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2 Mar. 2016

Dear Friends and Patriots,

          HAPPY TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!!  Oh, you didn’t know?  Well, for those who are poorly schooled (and how many millions would that be?) on this very date in 1836 a group of Texan patriots declared independence from Mexico.  The day is celebrated (sort of) in Texas every year as the day the Republic of Texas was born.  Okay, so maybe most of you don’t care.  But, if you truly love freedom and liberty and you understand the history of the founding of our great nation, you’ll appreciate Texas Independence Day for the very special occasion it is.   Yes, the Republic of Texas died on the day in 1845 Texas was accepted as the 28th state in our union, but its history and founding was almost as remarkable as the America’s own.  Each year, on this day, I thank God I was born a Texan.  As a Texan, I know that whenever and wherever I take my final rest, in my heart I will have never left Texas and my only dying regret will be that I wasn’t within her borders when my end came.

          Texas and Oklahoma made me proud last night.  Those states didn’t leap aboard the Trump Train.  Trump Mania wasn’t nearly as evident there as in most of the Super Tuesday states.  To my way of thinking Texas and Oklahoma got it right.

          The pundits predicted The Donald would pretty much sweep the primary states, and he pretty much did.  Those who are infected with Trump Mania are cheering today, and thumping their chests in glee.  Those of us who don’t suffer from that malady are flummoxed and amazed that we ever got to this point in our nation’s political history.

          I hear endless pontifications and musings about Donald Trump and how he’s been a genius at tapping into the anti-establishment anger in the land.  I’m not so sure about the genius part, but he’s definitely tapped in.  There is anger in the land.  There is broad sentiment against the status quo.  But, it actually appears that anger is more narrowly focused than the media would have you believe.  There seems to be two distinct areas of focus – the Office of the President and the Republican National Committee (RNC). 

The Trump phenomenon, such as it is, could be more of a rejection of the politics of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party than of elected politicians in general.  If that’s not so, then why on Earth have so many incumbents prevailed in their primaries?  The fact they have tells one the anti-establishment mood doesn’t truly translate as anti-incumbency.   That’s fascinating, odd, but also true.  Meanwhile the tactics of the Republican National Committee to stop Trump at all costs isn’t gaining much traction.  The voters are rejecting it wholesale.  If the RNC appears to be desperate to stop the Trump Train, that’s all the more reason for those with Trump Mania to stay aboard.  Obviously Trump scares the bejeezus out of them.   Obviously they understand the RNC cannot dominate and control him.  Obviously the RNC is desperate for a reinstatement of their status quo.

Ponder on something for a moment.  The following is often attributed to Scottish history professor Alexander Fraser Tytler.  Many of you have read this, but it’s worth repeating and thinking about today.  Bear with me.

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a
permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up
until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous
gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always
votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public
treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to
loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of
history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations
always progressed through the following sequence:

From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."

          I’m certain you all get the point.  The description is incredibly appropriate when applied to the US in 2016, even though there is significant doubt the citation is actually legitimate.  There is no actual record of Tytler ever writing or saying the above quote, though it does reflect his well-known dismissal of democracies in general.  He supposedly wrote the excerpt in 1787, the same year our current Constitution was written.  A coincidence?

Regardless of the controversy of authorship, focus now on those last two lines and understand what is being conveyed.  An apathetic nation doesn’t participate in its public discourse.  An apathetic nation gives up.  Once the people give up, they stop believing, planning, and striving for a better future.  Instead, they begin to demand security, which leads to conditions of dependence.  Once the society is dependent, an erosion of economic dynamism sets in and the nation bankrupts itself.  It may happen quickly or slowly, but it always happens.  Once the people realize their nation has become economically nonviable there’s a period of unrest of one degree or another, followed by demands for salvation.  Salvation is often in the form of someone who rises up and promises better days; someone who taps into the general angst of the citizenry and plays upon it; someone whose dialog is full of assurances of trustworthiness.  In our fairly recent history we’ve seen such people.  Benito Mussolini was one.  Adolph Hitler was another.  So was Fidel Castro.   They might be extreme examples.  Slightly less extreme might be Juan Peron.  Those examples should be sufficient to reinforce the point.

          The reality to comprehend about Mussolini, Hitler, Castro, Peron and all their ilk throughout history is their rise was facilitated by bad economics and the decline of viable commerce.  Too many people out of work; too many people desperate for change; too many people who lost faith in the status quo of current governments.  They had good reasons for that loss of faith, but their actions ultimately led to much worse.  They backed the wrong ideas and the wrong leaders.

