Friday, February 26, 2016

The real constitution

In keeping with my theory that a popular revolution is more likely than top-down tyranny to transform the nation, I think the simple fact of Donald Trump’s support is more important than his (potentially) being president. The man he is—a troll, a blabber mouth, and a big government paternalist—has less real impact than who his supporters think he is, a reflection of the character of the body politic. Bad leaders come and go. The people are the real constitution and they determine the country’s direction.

Two main forces animate Trump supporters:

  1. They are sick of having the progressive agenda forced down their throats.
  2. They are sick of the Constitution/rule of law standing in the way of achieving their goals.

Call the Trump idolatry post-democratic conservatism, a defensive reaction to post-democratic liberalism, or progressivism. (Charles Murray has the best take on this.)

The lie and its bearers have no interest in sharing the country with half its people, or tolerating truth to disrupt their totalitarian reordering of nature. That’s what calling people who disagree with you bigots means. Trump’s rise indicates said “bigots” will not play by the rules of civility to resist them. If these be the two dominant political forces in America, hostile divorce or civil war are then the logical outcomes.

It remains true as ever that voting is like 1 percent of democracy. The majority of democracy is living out your principles in the mundane stretches of ordinary life, in the broad valleys between the peaks. That’s a more effective argument than a well-written essay by a stranger.

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