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2020–Politics in Transition

September 16, 2020

Republicans who entered the lists in 2016 for the office of President of the United States were men and one woman of considerable accomplishments. Except for medical doctor and surgeon, Ben Carson, corporate executive, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump, all the candidates for President were capable politicians.

They aspired to succeed George W. Bush who epitomized the “Internationalist” movement that Woodrow Wilson founded when he sent American troops to fight in the European war that we now refer to as “the first World War.”

Please read my 2015 study, The Conservative Rebellion, to understand how Woodrow Wilson’s war and the Progressive movement were true and faithful believers in a political religion of “democracy.” A first principle of democracy as political religion is belief in a system of international cooperation that aspires to supersede “balance of power” as the basis of political order. 

The “League of Nations,” championed by Woodrow Wilson, was ahead of its time, but thanks to demands rooted in a Great Depression and the political religion of four-term President Franklin Roosevelt, this Internationalist ideology prevailed.

All political currents have a limited lifespan—eternal life is a principle applicable to the human spirit—not the nationalism of Donald Trump. Donald Trump ’s victory in 2016 merely spelled the beginning of the end of Woodrow Wilson’s political “Internationalist” religion.

We are witness only to a beginning of a process of return to a reality-directed international order.

Donald Trump’s limited skills and experience in practical politics created that beginning and is likely not to endure.  Without a cohort of political appointees who share his views this new nationalism is all-Trump. Indeed, former appointee Josh Bolton could find no principles of political philosophy in Donald Trump, though in proclaiming that in writing, Bolton is under investigation for breech of regulations governing classified information.

“Tit for tat” is a principle of balance of power politics so that, at least, is one principle that Donald Trump holds true.

In ordinary times, Vice President Mike Pence is a logical successor to President Trump. But the election of Donald Trump was evidence that our Two-Party system is undergoing realignment. We await the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election before we have a clearer view of our immediate future.

Do we follow Spain to civil war and military rule, continuation of the “Internationalist” rule or something new and challenging, but salutary?

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