The day I finally acknowledged that if voting could actually change anything it would be illegal, my ulcers miraculously cleared up and they haven’t reappeared. Having said that, I, along with millions of others, found myself drawn to the three Trump/Clinton debates, like flies to a septic field. Give The Donald credit: he’s a master at poking the tiger with a sharpened stick! Every time Hillary opened her maw to disgorge some bunkum about racism or misogyny or the vast right-wing Putin-Wikileaks conspiracy, I was reminded anew as to how this was not the republic that our ancestors knew.
All three debates produced at least one Trumpian talking point for the Talking Head Trifecta of CNN, Fox, and MSNBC to harp on incessantly, and the third one definitely proved no exception. In response to a question from Chris Wallace regarding his willingness to accept the Nov. 8th results come what may, Trump’s answers could be summarized as ‘We’ll have to wait and see’. And with that, mere anarchy was loosed upon the New York-DC Beltway axis. He was lambasted as a sower of discord, a spoiled petulant malcontent, a regular Baphomet whose pigheadedness threatened to pulverize the entire social contract that is America. Pundits called him a fascist and an anarchist within the same two-minute Don Lemon segment, and the program’s advertisers vigorously nodded their approval. John Oliver, displaying the homey populism that has made him such a valued acquirement from Albion’s shores, promised to gift Trump his Emmy if he would accept the results. Trump’s ‘own’ Republican party snarled that he had no choice but to resign himself to electoral karma. And of course, the Untamed Shrew Hillary herself was presented with a golden opportunity to quail over the ‘unprecedented’ example of a candidate refusing to respect the results of the sacrosanct ritual of exercising suffrage. Had John Oliver’s Emmy been in an acting category, he could have presented it to her instead.
Taking the lead from their secular betters, the Church has gone into full Romans 13 mode and exhorted the flock to keep silent with any electoral misgivings they may have, so that the cardinal virtue above all, ‘civility in the public sphere’, may reign supreme and the Church’s 501(c)(3) tax classification is not placed in jeopardy. And the myriad of Christians gainfully employed by the public sphere have seconded this emotion with vigour! After a (no doubt incredibly extensive) investigation into a rumour that marked Hillary ballots were stored in an Ohio warehouse turned up nothing, that state’s secretary of state announced that such feckless insinuation of structural corrosion offended his offended his Christian sensibilities. He sounds like the type that would shed tears over a sermon extolling the apostle Matthew for being such a diligent collector of customs for Rome.
Has it really come down to this? Is the neo-Christian so torpid that he cannot work up so much as a righteous furrowing of the brow over his children’s inheritance being pillaged before his bovine eyes? Or is it that an ‘inheritance’ is an ossified patriarchal relic incompatible with the ethos of the church Tolerant and ‘whatever the market will bear’, and should be consigned to a museum that no one ever visits?
Complacency wasn’t the hip new thing back in 1876, during a federal election that no historian denies was crookeder than a Rothschild’s nose. New York Governor Samuel Tilden, an anti-Tammany reformer Democrat, won the popular vote, the electoral college, and the presidency on voting day, sweeping the Southern states in the process. Under the auspices of ‘Reconstruction’, however, the illegal occupation of these states by Federalissimos was still very much in operation. As a result, the Republican-dominated electoral boards of Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina appointed a slate of Republican electors, denying Tilden 19 votes and the presidency. The Democrats of these states responded by appointing their own slate of electors, and both groups marched off to DC to await congressional arbitration. After months of mutual rancour, the Republican Senate and Democratic House settled on a bipartisan electoral committee to adjudicate the matter, consisting of seven members of each party and one independent judge as chair. Said judge was thereupon immediately appointed to an open Senate seat from Illinois, was replaced by a GOP hack, and the resultant committee predictably named Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes president. Did the yeomanry of the time shrug their shoulders and say ‘that’s the way the cookie crumbles’? Far from it. They took up their pitchforks and cudgels, hollered ‘Tilden or blood!’, and all but precipitated a second civil war. President Ulysses Grant, always as subtle as a mule kick to the nether regions, responded by calling up military reserves for a pitched battle. Tensions were diffused only by Hayes’s first act upon taking office: calling for the immediate removal of all federal troops south of Mason-Dixon in return for backhanded Southern support of his ‘legitimacy’. Even so, he never was able to shake the epithet ‘Rutherfraud’ that followed him for the remainder of his life.
