Yes, Trump has been scorched by the dragon’s flaming breath, but despite flaws, his courage, vision and unusual media skills have helped him fight back, bringing him through many trials to this final moment of decision for the American people.
Few pundits can understand the huge and excited crowds that wait in line all day to be part of a Trump rally. As with any hero, his bravery has awakened others. And although this awakening may grow stronger in defeat, in decisive victory it will almost certainly overwhelm Washington, D.C.
It has to do with the force of truth, which has an awakening power and is the natural enemy to all the lies that have kept us sound asleep, while our national “house” is on fire. Yes, there will be fierce resistance to common-sense actions like securing our borders, but millions of Americans feel sure Donald Trump is up to the challenge. After all, the future of the country he so clearly loves is at stake.
There’s a famous quote I grew up with, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” It’s one of the more chilling ancient biblical references because it reminds us that ignorance is a blindness that leads to destruction because it cannot distinguish between lies and truth. That’s where we are in America.
Just consider what we are up against in this election.
Imagine right now, that you are unaware of all the things revealed by the WikiLeaks emails or by the FBI or any other sources. Imagine you know nothing about Secretary Clinton’s lies, or even that she had an unsecure email server in the first place – and you’re totally clueless about all the other breaking scandals.
If that were so, you’d believe in a “reality” that had nothing to do with reality – you’d think the Clinton campaign never cheated in debates, that they loved and honored Catholics and that the power we voters gave the Clintons was never abused for the sake of self-enrichment. You might even think the dominant corporate media were honest and unbiased “reporters” of the news.
Now consider that we’re sound asleep to other dangerous indicators, well beyond individual corruption – that our economy is faltering – that job loss, drugs and family breakdown are destroying communities – that our power grid is desperately vulnerable – that our enemies are starting to laugh at the social experiment we call a military – that Iran feels free to capture and shame American sailors – that our friends don’t trust us and that increasingly, our nation is so divided we might not be able withstand a real world war against countries with massive armies, aggressive intentions and nuclear weapons.
It’s so much easier to pull the covers over our heads and re-imagine a world where the “international community” will protect us, although history makes clear that it will not – just as history makes clear that centralized government power endangers the people, especially when leaders continually seek to increase their power, claiming it’s for our own good. How do we survive these people who lie to us and lie to themselves as they seek their new utopia?
During this presidential campaign, thanks especially to the leaked and released emails, younger Americans are learning about the power liars have over the rest of us, something Dr. M. Scott Peck explained in his famous book, “People of the Lie.”
I’m not talking about people who lie on occasion – I’m guessing most of us are guilty of that. But think about true liars – people who live “a life of lies,” not only in the web of falsehoods they regularly spin but in the entirely false reality they present to the rest of us as truth.
“Forever fleeing the light of self-exposure and the voice of their own conscience,” writes Dr. Peck, “they are the most frightened of human beings.”
This, of course, is particularly dangerous when they have power over the rest of us. The late William Safire famously called Hillary Clinton a “congenital liar” in his New York Times column entitled, “Blizzard of Lies.” Safire goes on to say later in that 1996 column, about the early Clinton scandals:
“Therefore, ask not ‘Why didn’t she just come clean at the beginning?’ She had good reasons to lie; she is in the longtime habit of lying; and she has never been called to account for lying herself or in suborning lying in her aides and friends.”
You’d think Mr. Safire were writing today. Yes, we are all tempted by “good reasons” to lie, but for some, like Secretary Clinton, it is as natural as breathing. It’s not something she does – it’s something she is.
Imagine making a conscious decision to have an unsecured email server when you know you will be dealing with all sorts of highly sensitive information. What kind of person does this? And what kind of people cooperate with such a person?
And how do we deal with larger examples of corruption, involving many people choosing to serve themselves and their ideological friends rather than the American people to whom they are obligated?
This is what Donald Trump and the rest of us are up against – Democrat or Republican. This is the dragon that must be slayed with the “sword of truth.” Sometimes all it takes is for the right person to make a stand.
As I wrote in a previous column, the elite used to protect us from these kinds of liars. They served a higher right than power. They understood the core principles of the country. Like any other elite group, they sought to protect those principles, whether against political corruption like the Watergate scandal or against dangerous ideologies like Communism during the Cold War.
Just as the American Medical Association protects us from fake doctors or the American Bar Association ideally protects us from cheating lawyers, the elite in Washington were guardians of the political class, the class of men and women who are themselves guardians of American freedom.
Millions of us respond when Mr. Trump talks about the system being rigged, and not just because it’s clear the Democratic primary actually was rigged or because we can see the treacherous bias of the dominant media. It goes much deeper than that.
We see that Washington no longer operates on the basis of “right and wrong.” Common sense tells us that when truth doesn’t prevail something else takes its place. Doing “what’s right” is replaced these days with cronyism and a raw PC power struggle that makes dialogue nearly impossible.
Millions of Americans have a general feeling of dread. We can’t necessary put it in words, but we sense real danger – because where there is no vision, the people perish. We know the nation is out of control. We know there must be some kind of return to common sense. But we also know it will take a courageous leader like Donald Trump to confront those who would resist, no matter how hot the struggle gets.
It will take a president willing to endure heavy fire from those who care only about protecting their comfortable lifestyles and their political power, whether it’s teachers unions fighting against “school choice” or massive leftist marches on Washington organized to protest border walls or endless media attacks designed to delegitimize and undermine a Trump administration.
Draining the swamp means many things, but at heart it means taking power away from those who abuse it.
With the help of a Republican House and Senate, such a “revolution” is possible if Donald Trump is elected – starting with our increasingly corrupt bureaucracies. But win or lose, this man and this moment will not be forgotten. Heroes never are.