How do the current crisis period and the current presidential election impact each other?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” (attributed to Margaret Mead)
Insofar as I have been able to research, historical consensus is that the American Revolution began with the Stamp Act Congress (October 1765), and ended with the ratification of the Bill of Rights (December 1791). This twenty-six year effort to secure independence from the British Crown, and establish a free and independent republic (America’s original “crisis period”), was unique in the entirety of human history. By this I mean that, rather than simply swapping one set of rules for another, or one set of political leaders for another, the patriots of America’s founding generations created, from scratch, a nation dedicated to and based upon the proposition that every man and woman stands equal before the law, and has a God-given and inalienable right to a life of Liberty and Justice. Yet, the sum total of soldiers, sailors, statesmen, sages, and shopkeepers who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the cause that established the freest and most prosperous nation ever known – made most of the sacrifices, did most of the work, and made nearly all of the major decisions – amounted to merely three percent of the total American population of the time . . . evidence for the credibility of what historians refer to as “The Law of The Vital Few.”
In contemporary America, every economic, social, and political trend seems to indicate that the United States are already in the fourth crisis period of our national history. Given this, the question seems fair to ask: Where now are the sages, statesmen, investors, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs . . . and even leaders . . . who will guide us through not only this crisis, but also the austerity and rebuilding that will surely be needed once the crisis has passed? More importantly, would we know how to recognize such producers and leaders when they arrive?
Somewhere in my storage shed, I have an accordion folder full or nearly so of reading material and research notes on the Strauss–Howe Generational Theory describing the cyclical concept of history’s dynamics. The core of the model is that history repeats itself (types of events, not specifics) in saecula lasting typically seventy to ninety years in duration. Each of the four “turning periods” within a given saeculum occurs in the same order, and each of the four generational archetypes “come of age” (their productive prime) also in the same order. Further, each archetype is in its productive prime during the specific turning period with which that archetype is associated. I’ll refer my more ambitious readers to The Fourth Turning as a useful starting point for further research, but for this discussion I’m going to focus on where we Americans are today with regard to historical cycles, and what this potentially means for liberty, justice, and prosperity going forward.
The global financial implosion (09 Aug 2007 to 08 Oct 2008) is now generally regarded as the catalyst marking the end of the postmodernism unraveling, and the beginning of a crisis period that has Americans now facing down the sobering twin realities of unpaid debts and unaddressed challenges. Both of these realities are residual from the free-agent individualism, pragmatic cynicism, edgy self-testing, and frenzied carnival culture of the Long Boom & Culture Wars, when the Boom Generation was our nation’s social, political, economic, and military leadership, and Generation X was in its productive prime. Yet, while the fact of the catalyst event was statistically unavoidable, the social, political, and economic leaders of every country affected by the crisis are individually politically, personally, and morally fully responsible for their actions during the implosion and its immediate aftermath.
By “statistically unavoidable” I mean that, according to the Strauss-Howe model, it was statistically all-but-given that much of the industrialized world would experience a crisis-initiating catalyst event sometime during the 2006 – 2010 timeframe, the only questions being of when the catalyst would occur, and what form the crisis would take. And this point cannot be stressed enough, because for all of the noble intentions of the American Tea Party Movement, the crisis that they admonished to avoid was already in progress at the movement’s zenith, and remains ongoing today. Advocating support of or opposition to government policy initiatives or certain politicians is quite the worthless endeavor if the intent is to avoid a crisis that is already upon us. However, engaging our social, economic, and political leadership to chart an appropriate policy course makes perfect sense if the intent is to successfully survive the current crisis turning.
As with the other turning periods, crisis turnings have their own unique set of social, economic, and political characteristics, with which we would be wise to familiarize ourselves:
- Social, economic, and political institutions are torn down and rebuilt from the ground up – always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival.
- The availability of social order is low, but the demand for such order is high, and the very nature and purpose of the national identity – which now hangs in the balance – will ultimately be redefined.
- Civic authority and civic engagement revives, cultural expression finds a community purpose, and people begin to locate themselves as members of a larger group.
- Families will tend to strengthen (and parents will tend to be overprotective of their children), the gap between gender roles will tend to widen, and the greatest social motivator will be that of stigma.
- The national ideals debated during the recent unraveling will now be championed, the national culture will necessarily become practical, and the national worldview will simplify.
