Tag Archives: Totalitarianism

The Jackboots Are Coming: Mass Arrests, Power Grabs and the Politics of Fear, by John W. Whitehead

The US government’s totalitarian noose keeps tightening. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries.” ― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

How do you persuade a populace to embrace totalitarianism, that goose-stepping form of tyranny in which the government has all of the power and “we the people” have none?

You persuade the people that the menace they face (imaginary or not) is so sinister, so overwhelming, so fearsome that the only way to surmount the danger is by empowering the government to take all necessary steps to quash it, even if that means allowing government jackboots to trample all over the Constitution.

This is how you use the politics of fear to persuade a freedom-loving people to shackle themselves to a dictatorship.

It works the same way every time.

The government’s overblown, extended wars on terrorism, drugs, violence and illegal immigration have been convenient ruses used to terrorized the populace into relinquishing more of their freedoms in exchange for elusive promises of security.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Case in point: on June 17, the same day President Trump announced that the government would be making mass arrests in order to round up and forcibly remove millions of illegal immigrants—including families and children—from the country, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling in Gamble v. United States that placed the sovereignty (i.e., the supreme power or authority) of federal and state governments over that of the citizenry, specifically as it relates to the government’s ability to disregard the Constitution’s Double Jeopardy Clause.

At first glance, the two incidents—one relating to illegal immigration and the other to the government’s prosecutorial powers—don’t have much to do with each other, and yet there is a common thread that binds them together.

That common thread speaks to the nature of the government beast we have been saddled with and how it views the rights and sovereignty of “we the people.”

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Will Globalists Sacrifice The Dollar To Get Their ‘New World Order’? by Brandon Smith

Globalists will sacrifice whatever needs to be sacrificed, including you and your family’s lives, to get their new world order. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

Trade is a fundamental element of human survival. No one person can produce every single product or service necessary for a comfortable life, no matter how Spartan their attitude. Unless your goal is to desperately scratch an existence from your local terrain with no chance of progress in the future, you are going to need a network of other producers. For most of the history of human civilization, production was the basis for economy. All other elements were secondary.

At some point, as trade grows and thrives, a society is going to start looking for a store of value; something that represents the man-hours and effort and ingenuity a person put into their day. Something that is universally accepted within barter networks, something highly prized, that is tangible, that can be held in our hands and is impossible to replicate artificially. Enter precious metals.

Thus, the concept of “money” was born, and for the most part it functioned quite well for thousands of years. Unfortunately, there are people in our world that see economy as a tool for control rather than a vital process that should be left alone to develop naturally.

The idea of “fiat money”, money which has no tangibility and that can be created on a whim by a central source or authority, is rather new in the grand scheme of things. It is a bastardization of the original and much more stable money system that existed before that was anchored in hard commodities. While it claims to offer a more “liquid” store of value, the truth is that it is no store of value at all.

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The Worst Totalitarian Since Mao, by Nick Taber

The Chinese government continues to tighten the screws. From Nick Taber at theamericanconservative.com:

Chinese President Xi Jinping at a press conference after a meeting with the German Chancellor in Berlin in 2017.Shutterstock/360b

This summer, a UN panel received reports of a human rights crisis unfolding in China’s far western Xinjiang province. The information showed that as many as two million people had been subjected to an intense political indoctrination and reeducation program. The backlash has largely focused on the ethno-religious nature of this crisis. Pakistan, China’s closest and most economically dependent ally, has asked China to ease restrictions on Muslims, and Uighurs (the ethnic minority group targeted) living in America are beginning to condemn China’s human rights abuses.

But over-interpreting the religious aspect of the crackdown distracts from the true nature of repression in China. The crisis in Xinjiang should be interpreted more as an assault on basic freedoms and the expansion of a totalitarian tyranny than an expression of ethnic superiority. To be sure, this is nothing less than a cultural genocide. But as far as we know, the Chinese government is not Sinicizing this group simply because they are Muslim or ethnically Turkic. It is doing so because they are a perceived threat to the power of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

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Entertain a Clown and You Become Part of the Circus, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

How the devil would design a political system for maximum control. It sounds a lot like our current system. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

If I were the devil, I would desire the most efficient system of governance whereby maximum control could be exerted over the greatest amount of people at any given time. I would identify those who stood in my way and take them down either by force or subversion.  There would be no room in my world for individuality, free thought, or vain imaginings of anything, or anyone, more powerful than me.  As an orchestrator of chaos, the only unity I could tolerate would be that which served both my means and ends.

