H.R. 1 is Emblematic of the Crisis of American Democracy

There is no evidence at all after 60 days of the new administration, of any disposition to collaborate with moderate Republicans in a centrist response to the many policy challenges the administration faces. President Biden remains the man who said of the hooliganism at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, that it was a “white supremacist” attack bungled by “white supremacist” Capitol police and directly incited by the outgoing president in an effort to overturn an election result which the Democrats, through their airtight lock on the national political media, represent as an unquestionably fair electoral outcome. In the one strong and interesting line he uttered in the two presidential debates, candidate Biden said that the Democratic program was what he determined it to be, that the Biden-Sanders unity program and other elements of the official Democratic platform were indicative, but that the candidates for national offices having been nominated, he would, if elected, determine the administration’s program.  

There is no conceivable alternative interpretation of the administration’s performance to date than that, as is widely accused and not even energetically denied, the Democrats intend to admit practically unlimited numbers of unskilled and unscreened people into the United States and qualify them immediately as voters. At the same time, they intend to eliminate any procedure for the verification of votes, the monitoring of the eligibility of voters, or of the correct allocation of votes to the places of residential districts of the electors. 

The ancient concept of Election Day is to be reconfigured as a moving 25-day period, and ballot harvesting is to be enthusiastically engaged in with full official approval. In the name of defeating “voter suppression,” which is the Democrats’ definition of any attempt to ensure that the Constitution is honored by holding fair elections in which only citizens vote in their rightful places on Election Day, the Democrats are planning to ensure that they never lose a federal election again. 

Perpetual Democrat Rule is Not Democracy

This is the burden of H.R. 1, which has been narrowly adopted by the House but will obviously have a rough ride in the Senate. It will be supplemented, apparently, by moves to bring Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia into the Union as states to reinforce the Democrats’ position in the Senate. Any such move in respect to the District of Columbia could require a constitutional amendment so this threat is not as imminent as the termination of a fair electoral process which now hangs over the country like a Damoclean Sword, almost unnoticed though it is by the rabid, morally bankrupt, Democratic national political media.   

Because of the instant generation of hysterical allegations against President Trump of inciting insurrection, the Supreme Court, though it showed initial skeptical curiosity about apparent vote-rigging in the general election, probably decided as an institution that it would not intervene in what was obviously a challengeable result, in order not to incur such public, media, and political wrath that the Supreme Court itself would be emasculated as one of the coequal branches of the government by a vindictive Democratic Congress. It may have been the correct political decision, but it was a cowardly abdication that further imperils American democracy. 

So swift has the crisis of American democracy arisen that even those who clearly see the threats to it from these initiatives of the Democrats can scarcely believe their senses that such an assault could occur in a country that has had a legitimate claim to be the principal democracy in the world, either alone or along with Great Britain, for all of its history. The idea that elections might not in fact be free and fair, that one-party rule could settle upon the United States, that the courts could be intimidated or suppressed; all of this is without the slightest precedent in the history of the United States, and of course in the history of the world in which the United States has been its leading power.  

This is all in large measure an aspect of the Trump phenomenon. The bipartisan political establishment was so shattered by Trump’s victory, and by the subsequent failure to neutralize or remove him through a series of illegal activities, some of which are still the subject of the interminable Durham special counsel investigation, that they confected an elaborate plan not only to dispose of Trump by whatever means were necessary, but to ensure that no reenactment of his horrifying emergence could be staged by an emulator. 

Despite the imposition of a lockdown on realistic analysis of fairly conspicuous electoral fraud in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin particularly, Trump came tantalizingly close to reelection against odds and illegal encumbrances and tactics no American presidential candidate has ever faced. 

The smear campaign against the former president has been such that there is still a reluctance on the part of non-Trump Republicans to get on the right side of the issues created by the Democratic attempt to secure durable control of the American state. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) initial response was disgraceful: holding Trump responsible for the vandalism and assault at the capital, and for the loss of his status as majority leader, for which his own stance on COVID relief was chiefly responsible in the Georgia special Senate elections. There has been some rallying of Republican opinion since. 

No Popular Support

Over 80 percent of Americans do not approve of the conduct of Congress in general, and over 80 percent of Americans do not believe their political media. They are correct in their disbelief, and from this fact arises both the danger to democracy and the opportunity to stabilize it. What is necessary now is for all those who see the Democrats’ threat to American democracy to unite: the NeverTrumpers and the Trump zealots must temporally unite to defeat the common enemy. 

There is no possibility that properly apprised of the contents of H.R. 1, the American people would approve of it. Shameful, corrupt, and worthless though much of the American political media now is; contemptible as are virtually all of the political commentators on networks like CNN, MSNBC, and most of the traditional over-the-air telecasters; hopeless and almost self-destructively dishonest as the New York Times and the Washington Post usually are, most Americans remain sensible and patriotic and a great many journalists retain some accessible notion of professionalism and integrity. All of these traits and resources must now be mobilized.  

It is up to Donald Trump to take the initiative; he is the chief victim and he is the righteous author of the crisis: an irrational and illicit reaction to him threatens democracy in America. He is not the threat, he has demonstrated that he is not a threat to democracy. But he is being invoked as a threat by those who really are a threat to democracy. 

All who see the threat must now respond to the threat: the Democrats must be stopped in the Congress and defeated in the midterm elections. 

At that point, it could reasonably be hoped that both parties would present reasonable options in personnel and policies in the election of 2024. Everything for which America was founded, and for which it stands, and all that it has accomplished is at stake. This is not the self-punitive bunk of “1619” and defamatory and fictitious race theory now being force-fed by America-hating American academics and journalists and radicals; this is the proverbial “last best hope of man on earth . . . the shining city on a hill.” 

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About Conrad Black

Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

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