Empires can normally expect to survive for about ten generations, around 250 years, argued Glubb Pasha persuasively in The Fate of Empires. The imperial republic, as great French philosopher Raymond Aron described the United States, is the West’s great hope, especially in any major war. But the United States is being pushed before our eyes into a premature and possibly accelerating decline from inside by that phenomenon, la trahison des élites, the treason of those elites who have sold out to a hostile Beijing.
The only hope is the return of Donald Trump, or someone like him, as President.
The Ukrainian war has brought home the fact that the West is not just leaderless. In that place there is a sordid familial enterprise, long engaged in the sale of access and influence to foreign plutocrats, led by a patriarch in physical decline. So blatant is the corruption that the patriarch notoriously boasted of threatening to withdraw $1 billion in Obama administration aid unless the Ukrainian President sacked a prosecutor investigating corruption in Burisma Holdings, a large gas producer in which Hunter Biden, without any experience or qualifications, had been given an extremely lucrative directorship.
And as Ukrainian President Zelensky had not found anything improper in his famous telephone call with Trump used as grounds for impeachment, little wonder that Biden would actually admit that a ‘minor incursion’ by Putin would not matter.
On any fair judgement, Donald Trump proved to be the best American president since Ronald Reagan. Trump drew a series of lines in the sand which the Beijing-Moscow-Tehran Axis, Pyongyang, and even Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban knew they must not cross. Pity then that the Supreme Court refused to hear the strong case brought by Texas and seventeen other states that the Constitution had been seriously flouted to deny Donald Trump victory in 2020.
Trump strengthened the armed forces, disciplined Nato free-loaders, made the US energy independent for the first time in 72 years and blocked Germany from becoming energy dependent on Russia. He spread peace across the Middle East, while being that rare President who did not start yet another war. But just as he threw open the southern border that Trump had closed to disease, paedophiles, drug-runners and illegal immigrants, Biden reversed almost everything Trump had achieved. The height of his betrayal was his court-martial-worthy surrender in Afghanistan of American citizens, allies, friends, the latest weapons, the crucial Bagram airbase and of even army dogs left in cages on the tarmac. Biden is a living signal to all enemies that the ideal time to move is during his term.
What is happening today is far worse than the now universally condemned appeasement of Hitler which, at the time, was popular. Within six months of his promising ‘peace in our time’, Chamberlain realised that by occupying what was left of Czechoslovakia, Hitler had been lying.
When, in another six months, Hitler ignored Chamberlain’s ultimatum to withdraw from Poland, Britain and France declared war on 3 September, 1939.
Thus while appeasement was an error of judgement, it was soon corrected. But what we are seeing now in the US is treason. Dominating the Democrat party, infecting much of the media, with significant elements in big business, entertainment, organised sport and even among some Republicans, the elites have been so tempted by Beijing’s wealth and power that they determined that a president who was so effective in bringing the communists to heel had to go.
This was not only in the 2020 election. As Special Counsel John Durham is slowly revealing, this campaign began even before Trump’s inauguration and continued with illicit spying on the Trump White House and with the blatant lie about Russian collusion.
The partisanship of much of the media, mainstream and social, was well and truly demonstrated by the censorship of reports about the Hunter Biden laptop so incriminating that the impact was feared even on the rigged 2020 election. Even in Australia, most media blindly followed American media in constantly ridiculing and attacking Trump. Some in the commentariat were clearly consumed by an extraordinary and irrational hatred equal to that of the ‘never-Trumpers’. In one of a series of Trump-hating columns, Troy Bramston admitted what was obvious, that ‘some of us’ regard Trump as the ‘worst president in US history’.
And when Putin invaded the Ukraine, Paul Kelly inexplicably said this showed Trump to be ‘a moral and strategic catastrophe’. His ‘flirtation’ with Putin meant that he should be banned from standing again. Yet Trump had Putin under control as few American presidents have. It is curious that even now the commentators are not embarrassed by their preferred candidate Biden’s disastrous term.
On this it should be remembered that much of the American media also campaigned vigorously against Ronald Reagan but never as hysterically as many have against Trump. But in doing so, they ignore the way in which Biden is doing his best to reduce and even ruin the United States and the West.
The terrible thing is that until the 2024 elections, there is no one worthy waiting in the wings, from the vice president down.
This is a serious design defect in this ‘imperial republic’. The fault is perhaps with Alexander Hamilton persuading the founders of the advantage of having as executive an elected king based on George III. Not exactly. And as Sir Samuel Griffith argued when the Australian Constitution was being settled, a collective executive under the Crown is better. It doesn’t guarantee a great leader, but it makes it easier to remove a disaster.
But beware. Like so many other institutions it can be misused to remove a great leader, as occurred in Canberra in 2015.
Meanwhile the mid-term this year and the Presidential election in 2024 are crucial to prevent the further early and possibly accelerating decline of the United States. Without that, the future of the West, including Australia, is dark indeed.
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