          We often hear Donald Trump characterized as a populist.  What’s that?  Supposedly it’s a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people.  That seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  But, please understand the most important word in that description is “claiming.”  Donald Trump claims the mantle of spokesman for the working man.  Does that strike you as oddly as it does me?  How can a person who spent his entire life with silver and gold spoons jammed firmly in his pie hole understand anything about the life of common, ordinary working people?  He sees them.  He hears them.  He knows some of them.  But he’s never been one.  He knows people like us vicariously.  We’re no more real to him than a Rocky movie is to us.  Trump was born rich, raised rich, educated as a rich-man’s son, lived rich, and his preferred company has always been the rich and famous.  Yet this man, this populist, claims he understands and can represent our needs and aspirations; those of the average citizen, the commoner, the peasant, the peon, the serf.  Is it just me, or can you agree that seems entirely unlikely?

          Here’s what Donald Trump asks of us.  He asks us to ignore the circumstances of his birth, his parentage, his education, his marriages, his political history, his business history, his associations, video recordings of his past statements, his outrageously childish and boorish behavior, his ostentation, and all other aspects that, combined, make The Donald exactly who he is.   Instead he asks us to focus only on the now.  He asks us not to look behind the curtains of his life, but to read his lips, focus only on the words he utters at the moment, to suspend all rational doubt, disbelief, and unease, and to believe in him.  That’s Trump Mania.

          As unlikely as it may seem to me and perhaps you, too, this is real.  Trump Mania is real!  The Trump Train is real!  Trump is aboard that train and it appears to be roaring down the tracks, scaring the wits out of those whose lives are firmly tied to the status quo.

          Like most of you, I’m unhappy.  I’ve been unhappy with the Republican Party for over 30 years.  They still aren’t addressing my own unhappiness to any discernible extent. They are still firmly in the grasp of moneyed interest groups who are primarily interested in feathering their own nests.  They still don’t get it.  Or if they do, they just don’t care.  It truly doesn’t matter which.  Either way, the people lose.  We need better.  We deserve better.  We should demand better.  But, the most penetrating question in my mind today is, “Is Trump better?”  I can’t answer that.  And, I can’t bring myself to place my trust in him.  I didn’t vote for him yesterday.  I voted for another, one whose record is far better in almost every significant measure; one who expresses himself in terms of values and principles, then stands up and represents those values and principles in meaningful ways.  Yes, I believe I can trust someone like that, where I can’t trust much about The Donald.

          Here’s the bottom line, my Friends and fellow Patriots, if you’re on The Trump Train, and are one currently suffering from Trump Mania, I appeal to you to stop and reflect upon history.  Reflect on the notion of a populist.  Reflect on the fact we are a nation in decline and appear to be willing to cast our lot with a perceived savior, as described several paragraphs above, instead of one or two others who might more capably and reliably work to reverse our national trend line.  Think about all you know about The Donald.  Is this man like you?  Has he lived like you, according to principles and values you understand and live by?  If you have a daughter, would you want her to marry someone like him?  Would you want him for your next door neighbor?  What is it about Donald Trump that merits your loyalty?  What’s he ever done for you or for any person like you?  Do you really think a man whose entire existence has been focused on a lifestyle of the rich and famous won’t continue to act according to his life’s habit?  Are you truly willing to gamble our nation’s future when all evidence indicates this is a very bad bet?

          At the risk of alienating some of you who are reading this, I won’t be drinking the Trump Kool-Aid.  Even though I could never vote for the socialist-progressive candidates of the Democratic Party, I find myself praying very hard that I’m not in the position of having to vote for Donald James Trump in November.  If I have to, I will.  But, I’ll live in fear every day afterward as I contemplate the truth that our nation has once again ignored lessons of history and cavalierly wagered our freedom and liberty.  It didn’t work out in 2008 and 2012.  What is there to make me believe it’ll work out in 2016 with a Trump election?

          I’m fairly certain of a Republican Party win in November.  But I’m not nearly as confident as I was several months ago that I’m going to like our government much better next year than I do today.  Those establishment Republicans might just be 100% right.  If they are, it won’t matter at all that their reasons for being right are 100% wrong.

          None of us like living with fear and uncertainty.  We’ve been doing that for years now.  We want it to end.  Is Trump the one who’ll do that for us?

          I’ll cease now.  If the point isn’t made now, it won’t be.


In Liberty,