Today most Americans are watching with amazement and alarm as Russians launch a serious shooting war against Ukraine, despite wagged fingers, severe scolding, and stern warnings of dire economic consequences from Joe Biden. Reportedly, Generalissimo Joe has sent a few thousand troops to Europe for as-yet unknown purposes â€“ although actually engaging the rampaging Russkies does not seem to be on their orders-list. Whatever Mr. Bidenâ€™s cognitive limitations may be, one hopes (indeed prays) that heâ€™s not befuddled enough to send a handful of troops into harmâ€™s way, where their destruction could kick off a general war in Europe, or even World War III (as some military analysts are speculating). Lately, Comrade Vladimir has been rattling his nuclear weapons, and that is not nothing.
Itâ€™s hardly breaking news to report that the situation is not good. In fact, itâ€™s a complete mess. How did we get here? And is the Russia-Ukraine war our real problem.
To answer the questions letâ€™s try to recall the distant past â€“ actually, just a scant two years ago â€“ when President Trumpâ€™s twin initiatives of peace through strength and â€œthe art of the dealâ€ had brought the international community to the Table of Concord. Middle East nations were quitting their thousand-year wars on each other to work out mutual accords; European countries of NATO were following Mr. Trumpâ€™s encouragement to honor their commitments to spend 2% of GNP on military armaments; and the Russian Bear was hunkered down in its lair, leaving Ukraine alone, while hoping that political enemies of Americaâ€™s â€œtough guyâ€ president could boot him out.
Before the Chinese COVID-19 virus turned our country on its head â€“ throwing millions out of work, riveting our attention on the growing COVID death-toll, and transforming glib-talking doctors into media stars whose â€œadviceâ€ on the virus changed almost daily â€“ Mr. Trumpâ€™s policies had boosted our economy to record-heights. By January 2020, more Americans were working than at any previous time in our history. Illegal crossings of our southern border had been brought under control. Mr. Trump had cancelled our participation in the economy-destroying Paris Climate Accords and made us energy-independent. Gasoline was selling at the pump for $2 a gallon. Americans were looking forward to a golden age of prosperity and peace, as Mr. Trump cruised toward almost certain re-election.
My pop used to say, â€œIf things seem too good to be true, they probably are.â€ The sentiment wasnâ€™t original with him, but he had lived through the Great Depression and marched through Europe in World War II. He had seen plenty, and knew a thing or two.
Trumpâ€™s good times were simply too good to last. Too many influential people didnâ€™t want prosperity to be a Republican product, and too many politicians, on both sides of the aisle, hated Donald Trump enough to let the country (and its people) be hurt in order to get rid of him. Only now is evidence emerging which shows how a presidential candidate conspired with a sitting president to finance a false â€œdossierâ€ about Donald Trump. First they used it to try to defeat him. When that attempt failed, they launched a four-year crusade â€“ including two baseless impeachments during his final two years in office â€“ to try to wreck his presidency. It was not our political systemâ€™s finest hour.
Finally, with the COVID virus spreading steadily through the country, and politicians using it to hurt Mr. Trump, Democrats presented their solution. Their presidential candidate â€“ the superannuated Joe Biden â€“ would deliver scripted 5-minute sound-bites from his basement, promising beleaguered Americans that his plan would conquer the â€œTrump virusâ€ and restore normalcy in the country. Good Old Joe even chose Kamala Harris â€“ former mistress of California pol Willy Brown â€“ as his vice-presidential running mate. Democrat poo-bahs evidently believed this would assure voters that if Joe fell over â€“ which seemed quite likely â€“ a heroic â€œwoman of colorâ€ would grasp the baton and carry the country forward.
The November election which followed the Biden-Harris cellar-campaign was one for the books. With Donald Trump leading on election night in enough states to win, it looked like he had carried the day. But then the Democratsâ€™ hoped-for â€œmiracleâ€ occurred. As counting dragged on for days (and even weeks) in some states, floods of ballots cast for Joe Biden materialized and carried him over the finish line.
Some Republicans protested that fraud had occurred, but advocates of â€œgood orderâ€ insisted that the result had to be accepted and certified. Although that was done, analysts and ordinary citizens will be arguing for a long time over reports of hidden, ballot-filled suitcases, poll-monitors barred from the counting-rooms, and truckloads of ballots arriving at polling places in the wee hours.
Joe Bidenâ€™s basement-campaign had rid the country of the hated, â€œun-presidentialâ€ Donald, and the people breathed a collective sigh of relief. Now we could go back to normal life, and everything would be OK. Wouldnâ€™t it?
Christians know the Biblical passage which warns that â€œThe wages of sin is deathâ€¦â€ (Romans 6:23). Many non-Christians have probably heard the words enough times to find them familiar â€“ even if they donâ€™t quite believe them. Of course, the passage has a spiritual meaning, as it contrasts those wages â€“ i.e., â€œdeathâ€ â€“ with Godâ€™s gift of eternal life. Galatians 6:7 comments along similar lines: â€œBe not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.â€
Thereâ€™s no exact social or political parallel to those spiritual passages, but the old adage, â€œcrime does not pay,â€ comes close. Thereâ€™s simply no doubt that when a country, a political faction, an organization, or an individual commits the kinds of political â€œsinsâ€ we saw committed over the past five years, some pretty severe â€œwagesâ€ are going to come due when itâ€™s all said and done. Sometimes the payment comes far out in the future, but other times itâ€™s almost immediate. Right now, weâ€™re seeing the latter, as Iâ€™ll summarize in the following paragraphs. More aspects could be presented, but I wanted to hit some of the lowlights.