- A steadily increasing national anxiety, hatred, and desire for vengeance, with regard to a perceived enemy nation or society, may find outlet in a state of war characterized by a total national commitment to the war effort.
. . . and, in my opinion, we ought to improve our understanding of crisis turnings generally, so that we can apply that understanding to this crisis turning specifically, and adjust our social, political, and economic engagement accordingly.
To be clear, when I cited a “state of war,” I wasn’t referring to some ongoing military action like the current “global war on terror,” or some socio-political contrivance being billed as a “war” on or for something or another. No, when I said “state of war,” I am referring to the specific legal definition of war, which requires:
a recognized state of publicly hostile forcible contention between nations, either de facto or officially declared, under the full authority of the respective sovereign governments – up to and including actual armed hostilities – and usually characterized by operation of the rules of war
. . . in other words, two opposing national governments officially at loggerheads. Now, that’s not to say that one of the current running skirmishes or competing terrorist activities won’t ultimately be the powder keg that erupts into a global total war, only that such a state of war doesn’t exist currently.
Among the lengthy list of indicators that normally distinguish a crisis war from a non-crisis war, are two historically primary criteria, clearly marking a crisis-style state of total war, to which the rest of the list is secondary:
- a violent, explosive climax involving the death and/or displacement of large segments of the enemy population (often with concurrent risk to friendly population), and a clear end to active hostilities immediately followed by an en masse military demobilization
- permanent, overarching historical consequences that will engrave the war into the public consciousness in such a way that it will be remembered unto generations not yet born, and will cause the imposition of conditions and acceptance of compromises necessary to ensure that such a war will not happen again
. . . whereas, by contrast, non-crisis wars typically involve unclear conclusions, are quickly forgotten except in history texts, and if post-war conditions are imposed, then they will be punitive in nature, rather than preventive.
There is no guarantee that the current crisis turning will be accompanied by a crisis-level state of war, but there are plenty of powder kegs lying about, and only one of them needs to be detonated to make a big mess of things. Historical models suggest that, should this happen, the spark that started the fuse will have been ignited about seven to ten years prior to the triggering event, would have been of little or unrelated importance at the time, and will have occurred as a direct but unforeseen consequence of the response to the catalytical event initiating the crisis turning, and wouldn’t necessarily be western-centric in origin. The historical-intelligence model with which I am most familiar suggests that the framework for the triggering event was already in place as early as late-2004 / early-2005 (around the time that the maternity wards of industrialized nations were seeing the final stragglers of the Millennial Generation and the initial vanguard of the Homeland Generation), and that the pre-war fuse was lit sometime in the 2009 – 2012 timeframe. According to the model’s timing, that means that the excrement will make physical contact with the air current distribution machine circa 2019, give or take a couple of years.
And that brings us to our other problem.
In his book, FreedomShift, Oliver DeMille identified two important “improvements” of America’s Industrial Age, that now stand as a social, political, and economic threat to our republic’s continued existence as a sovereign nation. The first was modifying the commercial code to constrain opportunities for investors and investment, rather than simply offering legal recourse and protections against criminal activity. The second was reforming the education system to emphasize practical and relevant employment training over quality entrepreneurship education. Both of these changes are logical corollaries of the systematized mindset characterizing industrial modernism, which defines professional success as simply becoming a better quality employee. Yet, the subsequent promotion and reinforcement of these changes via public policy served to establish and entrench a caste system within America, where the aristocratic elite enjoy every advantage, opportunity, and luxury, while the proletarian commoners have little interest beyond paycheck-to-paycheck survival.
This is in stark and direct contrast to the true free-market economy devised by America’s founders, which emphasized economic and social entrepreneurship, genuine high-concept and high-touch leadership, and a producer-oriented education centered on personalized and individualized mentoring. Despite their idealistic rhetoric to the contrary, neither big business, nor big education, nor big government have any vested interest in restoring this founding framework, and little incentive to deconstruct the current system. Anyone looking toward such institutions will be sorely disappointed. The core problem, according to DeMille, is that a society devoid of a network of free-market producers cannot long preserve liberty and justice, and will eventually altogether cease to exist as a free people (which adds an extra weight to the current crisis period).
