Twelve years ago, the United States was about to embark on a journey of systemic overhauls envisioned by Barack Obama and his left-wing advisors. In the days leading up to his electoral victory, he announced that the country was “five days from being fundamentally transformed.”
In some ways, he was successful. In others, the next torchbearer would simply have to finish the mission. At the time, Hillary Clinton was the presumptive winner well before the election cycle even began. And, while the actual counter-history will never fully be known, it is not a stretch to imagine a United States permanently ensconced in leftist systems had she emerged victorious. Where would the resistance have come from? Who would have been the voice that rallied and led it?
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For many conservatives and traditionalists, all of this was a real and frightening proposition. The United States was the best country to have ever risen from the flawed and imperfect human condition. It wasn’t utopia, but there is no such thing as an earthly paradise. Moreover, when there were inconsistencies in conflict with the immaculate ideals espoused in the Declaration of Independence, the next generation of Americans corrected for them.
Think about it. In any other era, solely for being black, President Obama would have been a second class citizen at best and slave at worst in the United States (let alone any other time or place). He certainly would have been poor and uneducated. But in late 20th- and early 21st-century America, he went to the most prestigious colleges, practiced law, and rose through the political ranks to become president of the greatest nation on earth. Likewise for Secretary Clinton; a century earlier, she never would have been allowed to cast a vote for president, let alone run for a major party candidate as one. Her prominence would have begun and ended as the wife of a politician.
What better proof exists of positive transformation? One need not look further than the progress made by the United States. Imperfect though the country is, it always strives to live up to its lofty ideals. And it comes one step closer every day.
Despite all of this, America’s greatness could be seen withering, remnants of a bygone era when almost everyone in the country accepted their unique stature in the world who were beneficiaries of freedom and tolerance unlike anywhere else. Democrats as recently as John F. Kennedy believed in law and order, a strong military, the second amendment, freedom of speech and expression, and the virtue of the United States. But, by 2008 a new sheriff – who presumably shoots for the legs – was in town.
No doubt, each election cycle carries the weight of fears, hyperboles, and prognostications. 2020 is no different, nor will future presidential cycles in 2024, 2028, and so on. Without question, our country faces two starkly different visions for the future, but for the time being the 2016 presidential election remains the most critical juncture in American political history. Without Trump’s surprise victory, many would have either accepted the course as unavoidable and sadly many more would have remained unaware of the underlying nefariousness of leftism. In this regard, Trump’s victory four years ago was a watershed moment for that nation as a whole, Democrats and Republicans alike, and especially a section of the American populace that found a voice.
First and foremost, his electoral win completely exposed the entitlement, narcissism, immorality, and at times pure evil, embodied by the New Democrat Party like never before. This has been demonstrated in the media, with its utter complicity in shaping lies about the character of not only Trump, but of Trump supporters. We always knew the elitist media despised conservatives, but now there is proof. The same could be said of tech giants like Facebook and Twitter. Unrestrained, these are platforms for sharing ideas and generating democratic action. Wielded politically, they become tools of an oppressive regime. In recent memory, nothing more starkly reveals the true motives of the left better than the message wholly manifested through the growth of Black Lives Matter. The rise of identity politics and race vengeance is ugly, destructive, and un-American. It is also expected to be bought wholesale and unquestionably, with even deadly consequences for outspoken critics. Obama believed all of this, but he cloaked it behind big words and used car salesman tactics. Now, deranged at their loss of power, the left has removed its mask and left bare its intentions for an American takeover.
Likewise, the Trump victory exposed the many frauds that used to masquerade as Republicans. These people quickly emerged as the Never Trumpers and it was clear that they had grown accustomed to their dance with Democrats. In reality, they were not far apart from Democrats. They always held the same elitist philosophy, they knew they were smarter and more sophisticated than the rubes that voted for them. Political affiliations just gave them power and influence over a different group of people. Imagine, just a few years after they were Republican candidates for president, John McCain voted to uphold Obamacare and Mitt Romney marched in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. None of this reflects real conservatism or embodies conservative values.
The single greatest legacy of the Trump presidency, regardless of whether it plays out in a single term or consecutive terms, though, is that he gave a voice and hope to tens of millions of regular people who long ago resigned themselves to powerlessness and memories of a better America. In 2016, most voters took a flyer on an unknown political entity simply because he was not Hillary. In 2020, more voters than ever are likely to cast a ballot for the incumbent president because he is Trump.
A monumental difference in Trump Republicans is the boldness and fervency they display. Republicans of old reflected their values of agreement, quiescence, and respect. While wonderful for a family unit, it made for a tough selling point on the national political stage. Times are different.
Victory or defeat, these true Americans will not go away silently or stay long in defeat. Indeed, whether it is in a few months or after four more years, long after Trump moves out of the White House, his legacy of leading with conservative – a better word might be traditional American – values will have helped to shape a political reawakening. For too long, Americans have enjoyed unparalleled liberty and opportunity without understanding where it came from or how fragile it is. Witnessing the relentless attacks on Trump and his supporters, in essence, was witnessing attacks on the very liberties and freedoms we have heretofore taken for granted. Better than ever, conservatives understand they must inculcate the values of liberty, freedom, capitalism, individualism, and independence.
Moving forward, traditional American values, in order to be preserved, need to be both taught and defended. Not since Reagan have our values been so clearly articulated and acted upon. As Reagan said, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Without a Trump victory in 2016, many Americans might never have had an opportunity to awaken to the reality that the freedoms and opportunities we cherish (and yes, historically have taken for granted) could easily be swept up in a leftist wave that silences opposing viewpoints and demonizes goodness and decency.
Today, or in the days and weeks ahead in this contested election, conservatives may or may not look upon an electoral map with favored results. However, they can rest assured knowing that the battle for American values is renewed. A Trump victory will not put an end to the chaos and lawlessness in the streets. By that same measure, nor will a Biden/Harris victory put an end to the momentum achieved by the indefatigable paragon of conservatism.
But thanks to Donald Trump, America will prevail.