Without a doubt, divide and conquer would be my means and one world under me would be my objective.

I would use my power to threaten, coerce, blackmail, and subjugate those under my command; to harness them on the way toward my ultimate goal of total world dominion. The loyal ones would reap rewards of preeminent prestige, privilege, and perverted pleasures. The traitors to my cause would suffer lawsuits, investigations, poverty, public humiliations, torture, or death. Deception would be my modus operandi and confusion would serve me well; as long as I remained ever in the know with billions of eyescontinually watching and one eye always on the final destination.

I would stamp out truth and label it by other names. Facts would become fake and vice versa.  I would cover the eyes and ears of my minions to shield them from all except my own reality; until their collective voices became one with mine. Comprehensive consensus would appear universal as dissent would be quelled and free speech quashed.  Language would be utilized to affect thought and to establish the ideological premises for whatever conclusions I required.

Soon, words and concepts would come to mean the very opposite of what they once meant.

To continue reading: Entertain a Clown and You Become Part of the Circus

Why Is the State in Our Bedrooms and Living Rooms as Well as Our Bank Accounts? by Charles Hugh Smith

Okay, that’s enough about the Syrian bombing for one day. SLL will toss a hypothesis or two into the ring in the next day or two. Let’s move on to totalitarianism, from Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

There’s a word to describe a state with unlimited power over the private lives, spaces, choices, behaviors, communications and accounts of its citizens: totalitarian.

A limited government is concerned with proscribing the exploitation of citizens by elites and criminals. A Totalitarian State seeks control of everything–including what goes on in the bedrooms, living rooms and minds of its citizens.

A recent conversation with my longtime friend G.F.B. clarified a key distinction between the public and private spheres.

G.F.B.’s example of the state exerting control over its citizens’ private choices and behaviors in their own homes was the Prohibition of alcohol which was the federal law of the land in the U.S. from 1920 to 1933.

Though alcohol consumption in the home was not banned outright at the federal level, the net result of banning the manufacture and distribution of alcohol was the criminalization of everyday citizens’ attempts to purchase alcohol for their home consumption.

A limited government’s purview is actions taken in public that could harm other citizens. Drunken drivers, for example, end up killing innocent citizens. Limiting the “freedom” to drive drunk is a state action that is limited to the public sphere: if a citizen chooses to get drunk in the privacy of his own home, that’s different from driving on public streets while drunk.

In the good old days of the early Republic, the government was focused on matters of sovereignty and defense, not what citizens were doing in their own homes or communicating in private letters. Enforcement of federal laws was largely limited to collecting tariffs and other revenues and adjudicating property disputes.

Central states have long had an interest in control and adjudicating property disputes.ling every aspect of their citizens’ private lives, beliefs and choices.What separated these total-control autocracies and totalitarian states from governments “of the people, by the people, for the people” was the sacrosanct civil liberties that protected the privacy and private choices of the citizens from state control.

To continue reading: Why Is the State in Our Bedrooms and Living Rooms as Well as Our Bank Accounts?

Is Your “Democracy” Actually a Totalitarian State? Take this Quick Quiz, by Charles Hugh Smith

Is America a totalitarian state? The argument can certainly be made, and Charles Hugh Smith makes it. From Smith at oftwominds.com:

The USA is already a Totalitarian State with a Ministry of Propaganda that works overtime to generate a flimsy illusion of “democracy.”

Is your “democracy” (or republic) actually a Totalitarian State? That is, is it a “democracy” or “republic” in name only? To find out, take this quick quiz.

1. Does your government (federal, state and local) seize citizens’ assets without due process? In other words, the rule of law is dead; the state is the law. If the answer is yes, Your “democracy” is already a Totalitarian State. The answer in the USA is a definitive “yes.”

