opposites for no reason other than to create the illusion of dissimilarity. But most people don’t buy that con anymore. Few still think the traditional “left” and “right” political spectrum matters or represents the real world. Indeed, as I have pointed out in other articles, most educated people don’t care for politics, preferring to defer to the “science of government” more commonly known as centrism.
Of course, the path this idea leads down is the fortification of the permanent government, and away from “government by the people, for the people.” To a populace discontented with politics, it would be too much and too far to consider the implications of centrism, although they do desire a new form of structure which better reflects the world. After all, the victory of centrism is the inevitable death of democracy: if all decisions are made by unelected officials, then of what use is the facade of voting or elections. That is unacceptable for most people, even educated people.
So a new form of divisional structure is needed. And, ready as always with an answer, arrives The Economist. The centuries-old magazine’s editorial staff appears to be stacked with globalist economists (globalist is a synonym for progressivism). It has tagged the “new political divide” as being not between the artificial, indefinable, and hopelessly reductive terms “left” and “right,” but rather as an impressive clash between globalism and nationalism. It places Mr. Trump’s “anti-trade tirades” as “the gravest threat to the free world since communism.”
But this is wrong. The truth is, citizens of this earth will never be free until they are free of globalism. The fix suggested by The Economist is a way to more overtly differentiate those who are part of the glorious progressive movement, pushing forward into the utopian future, and those who either think nationalism is fine the way it is, or know there are better ways to form government than destroying all hierarchies and introducing democracy to the world. Maybe it's because I'm in New Zealand that I can see what’s going on, but I'm starting to think it's not that people can't see, it's that people don't know there's anything to look for.
What do I mean? The author (authors? It’s hard to tell with that barely-veiled opinion magazine) says a vote for Mr. Trump is a vote against the globalist agenda. More importantly, voting for the man will place the voter firmly against the liberal agenda of the so-called political left. The author is under the impression that there are two ways of thinking - two ways of politics - in the US. They are mistaken. One sees a Republican and believes that party constitutes an equal and opposite force pulling for control over the country's direction. This could not be more wrong.
Donald Trump is simply an uncouth progressive. He sounds strange but everything he thinks, desires, plans and wants for the US is identical to Mrs. Clinton’s desires and plans. This is true because they are both adherents of a post-Christian ideology. In 2016, there is simply no other way to run for president. In fact, there's really no other type of “good, patriotic” American.
In the US, there is only one party: the party of the progressives. Call them liberals, leftists, democrats, globalists, whatever. They are only progressives. There is no other way to exist in the modern US. Progressivism is Christianity without the supernatural. There is no difference between them except for about 100 years. The political programmme and perspective that we think of as progressive is at least descended from the programme of a religious sect. Unsurprisingly, this sect, best known as ecumenical mainline Protestantism, is historically the most powerful form of American Christianity.
Since the 1960s, the two forms of American Christianity have merged back into a single force, what in earlier times would have been called a theocracy. Progressives occupy all major positions of power in the US, including the universities and the press. Progressivism is always and everywhere the ideology of the civil service in a modern democratic state. And in a modern democratic state, elections do not rotate power, they are worse than irrelevant. They actually serve to hide the reality that the civil service controls all.
Progressivism is best understood as a post-Christian ideology with roots in British Puritanism. The puritans were kicked out of England by King Charles I and eventually landed in America hoping to start new lives. From there, they slowly split between those who adhered to the supernatural and those who didn’t. But at no point were the tenets and utopianism of European Christianity scooped from their brains. Rather, the slowly evolving puritans developed an entire structure of government based at first on democracy, but which later moved to become the rule of unelected technocrats with the trappings of democracy. The name for this structure in the ancient world was "priesthood". We call it something different, but the effect is the same.
Is being a progressive like being a Christian? Why shouldn't it be? Each is a way of understanding the world through a set of beliefs. There is one big difference between Christianity and progressivism: Christianity is what we call a "religion." Its core beliefs are claims about the spirit world, which no Christian has experienced firsthand. Whereas progressive beliefs tend to be claims about the real world - about government and history and economics and society. To doubt progressivism is to doubt the American idea itself. People have to understand it is as American as apple pie.
Of course, much of progressive thought claims to be a product of pure reason. Is it? Thomas Aquinas derived Christianity from pure reason. John Rawls derived progressivism from pure reason. At least one of them must have made a mistake. Maybe they both did. Has anybody checked their work? One bad variable will bust the whole proof. There is one difference, though. To be a Christian, you have to have faith, because no one has ever seen the Holy Spirit. To be a progressive, you must only have trust, because you believe that your worldview accurately reflects the real world - as experienced not just by your own small eyes, but by humanity as a whole.
When the progressives took power in the progressive era, they held onto the concept of democracy but worked to remove its effects. The concept of centrism was introduced ensuring the civil service retained power no matter who was heading the executive branch. The Democrats then became the party of the civil service, so whenever a Democrat is in the executive the whole system works smoothly trending towards the utopia of full equality, the tearing down of the ancien regime and the building of the kingdom of heaven on earth. The perfect Christian hope for the world.
The Republicans will not get in the way of this lofty goal because they too represent Christian values (although, a bit more aged than the progressive's). But the Republicans are useful for the progressives in one major way: they supply a pretend enemy for the Democrats. This makes it look, to the citizens, as if true democracy is in play. A neat trick. Every four years the election process constructs two sides of the same coin.
The voters, few of whom understand these dynamics in much depth, assume the election is essentially controlled warfare for ultimate power. It is anything but. If the Republicans win, the progressive agenda is not discarded! No, no! It only runs a little slower while the civil service and the true-believer progressives in the press run interference, call the president names, impugning and belittling him until the Democrats can return to the office and speed things up again. Not that it matters to the progressive project, but appearances are crucial not to give the game away.
I write this because people should realise what's going on here. There is no democracy in the US (at least, not in the sense of what most people believe democracy is) and there hasn't been democracy in the US for a very long time. Nothing will change with Mr. Trump in the executive because his party is a fraud, a tool, of the progressive ideology. The Republicans should be disbanded so the truth of the one-party state can finally be exposed and the sham of democracy can be discarded.
If the world really is choosing between globalism as the progressives want, and nationalism (I am always suspicious of binaries) then the concept of centrism makes sense. After all, of what use is an uninformed and, frankly, uninterested populace being encouraged to participate in governance if there are no more borders and everyone is equal? Some may appreciate the progressive “agenda” and fully back its vision for the world. Others probably see it as a totalitarian, post-Christian, pseudo-atheistic theocracy bent on world domination with no significant opposing force between it and its utopian goal.
For those people, the question now becomes: how might this be stopped if Mr. Trump represents only a slightly slowing momentum of this incredible world-eating ideology? How indeed.