by Glenn Fairman 11/11/16
As the voluntary institutions of civil society atrophy, to say nothing of the notion of a transcendent Deity with an objective moral code, the state expands to fill the vacuum, and with it, the power of the American Executive. Those of the Progressive persuasion, for whom the public sphere has bled profusely into the private, see civil society as a great monolithic canvas: comforting when its values are force fed into the culture and a horror when they are thwarted.
This is no doubt a psychological projection which reasons that the mantle of irresistible unitary power that was wielded to the aid of its own Progressive transformation will likewise be used as a double edged instrumentality to carve the Conservative agenda into the flesh of the political landscape. Little do they understand that in receding to the default position of Constitutional government, a greater liberty will emerge that will benefit both armed camps.
The fact that this swing of the pendulum is met with such bitter resistance is perhaps owing to several notions: the willful ignorance or misunderstanding of constitutionalism and its corresponding litany of republican rights and/or the affirmative rejection of both for the unitary hammer of the majoritarian – the General Will of the Jacobin.
Either way, the next four years require a Promethean exertion of effort towards enlightening an emotion- driven population on the explication of ordered liberty and the bolstering of firewalls that will serve as defensive ramparts once the pendulum swings back. Indeed, Trump’s agenda will require the erecting of a wall of separation, but perhaps one of a more prudent and lasting character — one that will ensure the self- preservation of the classical Western virtues, the rule of law, and the fires of free enlightened conscience once the shadows inevitably regroup: Nothing less than a return to the genius of limited governance and the redemption of constitutionality. Having newly returned from our own bitter exile, the very first order of business must be to repair our own “Jerusalem Wall.”
Sadly, it is the doom of men that they soon forget.
Glenn Fairman returns from the wilderness and writes from Highland, Ca.
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