2. Does your government impose tyranny by complexity? If so, the average citizen lacks the wealth and connections needed to fight the seizure of private property without due process or recourse.
In the USA, the answer is “yes,” the government is a tyranny by complexity.

3. Is your government essentially “for sale” to wealthy elites? If the answer is yes, Your “democracy” is already a Totalitarian State–or more accurately, a fascist Totalitarian State.

4. Does your government spy on its entire citizenry? If the answer is yes, Your “Democracy” is already a Totalitarian State. The answer in the USA is a definitive “yes.”

Well, you have your answer: the USA is already a Totalitarian State with a Ministry of Propaganda that works overtime to generate a flimsy illusion of “democracy.” Please read the following links if you seek documentation of these systemic abuses of centralized power.

Orwell and Kafka Do America: How the Government Steals Your Money–“Legally,” Of Course (March 24, 2015)

Government in the USA is expropriating the private property of its citizenry without due process on a vast scale. I have provided documentation of this extraordinary reality many times over the years.

To continue reading: Is Your “Democracy” Actually a Totalitarian State? Take this Quick Quiz

Has the American Dream Become the American Nightmare? by John W. Whitehead

Everything you “get” from the government comes with a price: your freedom. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

For too long now, the American people have allowed themselves to be persuaded that the government’s job is to take care of us: to feed us, clothe us, house us, educate us, raise our children, heal our infirmities, manage our finances, protect us from our enemies, guard us against all dangers (real and imaginary), and provide for our every need.

Where Americans go wrong is in failing to recognize that there’s always a catch to such devil’s bargains purportedly carried out for the good of all society.

You want free education for your children? The government can take care of it. In exchange for free public schools, however, your children will be molded and indoctrinated into compliant, obedient citizens who reflect the government’s values rather than your own.

You want free health care? The government can take care of that, too. In exchange, your medical decisions—how you live and die—will ultimately be determined by corporations to whom you are little more than a line item impacting their profit and loss margins.

You want to be insulated from all things that might cause offense? That’s not a problem for the government. Its thought police will use hate crime laws to criminalize speech, thought and actions that may be politically incorrect.

You want a guarantee of safety? Sure, but your local police will also have to be militarized and trained in battlefield tactics, your communities and communications will be subjected to round-the-clock surveillance, and you—the citizenry—will be treated as suspects and enemy combatants.

You want to root out domestic extremism and terrorism? That’s just fine. But in the process of identifying and targeting terrorists, the government will have the power to label anyone who disagrees with its policies as an extremist/terrorist and subject them to indefinite detentions.

To continue reading: Has the American Dream Become the American Nightmare?

 

 

Evil Begets Evil, by Robert Gore

Liberty is never an accident. It requires a philosophical acceptance of an individual’s right to his or her own life, and a full understanding of the logical implications and consequences of that right. That acceptance must prevail among intellectuals and through their explanation and leadership, embraced and promoted by a substantial portion of the population. A set of governing institutions has to be devised that are subordinated to the protection of individual rights but strong enough to protect those rights. The difficulties are borne out by history, where attempts to establish political orders based on liberty are few, and their successful and lasting establishment nonexistent.

The argument is made that humanity is unfit for liberty—individuals are incapable of living their own lives peaceably with other individuals. This is true for some individuals, but it has been pronounced as an indictment of the entire species. Because humanity is unfit for freedom, the argument invariably runs, coercion is justified. In other words, individuals—who cannot be trusted with the freedom to peaceably live their own lives—can be given the power to forcibly direct other people’s lives. Chaos, violence, and a world at the brink of epochal collapse are the direct consequences of that inane formulation, yet never has humanity seemed less likely to embrace liberty.

The period from 1865 to 1913 was one of the few in which substantial numbers of people lived in relative freedom, particularly in the US and parts of Europe. The Industrial Revolution, propelled by British and US advances in science, technology, and production, reached its apex during this time. Critics of the period focus on its poverty, degradation, and brutal social conditions and set an impossible benchmark—immediate elimination of those conditions—ignoring their centuries-long prevalence and the most rapid and widespread increases in real incomes and general living standards in history. Footprints are telling: immigrants chose, by the millions, to come to the US, supposedly the most “exploitative” country, and powered the astonishing ascent that took the US from Civil War ruins to the world’s preeminent economy and power in less than five decades.