Any nation that is free and prosperous will have a large and robust network of producers (typically 20% to 25% of the adult population). These are people who think, speak, and act from the perspective of abundance, who seize the initiative and boldly venture calculated risks, who effectively plan and execute their vision, and who add economic and social value with everything they do. (Note that people who call themselves “producers,” just because they’re productive, are absolutely NOT the kind of producers that we’re discussing here.) DeMille identifies and defines six distinct types of such producers, described thus:
- Gurus / Sages: These are the philosophers and thought-leaders who research and master the true moral imperatives and core principles of liberty, justice, and prosperity, and then explain these principles in a clearly understandable manner, so that the other types of producers can apply and act upon these truths. (Gurus often serve as mentors to the other types of producers.) The principles that gurus and sages teach are their unique contribution to a free and prosperous society, and faithful pastors and teachers absolutely fit into this category.
- Statesmen: These are the experienced and respected diplomatic, military, and political leaders, well-versed in the art and principles of governance, admired for their wisdom and skill, who leverage the principles taught by the gurus and sages to establish, perpetuate, and expand freedom wherever they have influence (which is their unique contribution to a free and prosperous society). This is in direct and diametrical contrast to mere politicians and bureaucrats, who are worse than non-producers (because they actually inhibit and/or plunder value from society).
- Investors: These are knowledgeable and experienced businesspeople, who have wisely spent their productive years developing asset-based, debt-free personal wealth. Operating within the framework of freedom provided by the statesmen, and heeding the principles taught by the gurus and sages, the capital that investors provide to entrepreneurial start-ups is their unique contribution to a free and prosperous society. Investors also often serve as business mentors to the entrepreneurs that they bankroll (because successful business owners always provide a much better return on investment).
- Entrepreneurs: These are the creator-builders who are empowered by investors and statesmen to think innovatively and then perform the heavy lifting needed to transform those innovations into lasting results (prosperity being their unique contribution to a free and prosperous society). However, true abundance-minded entrepreneurs also understand that economic value is added to society only when their creations and constructions reinforce morality, freedom, and personal dignity (in direct contrast to the peddlers of addiction and filth, who actually remove value from society), which means that gurus and sages are also critical to true entrepreneurship.
- Intrapreneurs: These are entrepreneurial-minded employees within established companies who work with an abundance mindset, who believe in deep accountability, refuse to assign blame, don’t accept failure, and view their employment as a means to not only serve their customers, but to also benefit society at large. The quality workmanship and leadership that intrapreneurs provide to successful companies is their unique contribution to a free and prosperous society.
- Parents: At the most basic level, effective parents are a specialized type of sage or guru, the first teachers and mentors that children ever know. A husband and wife, in the context of a natural family, also provide their children with daily examples of effective statesmanship, investment, entrepreneurship, and intrapreneurship, thus teaching abundance-minded producership by daily example. The self-sacrificing love and shepherding care provided by effective parents is their unique contribution to a free and prosperous society. (The same is true for mentor-minded grandparents and other family elders.)
. . . and in any truly free, prosperous, and successful nation, society, or civilization, all six types of producers will be present, each providing their unique value in a networked synergy that exponentially improves conditions for everyone (including non-producers).
The problem, as DeMille and others observe, is that America’s current social norms and public policies operate in diametric opposition to the maintenance of a free society. A progressively dumbed-down, conveyor belt education system (churning out three consecutive generations of one-size-fits-all wage slaves), a progressively intrusive taxation, regulatory, and fiscal structure (actively interfering with personal wealth creation), and a progressively permissive social culture (expanded through either popular entertainment or judicial fiat), all openly undermine both entrepreneurial productivity and the natural family. Not once in all of human history has any nation done this and long remained a free people.
During the three previous crisis periods in America, we have had a core of entrepreneurial producers who would promote freedom and rebuild our nation not only during the crisis, but also during the “austerity and rebuilding turning” that naturally followed every crisis. However, with a current political, social, and economic climate that demagogues entrepreneurial success, devalues the natural family, inspires moral decay and the erosion of opportunity, and encourages our industrial base to seek friendlier shores, the concern that the United States have this time slid too far isn’t without merit.
The good news is that the solution, while not easy, is actually fairly simple. While small business ventures are still an option, while the natural family can still be formed, and yes, while the Scriptures may still be faithfully taught, then the spirit of entrepreneurial productivity and strengthened family relationships will still be embraced by liberty-minded people. This is the renaissance that America desperately needs.
