The Closing Argument for the American Regime

October 30, 2020 Updated: October 30, 2020

Commentary

A remarkable percentage of Americans have already voted early in this critical election, pitting against each other a fundamentally Americanist vision of governance and a fundamentally insurrectionist vision of anarchic mayhem. But with election day impending, and with many yet to officially cast their ballots, it is incumbent upon proud patriots to make closing arguments for the greatness of the American regime and the American way of life—and why both are worth preserving and defending amid their greatest threat since the Civil War.

The United States, as it is often said, has continually strived toward an ever-closer fulfillment of founding-era ideals. We are, and have been, imperfect in attaining them, but those ideals—the inherent dignity and equality of all mankind, popular sovereignty via consent of the governed, constitutionally limited but nonetheless energetic government, justice, meritocracy, order, individual liberty, and the rule of law—are every bit as noble and righteous today as they have ever been. But America is, of course, so much more than its lofty professed ideals; it is a distinct people, forged out of the old industrious Protestant work ethic and centuries of the well-developed English common law, rooted in communitarianism and the centrality of family and other nongovernmental formative institutions. Economically, America is the most astonishing success story in human history.

It is not an embellishment to stipulate that only one of the two major-party presidential candidates this year represents a movement loyal to this basic vision. Over a century removed from the first transformative progressive presidency, that of Woodrow Wilson, and 12 years removed from the famous campaign trail vow of the fourth transformative progressive president, Barack Obama, to “fundamentally transform” America, we have reached the “revolution” phase of the left’s long, steady march. There is simply no other way to assess the modern Democratic Party’s dripping disdain for law enforcement, the raucous abetting and encouraging of looters setting aflame the nation’s urban corridors, the failure to decisively condemn the destructive and murderous rioting that has gripped the nation since late May—most recently in Philadelphia, the very birthplace of the Constitution.

The Antifa-Black Lives Matter tail that now wags the institutional Democratic Party apparatus dog is one that despises America. One does not seek to “fundamentally transform” that which he already loves. One does not casually accuse of “systemic” or “institutional” racism that which he already cherishes, as Joe Biden so often does. One who seeks to vindictively “pack” the Supreme Court—at which the second transformative progressive president, Franklin Roosevelt, failed—or the Senate, the latter by adding new states such as Puerto Rico or Washington, D.C., is not one who values the carefully devised structural features of our extant constitutional order.

No one who appreciates the role our separation of powers plays in securing individual liberty and promoting the common good would ever dream of transmogrifying the Supreme Court into a thinly veiled superlegislature, as the Democrats now threaten to do. Nor would anyone who believes in the rule of law ever flirt with “defund the police”—bellowing civilizational arsonists, as mainstream Democrats now do on a regular basis. Nor would anyone who believes in the Lincolnian primacy of the Declaration of Independence—to say nothing of Genesis 1:27 itself—play footsy with “critical race theory,” “intersectionality,” or “anti-racism,” vogue theories of hierarchical privilege that are utterly anathema to the American creed.

Under a Biden-Harris administration, the Antifa-Black Lives Matter coalition would cause chaos and wreak mass havoc with impunity. Under a Biden-Harris administration, law enforcement would be subdued, violent crime would soar, and radical leftists populating the federal bench would impose fanciful social visions by judicial diktat. Under a Biden-Harris administration, the Chinese Communist Party would reign supreme, Iran would continue its hegemonic march across the Middle East, and ascendant Israel-Arab rapprochement would be imperiled. Under a Biden-Harris administration, a Fortune 500-dictated cheap labor immigration policy would undermine the American worker and risk exacerbating already-pronounced assimilationist woes. Under a Biden-Harris administration, our censorious Big Tech corporate overlords would further encroach upon online speech, digital privacy, and an independent press.

Most importantly, under a Biden-Harris administration, America as generations have known her would be placed under a crosshairs—and not merely the crosshairs of our enemy regimes, which would be emboldened, but the crosshairs of a large domestic faction that is deeply hostile to our own regime and way of life. Abraham Lincoln, prescient as ever, predicted this in his Lyceum Address of 1838: “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”

America survived Southern secession and the Civil War. But if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris prevail in this presidential election, our regime will be tested like no time since.

Josh Hammer, a constitutional attorney by training, is an opinion editor for Newsweek, a podcast contributor with BlazeTV, of counsel at First Liberty Institute, and a syndicated columnist.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author. As a nonpartisan public charity, The Epoch Times does not endorse these statements and takes no position on political candidates.