Why did Hillary Clinton lose? Why, as she angrily screamed, wasn’t she winning by 50 points? Some have suggested it was because people saw her as far more concerned about men using women’s bathrooms than about jobs. Perhaps it was her–and the self-imagined elites that supported her–public and private stances on every issue. Publically, we were going to be stronger together, and Hillary was the champion of the middle class. Privately, as Wikileaks and other e-mail revelations proved, Clinton and her minions had nothing but haughty and unjustified disdain for the little people that work for a living. Perhaps it was all of Clinton’s lies, lies delivered so often, easily and badly, and so easily proved to be lies. Or perhaps, ultimately, Americans decided they wanted the opposite of whatever Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Democrats, and the media (I know; I repeat myself) said or did, and whatever the opposite choice was, it couldn’t possibly be as bad.
Let me, for just a little while Gentle readers, suggest the underlying reason was more philosophical, more fundamental to who and what America–and Americans–are. Most people don’t normally think in those terms, but their feelings, particular their anger at people they know don’t respect them, their unalienable rights, and the Constitution, are unquestionably present. Fueled by this subliminal understanding, a fundamental understanding built into our representative republic, Americans finally had enough, and they awakened.
When Benjamin Franklin was asked, at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention what kind of government the Founders had given America, he is said to have replied: “a republic; if you can keep it.” Many of the Founders, keen observers of human nature, didn’t expect the republic to last more than a few decades.
The trip wire, a fundamental way for Americans to determine when America is on the path to losing the republic, is the tyranny of the majority. Actually, the trip wire is the tyranny of the minority. These seeming opposites are far more closely related than most understand, but I’ll get to that after a brief explanation.
The term “tyranny of the majority,” is generally thought to have originated with John Adams in 1788. Thereafter, it appeared in The Federalist, and Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. The term describes one of the inherent weaknesses of a more or less “pure” democracy, which is one of the reasons the Founders adopted our representative republic. I seldom use Wikipedia because it can be quite unreliable, however, this definition reasonably reflects more scholarly sources:
The phrase ‘tyranny of the majority’ (or ‘tyranny of the masses’) is used in discussing an inherent weakness in the system of pure direct democracy and majority rule. Tyranny of the majority involves a scenario in which a majority of an electorate places its own interests above, and at the expense and to the detriment of, those in the minority, where by that detriment constitutes active oppression comparable to that of a tyrant or despot.
Potentially, through tyranny of the majority, a disliked or unfavored ethnic, religious, political, or racial group may be deliberately targeted for oppression by the majority element acting through the democratic process.
The principle is simple: government, whether voted into office with a majority of 51% or 91%, may not ignore protections afforded citizens by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The individual citizen is sovereign; it is his consent that gives government the entirety of its powers. It may not deprive the 49%, or even the 9% minority of their rights. Were this not so, the republic must fail because the minority would rightly understand there to be no point in obeying the law, respecting the rights of others, and waiting patiently for the next election, because it would probably never come. Tyrants don’t hold elections, and under them, there is no rule of law. Law is whatever the tyrant proclaims it to be.
Unfortunately, it is possible for a potential despot to ignore the checks and balances built into our system of government, and in so doing, upset the rule of law, ignore the Constitution, and trample the rights of citizens. Many have argued, and with considerable supportive evidence, that President Obama gradually imposed a soft tyranny, aided and abetted by a media that was not only utterly lacking in skepticism about his character, intentions and policies, but actively covered for his unconstitutional, even illegal, actions. Mr. Obama’s imposition of soft tyranny was also aided and abetted first by a Congress entirely controlled by Democrats (for the first two years of his reign), and later by Republicans (for six years). In the former case, Democrats were more than happy to lie to, and to impose their will on, the nation regardless of the Constitution (think Obamacare). In the latter, Republicans lacked the will to assert their Constitutionally mandated powers. Some, no doubt, were comfortable with gradual dissolution of the Republic as long as they would have a hand in ruling the rubble. This led to the runaway abuse of the rights of citizens by unaccountable bureaucrats and functionaries in the many federal alphabet agencies, such as the IRS, BATFE, EPA, VA, DOJ, etc.