In the US, liberty was dramatically curtailed in 1913 with the establishment of the Federal Reserve and the passage of the 16th, or income tax, Amendment. The US government would do what governments had always done: forcibly expropriate its people’s wealth and debase the medium of exchange for its own benefit. A year later the relative peace of the preceding period (critics again set an impossible benchmark—the complete absence of war—when judging it) gave way to World War I as governments resumed doing what they’d always done. The US joined two years later. War serves as an excuse for governments to restrict liberty and this one was no exception. The US government jacked up tax rates, instituted conscription, and threw critics of the war in jail.

The alternatives to liberty are coercion, repression, and violence, and the 20th century ranks as mankind’s most coercive, repressive, and violent yet. Totalitarian regimes came to power in Russia, China, Germany, Japan, and a host of smaller nations. For much of the century, they ruled over more than half the global population. Even in countries regarded as “freer,” diminution of individual liberty has been the persistent trend. The basis of the welfare state is theft. The basis of central banking is the production of scrip of no intrinsic value and its coerced acceptance as a medium of exchange. The power of governments and their central banks has continuously grown, always at the expense of individual liberty.

Governments that consistently abridge the rights of their own people will not respect the rights of people in other countries. The thrust of US military policy shifted from primarily defensive (with the exception of Latin America and territory occupied by Native Americans) during the Industrial Revolution to intervention in other nations’ wars in WWI and WWII to an offensive posture since the Vietnam War. Like income redistribution and economic regulation, war invariable increases a government’s power and its share of the nation’s resources. Concomitantly, it reduces individuals’ liberty and takes from them an increasing portion of their own production.

The US government now claims the right to invade any country without the permission of that country’s government. While it has not said so publicly and officially, the government also claims the right to replace governments in other countries that it regards as inimical to its interests. Even a partial list of where the government has exercised its supposed “rights” since the 1890s is long: most of the nations of Latin America, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Yemen, and Somalia. The US military maintains bases and special operations forces in over 150 countries, and the US spends more on armaments and military manpower than the next nine nations combined. In light of all this, the conclusion in inescapable that the US government is an imperial power and aspires to permanent hegemony

One group in American politics shuns or seeks to limit the government’s foreign intervention because the resources devoted to such intervention could be used for domestic programs and income redistribution. Another group opposes such programs and redistribution, but supports intervention. There is an overlapping group. The defining features of all three are intellectual incoherence and an inability or refusal to recognize consequences.

Forcibly taking legitimately produced or acquired wealth from one person for the benefit of the government and its chosen beneficiaries is theft, a fundamental abridgment of liberty—the freedom to productively support one’s self and those one chooses. Evil begets evil. The supposed “needs” justifying redistribution are limitless; production is not. Enslaving producers for the benefit of the government and its beneficiaries reduces and eventually destroys their willingness and ability to produce, and simply destroys the beneficiaries.

The gratitude that usually flows from recipients of private, voluntary charity to their benefactors gives way to an entitlement mentality and sloth, invariably encouraged by declarations from the government and its supporters about the rights of some to the fruits of others’ labor. For a right to be a right it must be universal, and we all cannot enjoy these so called “rights” to have someone else support us. The rampant social pathologies of the class dependent on direct monetary aid and myriad government programs are obvious—crime, illegitimacy, the drug and prostitution trades, decaying inner cities, and riots, et. al.—but will be ignored by proponents of redistribution until production grinds to a halt and funding fails.

That failure will inevitably lead to widespread violence and chaos among beneficiaries denied their benefits. Indeed, some of redistribution’s intellectual lights call for just such an outcome—the collapse of the present system, to be replaced by full-on socialism. The question of how a society that can no longer afford quasi-socialism will be able to afford the full-on version is left unanswered. Totalitarian slavery is the outcome, the answer that dares not speak its name.