I don’t know about you, but that all strikes me as the only proper response gross perfidy deserves. No doubt Tilden would have turned into an old slut after his tenure as Head Honcho, too, but that is beside the point. Our ancestors of old demonstrated far more acumen and will in their desire for Christian regeneration than we do today.
Oh, but that was then and this is now, saith the churchtards. Sure, there might have been a little Boss Tweedism here and there in America’s past, but since people are basically good and because it has been established in a lab somewhere that the people get better and better over time, fundamentally unsound democratic principles are obviously an impossibility, except in weird countries like Muslimstan, East Korea, Communist Vladputinia, and France. So shut up and continue to obey those that have the rule over you, lest you display insufficient cringing servility to your oldest deacon next!
Those with this mentality are great condemners of societal ‘denial’ – holocaust denial, climate-change denial, official 9/11 denial. Obviously, though, they don’t have a problem with AIPAC denial, nor consider it possible that a handful of dual-Israeli/American (and thus double-minded) lobbyists could stoop so low as to stuff ballot boxes to benefit their country of choice, despite the fact that the group’s aggressions are freely admitted to and lauded by the mainstream media. And while nodding dumbly to Hillary’s repeated warnings of Russian attempts to ‘influence’ the election, do they never stop to consider how disingenuous it is for her to then turn around and shrilly call Trump to task for his assertions that the whole process is rigged? The great champion of Scottish Presbyterian resistance, Samuel Rutherford, speaking in his monumental Lex Rex of a king selling his kingdom to a foreign power, asserted the right of a people to thus depose him, “because they cannot so readily destroy themselves (the law of nature having given to them a contrary internal principle of self preservation) as a tyrant who doth care for himself, and not for the people” (p. 36).
Which Ehud Would adroitly explains thus: ‘Even if a native ruler, under pretense of law, sold his people out to a foreign power, the people should not consent to it. To do so would be lawlessness and treason to the nation, and ultimately to God Himself, because it is God who designed mankind to live tribally and codified that order in the strictures of His Word.’ I can’t think of a more apt modern example of a sellout to a foreign potentate than allowing that potentate’s agents any kind of say in a domestic election.
Calvinists who wanna get fooled again take a different tack. They aver that God ordains all, including leaders, and that to complain about this one or that one being an interloper is utterly inconsequential. Does this somehow abrogate the Christian’s responsibility to ‘abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good’? (Rom. 12:9) Yes, we know that God ultimately has charge over all those who reign o’er us, for good or for ill. Winking at their unscrupulous means of attaining the magistracy, however, differs little in our partaking of meat sacrificed unto idols, as described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 8. Our Christian liberty may permit it, but what a horrible example it sets to those who are weaker in the faith. Calvin could have been speaking of both camps in this scenario when he said in the Institutes: ‘For they either, under the pretext of this liberty, shake off all obedience to God, and break out into unbridled licentiousness, or they feel indignant, thinking that all choice, order, and restraint are abolished.’ (III, 19, 1).
No, the only ones who would take umbrage with Christians exercising their commission in condemning the evil behind a fake election are those who venerate the terminally ill god-state empire – which empire, like the Babylonian vision of Daniel 2, is top-laden with shiny gold and will thus inevitably collapse. Such a system requires loudness in both promotion of its images and denunciations of its detractors to maintain morale – doubtless, the Ephesians believed the reverberations of their baying in Diana’s favour granted her strength, too. On virtually any social media platform, Hillary’s sycophants don’t champion her ideas, her character, her experience, and certainly not her looks with the most passion. Instead, they pridefully boast of the unanimity of opinion regarding her invincibility emanating from estates one through five. “Democracy will prevail because the hierarchy wills it so!” is what their position boils down to. On the rare occasions when their denunciations aren’t shouted, they are instead supremely contemptuous. Upon being informed that Diebold machines in Texas were displaying returns cast for Trump for Hillary instead, electoral officers sniffed that the discrepancies were caused by ‘user error’ – a polite way of inferring that the user of said machine is a moron who is obviously too unenlightened to be pretending to participate in governance, anyway.
Let us welcome their contempt. Let us bear in mind the apropos warning of our God to the prophet Isaiah, in chapter 28 of his book:
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Complacent voters are lichens, clinging onto their barren piece of crumbling granite because they know no other refuge. Their rock is not as our Rock.