But it was not the tyranny of the majority that led to Clinton’s electoral defeat. In the modern era, presidents have not always enjoyed a clear popular vote and Electoral College margin of victory–an unquestionable “majority.” And regardless of those numbers, the red/blue electoral map tells a more compelling, and probably more accurate, story of American perceptions.
One might argue that Obamacare, which has always been spectacularly unpopular with the public, and which, knowingly built on lies and unsound principles, was designed to fail. The better to trick Americans into accepting a single payer system, an example of the tyranny of the majority, because it affects–negatively and unconstitutionally–the entire nation. However, the more powerful argument, and the true tripwire, was the tyranny of the minority.
In this case, Mr. Obama used the government to pick winners and losers, and to ignore the principle of individual sovereignty. No right, unalienable or otherwise, implicates the rights of others. The right to free speech does not force the local TV station to provide its resources to anyone that demands it. The right to keep and bear arms does not force anyone to pay for the arms and accessories each citizen might desire. The right to freedom of religion does not force government to build a church on demand. My rights do not implicate your conscience, beliefs, or resources. When they do, one is not living in a representative republic.
When Mr. Obama, and his political allies–including those who saw a means to individual aggrandizement and enrichment in supporting him and his policies–began to identify and deify certain victim groups, the tyranny of the minority began and spread like wildfire, and in so doing, badly damaged the rule of law, and forced individual Americans– entire classes of Americans–to unwillingly give their resources and beliefs to causes abhorrent to them.
It was, of course, necessary to fundamentally transform federal agencies, by hiring radical leftists to run the DOJ’s civil and voting rights divisions, by corrupting the DOJ and the FBI, by seating hundreds of equally radical leftists, people who worship the “living Constitution” model, on the federal bench across the country. Mr. Obama weaponized the IRS, ensured rampant mismanagement at the VA, resulting in the deaths of innumerable veterans, and the waste and theft of millions. He allowed Hillary Clinton to turn the State Department into a pay for play machine for the Clintons, and allowed the nation’s secrets to be exposed to cover her crimes. The EPA was unleashed to harass and ruin innumerable Americans without due process, the military decimated and turned into a social experimentation laboratory, and the list goes on and on.
Thus were entire groups of Americans denied the ability to raise funds and to spread a conservative message in elections. Many were harassed and fined by the agents of unrelated government agencies. Thus was the property of innumerable Americans seized, fines levied without due process, and environmental crimes committed by the EPA, which would have landed anyone else in prison.
Thus were bakers, photographers, ministers and florists forced to provide their skills and assets in support of gay marriages. These were people who had no animosity toward LGBTQWERTY Americans, and who were content to leave them alone, but were forced, often by being fined, and/or by threat of prison and the loss of their businesses, to participate in matters with which they fundamentally, often religiously, disagreed. Many did lose their businesses, their means to support their families, in favor of the tender and angry sensibilities of people who could easily have obtained the goods and services they demanded elsewhere.
Numerous attempts were made by Mr. Obama to damage the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Most failed, but were adopted anyway by executive order. These attempts, and the rhetoric of Mr. Obama and other Democrats, disturbed Americans who rightfully see such things as the primary steps necessary to impose a hard tyranny, a true tyranny of the majority. No despot has ever taken power without first disarming those to be ruled.
The support of the Federal government for BLM anarchists and criminals, Mr. Obama’s active support of black rioters and looters, his racist support of all manner of race baiters and charlatans, and his attacks on the police, convinced tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of Americans that he had abandoned the rule of law and was taking the side of racist criminals. In eight years, he managed to turn back decades of racial progress, and life for, and the prospects of, Black Americans have significantly worsened under his rule, particularly in large cities controlled by Democrats for decades.
Unrestrained Immigration was another provocation, but not because Americans hate immigrants, are racist, hate foreigners, or any of the vile lies told by Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, the press, and illegal immigration “advocates.” Illegal immigration was rightly seen as part and parcel of a concerted effort to destroy the rule of law, to import a permanent Democrat voting majority and to provide more equal justice for some–government favored victim groups. When government not only ignores its duty to faithfully enforce the law, and in this case, its foremost duty to protect the American people, when the law is not only ignored, but purposely violated, how can anyone believe the law will not be used against them? How can anyone believe their rights under the law will be respected?