Now, let me make one distinction clear: In the previous section, I mentioned that, in order to maintain freedom and prosperity, between one-fifth to one-fourth of the adult population needs to be engaged in the work of entrepreneurial productivity. However, as I mentioned in the introduction, actually driving major social, political, and economic shifts requires the moral courage and tenacious influence of an even smaller number . . . only three out of every hundred. But make no mistake, the necessary effort to entrench the necessary paradigm change never happens quickly. As I mentioned in the introduction, the American Revolution required just over 26 years to accomplish. More recently, though I am personally loathe to cite the example, the effort to legalize ghey marriage nationwide – in violation of the constitutional separation of powers, and against the explicit wishes of voters in 31 or so states – required almost exactly 46 years of work (from the Stonewall riots to the Obergefell usurpation), yet at no point involved more than 4% of the adult population actively driving the social and political shift.
The sobering point is that The Law of The Vital Few works both ways.
Now, in both of those examples, and every other similar example we might cite, the activists and insurgents who effected the social, political, and/or economic change didn’t accomplish their work on their own. To be sure, such motivated people are quite capable of considerable autonomous initiative, but no such movement has ever lasted for very long without operational guidance and logistical support from local and regional leadership. Such leaders are roughly one out of every ten producers normally (one out of every ten activists within a movement), are successful in at least one form of producership, are familiar with at least two of the six management styles, are accomplished in at least one of the five leadership specialties, and are solid in at least one of the three leadership skill sets. Such leaders naturally develop from within the ranks of a movement (or from within a network of producers), and will always be identifiable as those who, according to Peter Drucker, are doing that which real leaders naturally do.
However, ordinary operational, logistical, and even executive leadership is wholly inadequate to producing the disruptive innovations necessary to displace established institutions and entrench long-term paradigm reformations. The leadership required to organize tectonic social, political, and economic shifts into durable and lasting results is so rare that, while the activists and ordinary leaders of a movement collectively amount to three people out of every hundred, the transformational change agents necessary to lead the ultimate success of such a movement occurs only three times out of every million.
Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille, in their book LeaderShift, point out that transformational leaders are almost always outliers (from outside the expected areas of credentialed expertise) who have little use for credentials and other paper accomplishments, because to them only performance and actual results are relevant. Such change agents possess known results in all six forms of producership, are fluent in all six management styles, are credible in all five leadership specialties (mastering at least two of them), and are excellent all three leadership skill sets. Unlike ordinary leaders, transformational leaders will rarely originate within a movement (it would require the networked effort of a thousand ordinary leaders to internally produce one transformational leader), but rather are attracted to a movement because they care about its principles and goals, and are invited to participate once their interest is known (invited because of their known expertise as leaders).
According to Woodward and DeMille, the key value of a transformational leader is: (a) their ability to neutralize Sturgeon’s Revelation within an organization, which short-circuits the entire Five Laws of Decline model, and (b) their ability to inspire everyone within a movement to exponentially increase their commitment and effort toward the movement’s goals. A key social habit of transformational leaders is their clear lack of interest in recognition or reward, as well as a lack of need to impress anyone. Such leaders are well aware that people must “buy in” to the leader first, before buying into the leader’s vision, and are therefore quite content to walk away when the movement or organization no longer requires their services.
And, yes, as with The Law of The Vital Few, transformational leadership works both ways.
Because of Amendment XXII, the People of the United States are required this year to replace the community organizer currently occupying the Executive Residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, with a new national executive. The presumptive nominee of the political party of the current president has promised to not only pick up where he leaves off, but to also complete the progressive checklist, which will ultimately dismantle America from within. She is a member of this saeculum’s “prophet generation,” and is a direct disciple of an ideologue so radical that he dedicated his philosophical legacy to Lucifer himself. Given that the current president is a student of another such disciple, the analogy of the apprentice preparing the way for the master isn’t inappropriate.
