Musing America’s Fate

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Like everyone else, I think about America’s future. Are we near the end of a century-old slide into soft tyranny or is worse yet to come? Can we possibly renew our first principles? America recovered from another Civil War when fate’s response to the horrors of 1861-1865 was the end of an institution that had no place in the land of the Declaration of Independence.

Neither people nor nations can evade their destinies. When previously successful and free nations fell into ridiculous and illogical errors that threatened their very existence, perhaps it was the hand of God Himself that intervened.

In 390 BC, Cisalpine Gauls sacked Rome. After a series of senseless and unforced diplomatic mistakes, the Romans so much as invited attack, against which the politically divided republic was incapable of a united defense. Instead of appointing a dictator to levy troops and supplies, the hastily formed and nearly leaderless army that met the Gauls only ten miles from Rome promptly scattered on first contact. With most of Rome’s men in retreat to surrounding cities, the Gauls rushed through the city’s open gates, and enjoyed their bloodlust. Only the very Capitol itself survived the onslaught and remained in Roman hands. Fortunately, after burning the city and much of its written records, the Gauls didn’t remain as conquerors; they simply left with their booty.

Now, anyone with passing familiarity knows the Roman state was built for war. How could this disaster happen? The Roman historian Livy, in Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy, believed in no uncertain terms,

Destiny blinds men’s eyes when she is determined that her gathering might shall meet no check! When she wishes to bring about great calamities, she places men in charge who will contribute to that disaster. If there is anyone who might be able to oppose her, she either kills him or deprives him of all his means to achieve some good.1

From this passage, and knowing Rome’s subsequent glorious history, fate first judged it necessary to strike down Rome. Fate then provided the scattered troops an unsullied general to reclaim the city.

We can side with lady fortune but not oppose her; we can weave with her warp but cannot tear it apart. Of course, at the time, no one knows her intent as she moves along, so men must still have hope, and with hope, they will never give up, no matter what the situation or the difficulty in which they find themselves.

Like Rome of the fourth century BC, so too did early 20th century America invite her demise. Where a diplomatic blunder sealed Rome’s fate, so too did the fateful blunder of the 17th Amendment seal America’s destiny. The 1930s Senate, neutered by the 17th, couldn’t withstand the onslaught of a wildly popular FDR and eventually consented to the appointment of eight radical Scotus judges who, beginning with 1942’s nonsensical Wickard v. Filburn decision, midwifed the unconstitutional Administrative State and evil Deep State.

Today, patriots agonize over our future. Are there more tragedies, or is Donald Trump the Machiavellian hero destined to save his country from Civil War?

Destiny turned her head, reversed her warp, and blessed America with Donald Trump. According to Livy, “Fortune does this well: When she wants to accomplish great deeds, she selects a man with such spirit and such exceptional ability that he recognizes those occasions that she offers him.” When I reflect on how Trump bested some sixteen primary opponents with his unabashed patriotism and optimism, then defeated the heavy odds-on favorite Hillary Clinton, I see the hand of God in his unlikely victory.

But, my wonder at his victory aside, I do not wonder if this is the time to join with this remarkable man to FULFILL OUR DESTINY. Donald Trump never said, “I will drain the swamp.” He said, “We will drain the swamp!” He is one with We the People in the first principles of self-government. In 2021, having chopped off the head of the reptilian Deep State in 2020 and winning reelection in a massive landslide, I believe the political winds will propel him to lead the Article V COS effort to reform American institutions and prevent the reemergence of the Deep State. Our destiny is not slow strangulation; it is recovery and renewal.

1. Machiavelli, N. (2008). Discourses on Livy, Translated by Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 235.

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