But perhaps the most outrageous example, the example that turned the tide, was the government’s, and the court’s lionization of transgender preferences. To please individuals, the DOJ and other agencies descended on schools, churches and businesses, demanding that men–people who possess the secondary sexual characteristics of men–be given unrestricted access to the bathrooms and shower rooms of women, including female children.
Democrats don’t understand this, but a more aggressive and enraging insult to men is hard to imagine. Pajama boys and other metrosexuals may not believe in, or be capable of, protecting women and female children. They may see allowing transsexuals in women’s facilities as a great, progressive/social accomplishment, and the rights of, and danger toward, women and girls be damned. The American men of flyover country see it as a sacred duty, and an honor. Anyone that fails in this duty is not a man at all. Anyone in any way harming women or girls would be very fortunate indeed to leave that bathroom alive should an actual man be involved, yet such men would prefer such a situation never occur, and have a ready solution: keep men out of women’s bathrooms, or let them have their own special bathroom.
Democrats too misunderstand women. Rudyard Kipling, in The Female of the Species, wrote:
WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
They were, and are, no less concerned for their welfare, and that of their daughters, than men. The number of women voting for Donald Trump may not be such a mystery after all.
It is hard to imagine a more egregious example of the tyranny of the minority. Here was a tiny percentage of the population, yet the Federal Government was willing, indeed, anxious, to champion not the rights, but the desires, of a class of people desperate to not only be allowed to do as they please in public, but to force everyone else to accept it, to act as though it were normal, and even to refrain from expressing or even thinking disapproval. Separate facilities were not sufficient, oh no. Such people demanded everyone think of them as they do, though such is clearly impossible, and forces others to surrender their resources, beliefs and rights.
Americans saw Clinton, who promised to continue Barack Obama’s policies, even to build on them and to go further than he did, as a fundamental harbinger of even greater tyranny of the minorities. They witnessed lie after lie, yet believed her when she promised to make illegal immigration even worse, and promised to work every day to dismantle the Second Amendment. They also believed her when she promised to dismantle the First Amendment to suppress voices critical of her actions and policies. And they saw a Supreme Court, not peopled by radical leftists, people with no respect for the Constitution, people willing to turn the law into pretzels to justify progressive policies above all. This would have been the ultimate betrayal of the rule of law, one of the final building blocks necessary for a complete and lasting tyranny of the minorities.
Some 70% of Americans know the press to be liars and utterly untrustworthy. Current attempts by the press to hysterically claim Donald Trump might do this or that are therefore farcical. Yet they knew the press would support a tyranny of the minority. The press would surely lie about it, hide its crimes, and hide the misery of law-abiding Americans who wanted nothing more than to have their rights respected, to live peaceably with their neighbors and to be left alone.
It is this, not racism, not xenophobia, not misogyny, not homophobia, not any “ism” or other suffix, Americans want today. When they saw America losing the republic, perhaps permanently, at long last they awakened. Democrats, unable to learn from history, believing honest, law-abiding Americans would always simply take it, were confronted with the reality that worried the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, when Americans became a previously sleeping giant, awakened and filled with a terrible resolve.
Believing women would vote for any woman simply because she is a woman, particularly when that woman threatens all women and their daughters, is something only Democrats could embrace:
So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.
And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.
Americans, fundamentally decent, tolerant and accepting people, will endure much. They believe deeply in American–not progressive–ideals. When Barack Obama says he will fight for American ideals and values in his post presidency, he speaks for himself, not Americans. They are slow to anger, but when the provocation is sufficiently great, their wrath is inevitable.
Democrats whine about their loss. Most are still in denial. They would be wise to understand the real reasons for their ignominious and unforeseen defeat, and wiser still to understand that should they ever go beyond this provocation, they’ll face consequences far greater than an electoral routing. That, too, is built into the foundations of our representative Republic, for the moment, Americans have chosen to keep, and to rebuild–peacefully.