The intellectual failure of those who identify the inherent flaws of redistribution and its negative consequences, but who nevertheless propose that the government forcibly intervene in countries that have neither attacked the US nor pose a danger to it, is greater than that of domestic redistribution’s proponents. If, in the immortal words of Ringo Starr, “Everything government touches turns to crap” at home, how can anyone who embraces Starr’s wisdom expect a different result when government goes abroad? Most Americans would not choose to live in inner city Detroit, Newark, Chicago, Washington, or any other of our urban hellholes, but would if the alternative was Baghdad, Kabul, Kunduz, Benghazi, Tripoli, Damascus, or Beirut.

Venality rather than obtuseness accounts for the plainly erroneous assessments of government’s efficacy in reordering other countries. Reality has obliterated whatever idealistic sentiments animated US forays into Vietnam and the Middle East and northern Africa; they made existing situations far worse. Redistribution—the forced transfer of wealth that many proponents of intervention criticize when practiced in the homeland—is the impetus for continuing intervention. Military adventurism and its associated surveillance state are multi-trillion-dollar endeavors that support a large percentage of the government’s payroll and legions of private contractors. Peace and a noninterventionist foreign policy are their worst nightmares. They recycle some of the largess received from the government back to officials to prevent them.

The spread of terrorism and violence far beyond the borders of Middle Eastern and Northern African nations are readily identifiable but generally unacknowledged blowback from foreign military intervention in those nations, as are the consequent refugee flows. The “surprise” expressed by the intervenors is disingenuous. Violence begets violence. For the interventionist nations, the dozens killed in Paris last week are a tragedy, the millions killed across the Middle East and Northern Africa the last few decades are a statistic, except for the interventionists’ “warriors.” The wonder is not the attack, but that the death toll in interventionist nations is so small relative to the death toll in the nations in which they have intervened.

To say that there is some sort of security apart from securing individual rights and liberty is fallacious; the supposed choice between liberty and security is a false choice. There can be no security for a collective when there is no security of rights and liberty for the individual members of that collective. To “safeguard” our security the government could lock each of us in our own steel and concrete cell. The security supposedly safeguarded would be meaningless compared to the complete loss of liberty, but the arrangement would have its advantages. It would demonstrate that security without liberty is not security at all; it’s restriction, confinement, and slavery. And it would demonstrate an important historical truth, the leitmotif of the twentieth century and on present course, the twenty-first: the most dangerous threat to both liberty and security is government.

Evil begets evil. The violence and abridgment of individual rights and liberties inherent in today’s welfare/warfare states lead to more violence, repression, and chaos. The term cycle of violence is both overused and wrong, because the word cycle implies a return to a starting point, when in fact violence and its attendant repression and chaos produce only a downward spiral.

Paris, the bombing of the Russian jet, and terrorist massacres in Beirut and Ankara, all within the last few weeks, make it appear that the descent is accelerating. It may well be, or it may be that the kind of carnage and death tolls that are the daily routine across the Middle East and Northern Africa have forced their way into consciousnesses blissfully ignorant of what their governments have wrought. Either way, the recent incidents will lead to more violence and repression as those governments respond to public cries to “do something,” ensuring a commensurate response from those they are directed against, and more displacement, despair, and death among the innocent.

Individual rights and liberty, and government subordinated to their protection, offer the only prospect of enduring security. The chance of their adoption by the present order is nil. Liberty is never an accident, but the memory of and the longing for it are never extinguished. Downward spirals are not perpetual motion, sooner or later their destructiveness must result in their own destruction. That time may be closer than anyone thinks. When it happens, those who would make liberty more than memory and a longing must stand ready to sacrifice, fight both physical and intellectual battles, and risk all, for that is what liberty has and will always require.

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The Only Issue That Matters by Robert Gore

The most radical idea in human history is that might does not make right. For centuries the contrary tenet has held brutal sway. History book are chronicles of rulers and ruled, conquests, empires, and inevitably, failure and collapse. If people’s histories had been written by the forerunners of Howard Zinn, they would have detailed lives of subjugation and misery. The common folks were fodder for their rulers, who exercised first claim on their lives and property. The only checks on power were the occasional insurrection or military defeat, but the new boss was usually the same as the old boss.

