The late journalist Sam Francis once dubbed the Republican Party "the stupid party" and the Democratic Party "the evil party." Recent events seem to confirm this assessment.
Let's start with the Republicans.
For the record Sen. Ted Cruz was my favored candidate, impressing me with both his principles and his persona, but his speech to the Republican National Convention was stupid -- stupid for himself, stupid for the party, and stupid for the country.
Look, I share Cruz's reservations about Donald Trump. I agree that Cruz shouldn't have endorsed Trump if he couldn't do so in good conscience. But the high road for Cruz would have been to decline to speak at the convention. By accepting the generous invitation to speak in primetime and then pointedly declining to endorse the nominee was ungracious, to say the least. To many Republicans, it was an act of treachery that will damage Cruz's political future.
It also was damaging to Cruz's own party. The purpose of a political party's national convention is to unite behind the winner for the purpose of defeating the other party's candidate, not to accentuate the divisions within the party. By aggravating instead of healing intraparty wounds, Cruz increased Hillary Clinton's chance of being president. On the morning after he spoke, when Cruz told the Texas delegation that he couldn't bring himself to endorse a man who had badmouthed his family, he clearly was placing personal considerations above the welfare of his country, saying, in effect, "My wife was wronged, so American can have Hillary Clinton as president for all I care."
In spite of that, Cruz wasn't the stupidest Republican.
No, a fuming Trump did even more to fracture the Republican Party when he announced his intention to spend millions of dollars to end the political careers of Cruz and Gov. John Kasich for the sin of not endorsing him. This is mind-boggling. Clinton has been raising far more money for her campaign than Trump, yet all Donald can think of is spending more than half of what he has raised to go after other Republicans. I've heard of friendly fire before, but this is ludicrous! If Trump continues to escalate the civil war within the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton wins the election by a narrow margin, Trump will have only himself to blame for his defeat.
As for the Democrats, they, too, have conscientiously striven to live down to Sam Francis' opinion of them. Are they "the evil party"?
Dinesh D'Souza makes that case in his documentary, "Hillary's America." Indeed, one need look no farther than the rapturous joy with which Democrats acclaimed as their nominee an above-the-law felon -- ("Gee, your Honor, I know that as a lawyer and a secretary of state that I should obey the laws regarding protection of sensitive government business, but it was just so much more convenient for me to do it my way"). The Wall Street Journal editorializes that the key cog in the Clinton machine -- the Clinton Foundation -- is a sordid slush fund engaged in corrupt influence peddling.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
The policies that Hillary wants to impose ooze evil. She wants a constitutional amendment to gag her political opponents (that's called "fascism" for anybody who cares) while the Clinton Foundation marches on unchecked. It is absolutely criminal in a figurative sense for her to call for myriad massive increases in government spending when we taxpayers already are over $19 trillion in the hole.
The Democrats' primary practice of redistributing wealth, based on a defunct 16th-century philosophy, is nothing other than theft disguised as "social justice" (property rights be damned -- "the people" are entitled to take what they want from others). And since Democrats feel entitled to steal property, naturally they feel entitled to steal elections, too, which is why they oppose squelching voter fraud with voter ID laws and favor measures like motor-voter laws that enable illegal aliens to vote.
In a move richly symbolic of the criminal tendencies of the Democratic Party, long-time Clinton crony and current Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently tried to defy the explicit language of his state's constitution to restore the right to vote to the Commonwealth's 206,000 convicted felons (a move that -- thankfully -- Virginia's Supreme Court blocked last Friday). You've got to hand it to McAuliffe, though. That was a great attempt at accurate branding -- "Democrats, the party of felons everywhere."
As we leave the national conventions behind and officially begin the Trump-Clinton electoral campaign, it looks like our choice will be between the stupid party and the evil party. And here's another sobering thought, courtesy of Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821): "Every country has the government it deserves."
Mark Hendrickson is Fellow for Economic and Social Policy with the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.
Feature Image: AP
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