For the better part of fifty years a scientific cabal has tapped into the federal treasury by joining hands with a political bloc to claim that human activity â€“ particularly the combustion of hydro-carbon fuels â€“ is changing the earthâ€™s climate. First, the claim was that we were setting ourselves up for a â€œnew ice ageâ€ by cooling the climate. Then, as the cooling trailed off, â€œglobal warmingâ€ became the scare. And finally, as cooling set in once again, the crisis was re-dubbed â€œclimate changeâ€ â€“ which seemed to cover whatever direction the climate seemed to be headed. All along, though, a solid group of scientists insisted that:
- The climate has clearly changed in the distant past, but not because of any human activity;
- Our time-sample is far too small to indicate if the climate is truly changing;
- If itâ€™s changing now, we donâ€™t know whatâ€™s causing it â€“ e.g., sun, volcanic action, human activity;
- Draconian proposals to undo our current ways of producing energy for industry, heating and cooling our living-spaces, and transportation would bankrupt the worldâ€™s economy;
- These disruptions would have no discernible effect on the climate.
Despite these cautions, which President Trump carefully observed during his term, Americans insisted on electing a replacement who had concealed his commitment to a maximum plan to stop climate-change. Once in office, he promptly undid American energy-independence, sent gasoline and other fuel prices soaring, and reduced us to beggar-status in world energy markets. (His costly radical actions have had no effect on the climate.)
But the radical environmentalist bloc pushing Mr. Bidenâ€™s climate-control actions believes we havenâ€™t gone far enough. They want to push fuel prices even higher to make it impossible for most Americans to drive internal combustion-powered cars. Weâ€™re reaping a bitter harvest from our hubristic attitude toward controlling the vast, unknowable climate. And worse days might lie ahead.
The hallmark of Democratsâ€™ governing strategy, whenever they gain political control, is lavish government spending on constituent groups that constitute their political base. Their promise to these groups is always the same: â€œElect us and weâ€™ll bring home the bacon for you.â€ Weâ€™ve seen that strategy applied in presidencies from FDR to Barack Obama, but this is a new day. Spending during Mr. Bidenâ€™s first year in office has hit new levels. Already the National Debt has passed $30 trillion. And Joeâ€™s $6 trillion budget proposal for next year would run a $1.8 trillion deficit â€“ despite a raft of new taxes on corporations and high-income people to pay for his ambitious spending plans.
Much of Joeâ€™s ambitious spending has been with â€œprintedâ€ dollars. This is money created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve and pumped into the economy: â€œmore dollars chasing the same goodsâ€ â€“ the classic definition of inflation. The inflation rate in 2019 was 1.76%. But the current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 6.81%. Economists expect the inflation rate to go higher unless steps are taken to open American energy production and curtail deficit-spending. How about it Joe? Joe?!!
Joe Bidenâ€™s actions to undo the energy-independence which President Trump achieved has made us more dependent on Russian oil. That development â€“ coupled with Joeâ€™s befuddled mien on the foreign stage â€“ has emboldened Vladimir Putin to launch his long-planned move against Ukraine. Evidently he believes that we wonâ€™t try to stop him because it might cut off the monthly 18 million to 25 million barrels of oil we buy from Russia. Itâ€™s more reaping of what we sowed by electing climate-warrior Joe.
Joe Bidenâ€™s attitude toward national security, as demonstrated by the people he has chosen to lead our armed forces, is a topic for another discussion on another day. Suffice it to say that their decision to discharge over 3,000 fit and experienced soldiers, sailors and airmen â€“ and possibly another 3,000+ going forward â€“ who refused to get the COVID-shots, is not an auspicious sign. Military experts estimate that training a new soldier costs between $200,000 and $1 million, so the cost of replacing those 6,000 discharged people would probably run into the billions. And dangerous foreign developments in the future might cause us to regret their loss even more.
Breaking the Compact.
In earlier articles I have pointed out that the central pillar of our American system of governance has been what I call The Compact â€“ an unwritten agreement, observed by all political factions, to accept election-results and allow elected officials to govern. Principled opposition to policies of those officials, within the established boundaries of political argument and debate, is permissible, but attempts to disrupt government or attack elected officials â€“ particularly the president â€“ are violations of The Compact.
One imagines Democrat partisans crying: â€˜Aha! Thatâ€™s what Donald Trump and his followers have done since the 2020 election. They havenâ€™t accepted the results and allowed Joe Biden to govern.â€™
But if Dems are actually saying this, they must have been snoozing during the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump, when they spent five years using arms of the federal government to launch continual attacks on Mr. Trump. They impeached him twice, and did everything they could to disrupt his governance. It was a complete abrogation of The Compact. Would it be any surprise if Republicans feel entitled to do the same to Joe Biden? By their actions Democrats have sown the seeds of destruction of our entire governmental system, from which we shall reap a bitter harvest for a long time to come.
No one knows when (or whether) enough people of faith and good will can show up to restore The Compact by sowing new seeds of comity, decency and cooperation. Time will tell. Meanwhile, I encourage my readers to take whatever positive actions they can and pray, as they never have before, for Divine intervention.
â€œWe are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.â€ (Abraham Lincoln. 1861)
â€œWhen men stop believing in God they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.â€ (G. K. Chesterton)
â€œWoe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!â€ (Isaiah 5:20-21)