When you hear or read the word revolution, your mind may take you to the revolution that gave birth to our country. "No taxation without representation," The Boston Tea Party. George Washington. Or perhaps you thought of the revolution when, in 1854, 15 or 16 men who were intent on abolishing slavery, met in Ripon, Wisconsin to form the Republican Party. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was elected as that party's first president. He was the Commander in Chief who led the North in the revolution that we call our "Civil War," where 630,000 of our citizens died in the battle to save the Union and to emancipate the slaves. Those wars emanated from the will of the people who wanted government to represent their wants and needs . . . not for them to be subject to the whims and demands of the government.
A government of, by, and for the people is what our founders gave us, and it is that which we must protect.
As we slog through this political season, the need/desire for revolution is again present. Democrat/socialist candidate Bernie Sanders is asking his constituents to join him in a "revolution" and to elect him so that he can transition our republic to socialism. He promises "free" college education, "free" health care, and other "free" things. In exchange for those free things, the citizenry will only have to cede their basic freedoms to the whims of the government.
The other Democratic candidate, deemed to be the chosen one, has more political baggage than most. Citizens don't believe she is trustworthy. She has virtually no record of accomplishment as a senator or as a Secretary of State. She left the Middle East in flames and her so-called "re-set" with Russia failed. The parents of those killed in Benghazi have said she lied to them. And, she is under intense investigation by 150 FBI agents who are looking into her use of a private, non-authorized internet server. More is yet to come.
Across the aisle, there has been an on-going battle between traditional politicians and outsider Donald Trump. One by one, traditional politicians have been rejected by the people. A large part of that rejection has been because the people have tired of the "professional politicians" who seek power and tenure and, in some cases, a "legacy." Essentially, the people are throwing a monkey wrench into the political machinery, demanding that they be listened to. As the only non-politician on either side of the aisle, Donald Trump has become the choice of a large cadre of citizens who have lost trust in our government. It is that group of people who are the creators of today's revolution.
In spite of his often immature actions and limited understanding of the Constitution and our laws, that group of people have chosen Mr. Trump to be the leader of their revolution, simply because he has not been a politician. The people have their fingers crossed in hopes that he can rise to the position and be a leader like a Washington or a Lincoln. Many others believe that instead of a Lincoln, the people may have chosen an "Edsel." Only time will tell.
But . . . in the meantime . . . the concern of leaders in the Republican Party is growing greater. Their foremost issue is that, if Trump is nominated, far too many Republican voters will simply choose not to cast a vote in the coming election. That would cede victory to the Democrat Party candidate, probably Secretary Clinton; if she successfully wards off being cited by the FBI. Her election would result in a Supreme Court being stacked with liberal justices and could lead to significant upheavals in the Constitution's "Bill of Rights"; particularly the First and Second Amendments. Her stated views on continuing the failed policies of President Obama will compound the uncertainties facing businesses, and that can only lead to a continuation of very slow growth in the economy and probably create an accelerated move of major corporations to more business and tax friendly countries. It must be noted that when a major corporation moves to a more tax friendly country, the shortfall in tax revenues at local, state, and federal levels, created by their move, must then be paid by the citizens.
So, this people's revolution may give us a socialist government, or perhaps a continuation of slow growth and accelerated uncertainty that will drive businesses to more friendly environs, or give us a leader with no political experience who uses bully and bluster instead of tact and diplomacy. The Republican front runner needs to demonstrate that he has the ability to bring together (under the "big tent") the various factions of the party?
Put emotions aside and think pragmatically about what's best for our country . . . who do you want to lead the people's revolution?
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)
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