The presumptive nominee of the other major political party is also a member of that same generation of idealists. However, unlike his opponent, who is a consummate political insider, the man who promises to make America great again is, by every reasonable measure, the ultimate credible outsider, who has spent his entire adult life in precisely the sort of entrepreneurial productivity that the rest of us ought to be engaged in. By every account, this man seems to clearly understand not only the details of the current crisis, but also how we got here, and what we need to do to get out of it. With or without a war, the keys to the United States surviving this crisis are: (a) renegotiating every international trade deal in which we’re currently getting shafted, (b) strengthening our borders and rethinking our immigration policies, (c) actively encouraging the repatriation of our industrial manufacturing base, and (d) rebuilding our active and reserve military strength, including better treatment of our veterans . . . among others. And this man promises to take on that to-do list as a first-term priority.
However, operating on the assumption (please, Jesus, make it so) that Donald Trump gets elected as the 45th President of the United States, he will run into a similar problem. By this, I mean that after an eight-year tenure (assuming reelection in 2020), unless we see a repeal or modification of Amendment XXII, Mr. Trump will leave office in January 2025, with between two to five years yet to endure in the current crisis turning. And it is this basic reality, thinking at least eight years ahead, that I believe is an unspoken key factor in Trump’s cognitive calculus regarding his 2016 running mate.
Designed-to-distract media leaks notwithstanding, The Donald has been uncharacteristically mum regarding who’s actually on his short list for this consideration (assuming that list even has more than one name on it), but based on various public statements, we do know that the running mate will meet these criteria:
- familiar with legislative constructs, and knows how to get things done in Congress
- absolutely qualified to succeed to the presidency on Day One . . . if that should be necessary
- completely onboard with every plank of Trump’s policy platform (specifically including renegotiating trade deals, securing the border and rethinking immigration policy, repatriating our industrial base, and rebuilding our military)
- every bit the outsider to the system that Trump is (and likely just as despised by the professional political establishment)
. . . and, again, I believe that a key unspoken consideration is that the next eight years will be this person’s apprenticeship, with the clear goal of running in 2024 to fill the vacancy. I also believe that this consideration overrides every shred of conventional wisdom regarding how a running mate should be selected (because Amendment XII is the only legally-binding criteria).
Precisely whom Trump announces as his running mate will send one of two specific signals, dependent entirely upon the person’s year of birth:
- If the running mate is a member of the Silent Generation (such as Dick Cheney or Ron Paul) or an older Boomer (born in or earlier than 1953, such as Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, or Jeff Sessions), then he or she is merely a first-term place holder, because the intended successor isn’t yet ready. (Said “intended successor” – almost certainly a Gen-Xer – will then be found in a key gubernatorial, senatorial, or cabinet position, being quietly but deliberately prepared to seamlessly take over the second chair for the 2020 campaign.)
- If, however, the running mate is a member of Generation X (such as Chris Christie, Rand Paul, or Allen West) or a younger Boomer (born in or later than 1954, such as Scott Brown, Mike Huckabee, or Mike Pence), then he or she is in fact Trump’s intended successor, who will spend the next eight years as his direct understudy, being thoroughly schooled in every detail necessary to ensure a seamless transition in the immediate aftermath of the 2024 election, so as to successfully conclude this crisis turning and set a proper foundation for the austerity and rebuilding turning that should follow.
. . . and, regardless of which of those two scenarios is ultimately so, the four aforementioned criteria will still absolutely apply, because Trump is, as usual, always playing the long game, always thinking eight steps ahead of his opposition, and will not select a running mate who doesn’t absolutely meet all of his criteria in detail.
So, here we are, roughly nine years into a global-scale crisis that has yet another ten to thirteen years before it completely plays out. In America . . .
- Our taxation and regulatory structure, coupled with disadvantageous trade deals, has encouraged our investment capital and industrial base to expatriate to friendlier markets, leaving behind a service-based economy with “inexpensive durable goods” that barely last five years, and key consumable commodities (food, fuel, utilities) that retail at double or triple what they did a couple of decades ago. A parallel result has been the entrenchment of a caste system, wherein four of every five adult American adults is living in the financial subjugation of long-term indebtedness (where not the financial slavery of having zero net worth whatsoever).
- Our core currency is dressed-up monetized debt, and its critical relevance is that it remains the reference measure of value for the global petroleum market. However, because our national government has been operating without a budget for nine years and counting, our national debt has more than doubled during that same time span, and most of that new debt is held by our rivals within that same market (many of whom don’t like us all that much).
- Our armed forces have been systematically demoralized and dismantled. (By some reports, our military has been downsized to pre-WW2 levels, and overall training and readiness is the worst since post-Vietnam.) Also, our national influence overseas has been deliberately rolled back in such a way as to actively embolden our adversaries and actively undermine our allies.
