There is a scene in Doctor Zhivago representing the opening salvo of revolution reminiscent of current American politics. Battered Russian troops are staggering home from the front when officers with fresh troops going the other direction confront the “deserters”. The bedraggled men begin telling their peers to abandon the war. A young officer leaps atop a barrel and implores the troops to defend their wives and homes. In a moment of bad timing the barrel top breaks and he plunges into contents and is promptly shot dead by the revolting soldiers. No one is really thinking about what comes next but reacting simply in rage. The regime is simply thrown out with the barrel liquid.

The rabble guns down the plea for unity along with the man. YouTube screen capture from Doctor Zhivago.
Max Hilland via YouTube

I’m reminded of the words of former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan. Last week she offered in our own electoral rage we may not make rationale choices. A link to her column is included here and this is the paragraph that caught my attention:


I mention this to say we are in a precarious position in the U.S. with so many of our institutions going down. Many of those pushing against the system have no idea how precarious it is or what they will be destroying. Those defending it don’t know how precarious its position is or even what they’re defending, or why. But people lose respect for a reason.


Noonan isn’t among the elitists at the National Review looking down their noses at the rabble. For several years she has been posting warnings this day was coming and would arrive sooner than the establishment would expect. A great many people among the elites have been wearing blinders or simply don’t care what happens to you and your children, however. It doesn’t excuse Donald Trump. I’ve been on the sidelines about Trump for several months. My main choices for the Republican nomination have all bowed out. They were named Paul, Jindal and Perry. Not that I’m married to the party. I’ve often left the herd and voted for Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates, all of whom I knew stood a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning.

Now I’m looking at the Supreme Court of the United States and desperate to see a good constitutionalist replace the now dead Antonin Scalia. Libertarian Gary Johnson isn’t going to be our next President. You have to be not only a staunch Libertarian but smoking a pound of ganja a week to even believe Johnson will unearth more than a couple of million votes and likely he’ll tally well below one million. It’s not the fault of the candidate. Media can only cover two parties at once. Options then become Hillary/Bernie or Donald Trump. The latter is the wildcard. Beyond sloganeering do you have any idea what Trump believes? Make America great again? By calling challengers “pu**y” and threatening lawsuits against critics?

Cruz talks a great constitutional game but he’s bankrolled by people expecting favors. Just like every other Republican and all but one socialist campaigning as a Democrat.

When I was in college a business professor was discussing the French Revolution. He explained France never recovered. When someone mentions the country’s “Fifth Republic” it quite well isn’t a sales pitch for stability. Just as surely Russia didn’t find a cure for its ills after its revolution. Would any sane American like to go live today in any of the former Soviet Republics?

For months Trump wasn’t just amusing but he played a pivotal role in diagnosing the rot in American institutions. Then over the course of a few days he went off the rails. Calling an opponent a part of female anatomy is one thing and even calling out George W. Bush and the basis for conduct of the Iraq War is acceptable. Everything else about Trump is a carnival sideshow. Cry, the beloved country!


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