The printing press was probably the most significant invention in human history. At the time (1439), the concept of individual rights was heresy, treason, or both. Its fragile shoots first poked through during the Reformation and grew during the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Europe’s clergy and aristocracy, their entitlements supposedly granted by God, fought the idea ferociously. However, challenges to privilege, along with both intellectual and emotional arguments for individual rights, enjoyed widespread appeal among the subjugated, but increasingly literate (thanks to Gutenberg), masses.

The American Revolution was definitely the most significant revolution in human history. Any freshman political science major can point out where actual practice of the Founding Fathers diverged from the stated ideals and aims of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The breathtaking historical departure was that those ideals and aims had been declared as a basis for the colonists’ rebellion and then incorporated into a charter of government. The design— separation of powers, checks and balances, explicit limitations on the government’s power, explicit protection of individual rights—was the product of elaborate compromises among strongly held passions, but no longer would might make right. Might was to be put in service of rights and subordinated to them.

By 1835, when Alexis de Tocqueville published the first volume of Democracy in America, it was clear to this astute foreign observer that something extraordinary was happening in America. Freedom was breeding a new kind of person—the autonomous and empowered individual, who wanted the government to maintain public order and not do much else. The flow of immigrants from Europe, which would later become a flood from all over the world, recognized an unprecedented opportunity to live their lives and improve their situations almost completely unhindered by the governing power. This was the bedrock of American exceptionalism: freedom and its consequent opportunities. Tocqueville argued that slaves would never be as productive as free workers and that the north’s industrializing economy had already eclipsed the agrarian south’s. Slavery, the most glaring contradiction to our founding ideals, was doomed, and that economic divergence would have ended it if the Civil War had not. As it was, northern industry and transportation systems proved decisive in the war.

Freedom and the economics of freedom—capitalism—produced the wonder of the Industrial Revolution. The forty-eight-year period after the Civil War was stunning testament to what a free people could do. It is no exaggeration to say that science, technology, industry, productive capacity, and the average standard of living advanced more in that period than they had during all the centuries prior. The period came to an abrupt end in 1913, when the ratification of the 16th Amendment gave the government the power to levy income taxes and the establishment of the Federal Reserve led to the gradual imposition of fiat money.

Over the next one hundred-and-one years the freedom that had worked spectacularly well was abandoned for a grab bag of doomed-to-fail political philosophies. The twentieth century was easily history’s bloodiest, with one particularly malignant doctrine—communism—responsible for an estimated 60 to 100 million deaths. The defining feature of the grab bag was reversion to historical type: might once again made right. Individuals are again subservient to the state, whatever its governing philosophy. They pay taxes; fund vote buying, forced redistribution, corruption, and cronyism; obey arbitrary laws and regulations; fight wars; cower in civil-liberties-stripping fear of whatever their leaders say they should be afraid of, and mouth stale pieties that provide those leaders with a veneer of legitimacy.

When your freedom is gone, it doesn’t matter who took it or what “ism” they spout. All you see is the gun. Freedom has one foot in the grave in the US and the eventual coup de grâce will amount to a trivial irrelevance. Perhaps it will be the masters of our police state apparatus going full rogue, some sort of outrage by a group the government labels as terrorist, the threat of an epidemic, or something else, but only the stubbornly myopic do not see the totalitarianism on the horizon. While “freedom” and “liberty” occasionally appear in campaign materials, in actual practice they are kept hidden away, treated as one treats embarrassing photographs from one’s younger days. In the younger days of what used to be our republic (mob rule is the best description of what we have now), an infringement of the people’s liberty could be invoked as an argument against the government’s expansion. Nowadays such invocations are treated as appeals to the lunatic fringe.

The 2014 election has shaped up as a content-free contest between the parties to prove which of them dislikes President Obama and his policies more. The Republicans have the natural advantage and the polls indicate they may pick up a Senate majority. This will leave Washington gridlocked, but nothing checks the government’s nonstop, liberty-destroying usurpation of power. Freedom versus coercion and its corollary—the individual versus the state—have been the leitmotifs of history. Whatever else the candidates blather about, restoring the Founders’ towering legacy—liberty, individual rights, subordinated and limited government—is the only issue that matters. By ignoring it, we ensure that our government will end up on the same scrap heap as all those other doomed-to-fail governments.

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