- Our laissez faire immigration policies (including ridiculously porous border control), coupled with an overly generous social welfare system, has resulted in scattered pockets of foreign cultures within our own borders, consisting of people who are conditioned to expect taxpayer-funded freebies, with no incentive to accomplish at least a basic assimilation into American culture.
- Our lowest-common-denominator public education system and bread-and-circuses popular entertainment culture has systematically undermined both the natural family and entrepreneurial productivity, and has produced a general population of obedient wage slaves (where not an expanded moocher class) who are more interested in the latest consumption-based fad than they are in sitting around their kitchen tables and applying a modicum of critical thinking and intellectual honesty to all of this.
. . . all of which is eerily similar to the “tipping point phase” of the subversion strategy that Yuri Bezmenov described to G. Edward Griffin in a 1984 interview.
In that interview, Mr. Bezmenov (who defected to Canada, circa 1970, under the pseudonym “Tomas David Schuman”) specifically explained: (1) how active ideological subversion has already de-moralized American society, (2) how Socialism has been deliberately destabilizing the American economy and purposefully pushing the U. S. into numerous crises (so that a “Big Brother” government can be put into place in Washington), (3) how most Americans don’t even realize that the nation is under attack, (4) why normal legislative measures won’t by themselves alter the nation’s direction, and (5) what the consequences are for the “useful idiots” once the Marxist takeover is complete. The value of Bezmenov’s interview lies in the fact that the interviewee was someone who performed ideological subversion for a living, as opposed to being someone who merely studied the subject.
I suspect that most people see the increasing domestic unrest currently making front-page news, remember Rahm Emanuel’s infamous quote that a crisis should never be wasted, and respond with anger or fear because of the obvious continued erosion of the liberty-minded principles upon which this nation was founded. Considering that I can detect a coordinating hand in this chaos, I share their concern, but not their response. Rather, I realize that, like transformational leadership and The Law of The Vital Few, leveraging a crisis also works both ways.
History is full of anti-government fads that ultimately went nowhere (the Tea Party Movement and the Occupy Movement being but the two most recent examples). However, as Woodward, DeMille, and others observe, the revolutions and reformations that produce lasting results are the seismic paradigm shifts driven by the tenacious entrepreneurial-thinking producers and social leaders who not only desire to increase the freedom and prosperity of their society, but also possess the technical know-how to make the changes happen. Such producers and leaders already exist within America, but many have “gone Galt” due to a social, political, and economic climate increasingly corrosive to the value they provide. Many will note that climate, observe that as a matter of political and social normalcy Americans are increasingly guilty of The Three Prime Evils, and conclude that we as a nation are justly primed for uprooting, overthrow, and destruction.
I think that such observers aren’t wrong. Yet, in his mercy, the Almighty has seen fit to provide us with an opportunity either to begin the process of reversing the inertia of five decades of divine rebellion and a century of deliberately undermining our founding principles, or to publicly recant those principles and publicly double down on that rebellion. This opportunity is presented to the American electorate in the form of two transformational change agents, each the presumptive nominee of their respective political party for President of the United States. The one on the left, by behavior and rhetoric, has made it very clear that she despises everything that America is supposed to represent, and cannot enslave us to globalist socialism fast enough. The one on the right, by behavior and rhetoric, makes it clear that he loves America and everything we should stand for, is aggrieved at how far we have strayed from our Founding Principles, and is committed to making America great again.
In his 1984 interview, Bezmenov also mentioned that revolutions throughout history are never the result of a majority movement, but rather of small, dedicated, and highly-organized groups who seize power, whether for good or bad. And that brings us to an appropriate closing point.
Three times in our history, the United States of America has been at a national tipping point . . . and so we are again. Those who can produce the necessary social, political, and economic results – the three percent needed to drive the effort to save us from our own abyss – are currently, I suspect, quietly providing coordinated support to the effort to elect the national executive who, even with all of his faults, will provide them their best chance at accomplishing that goal. Should they succeed, whom they are won’t matter; should they fail, it’s best for them that they remain unknown. Nowhere is it written that America will continue, as a free republic, until the final posterity; nor has Ronald Reagan’s admonition – that freedom is never more than one generation from extinction – ever seemed more prescient.