I have lost my patience with commentators and conservative politicos who keep arguing that we will “get ‘em next time” because the “pendulum always swings back.” That is a sound observation when the clock is operating properly. But the left has broken off the pendulum of the clock of our republic, ripped its hands off, smashed it on the floor, and pounded it to bits with a sledge hammer.
Back in the day when I started off in politics, Democrats were big on voter fraud, but it was on a retail basis. All sorts of protections made you have to work at it to commit voter fraud. Voting was on a single day, you had to roust yourself to go register in the first place, you had to vote in person and prove you were who you said you were, ballots were on paper and a careful chain of custody prevented random dumps of mysterious ballots. You could do it, but you had to work at it and you could only do enough to affect very close outcomes. It was a grinding retail operation. I never had to factor in more than a four percent fraud component (and usually just two percent) even in deeply corrupt Illinois.
The night before election 2016, I had dinner with a prominent Catholic broadcaster in his Midwestern home. In the course of the evening he asked me what I thought was going to happen the next day – just from the standpoint of an old political pro, no prophecy. I told him I thought Donald Trump would win rather handily, adding that I was startled to have seen evidence of widespread fraud. (As an old Illinois hand, my fraud detector was very keen.) I thought there had been at least 5 million votes stolen already and it was probably closer to 10 million. “The shock for political insiders,” I concluded, “is that it won’t be enough. They have no idea how angry average people are at the assault on our culture.” That was the last time I was able to make a political prediction under any sense of normalcy.
In 2018 I was helping a pro-life institution with legislative races in Texas. I was stunned when all the formerly conservative suburbs in Texas suddenly went blue. I told the head of the institution that at first I thought there was fraud, but with the mass change in suburbs in all counties, the only way that could be true is if the vote count and tallies were connected to the internet – and we had always been told that is specifically barred. The next day I saw that all the formerly conservative suburbs in the country had gone blue. And so I thought we had seen a true black swan event that I had not smelled coming. Much later, when it was revealed that the vote-counting mechanisms were, indeed, connected to internet services in the process of counting, the head of that institute told me, “You called it, Charlie.” In 2018 vote fraud went wholesale. It was the dress rehearsal for 2020.
You all know what happened in 2020. They stopped the count in the late evening hours in the swing states where Donald Trump had a big lead. I went to bed when that happened, for I already knew the gag. They knew how far behind they were and they needed to manufacture enough ballots so Joe Biden “won” these states. Sure enough, when they started the count again the next day, Trump’s commanding lead in every one of these states evaporated and Biden “won” a narrow victory, while Democrat election officials illegally barred Republican observers from monitoring the count. By my old-school analysis in the coming months, I concluded that Trump won the popular election by nearly 11 million votes and absolutely ran away with the electoral college. Democrat vote fraud had gone fully wholesale. If they had had to do it on the old retail basis, it could not have happened, for this election was just not close enough. The steal was openly and shamelessly brazen – and the courts refused to examine any evidence, rejecting all claims on procedural grounds. When even the Supreme Court refused to examine any evidence in a suit brought by 18 states on Dec. 11, 2020, I proclaimed it the death of the republic.
Pretending that we will “get ‘em next time” or that the “pendulum will swing back” when the left has removed all meaningful guardrails of election integrity and ballot security is a vapid form of normalcy bias that prevents us from seeing and dealing with the actual problem. It’s a powerful one for sure. I, too, succumbed to it in making my prediction of a red tsunami in 2022 based on the old way of doing things. It is hard to wrap your mind around the reality that elections are now primarily a kabuki ritual designed to give a veneer of legitimacy to Democratic illegitimacy.
Some insist that Republicans must use the new rules vigorously – massively harvesting ballots. I am certainly agreeable to that as a temporary defensive measure, though I don’t see Republican county clerks willing to bar Democrat observers to vote counts or systematically injecting massive quantities of dummied up ballots into the system to rescan them over and over until getting the desired results. If it became a permanent fixture it would still not revive the republic, for then elections would just be a contest over who could cheat the best. Notwithstanding that Democrats are almost always going to win that contest (it’s a shameless part of their DNA), it would never again express the sovereign will of the whole people.
It seems to me that there are four primary things we must do to have a chance to ultimately reclaim ordered liberty under God:
1) Assess where we are with ruthless accuracy. Time to quit indulging in nostalgic fantasies to satisfy our normalcy bias. That is just to stick our heads in the sand and hope that the badness will all go away on its own. Here is a brief survey of where we are in this country right now:
Rule of Law: The most obvious offense of two-tiered justice is the prosecution of former President Donald Trump by a local DA for petty nonsense, but it is not the worst. A 33-year-old man faces 10 years in prison for making an anti-Hillary Clinton meme running up to the 2016 election. A woman who made an identical anti-Trump meme is unmolested. Meanwhile, a liberal Austin, TX jury convicted an Uber driver who shot a man who held a rifle to his head of murder, despite the police refusing to treat it as anything other than self-defense. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has put in motion plans to pardon the man because of the obvious injustice and the left is screaming “rule of law” to justify their efforts to pervert it. In our new American order, violent criminals are routinely released while Christians, conservatives, and anyone else who dissents from the ruling gov’t and media regime have “laws” made up against them to get them. No actual law-abiding citizen is safe from the depredations of America’s new injustice system.
Religious Liberty: The FBI ignores violent Antifa radicals and people who firebomb Churches and pregnancy clinics which help women to HAVE and KEEP their babies rather than abort them so they can devote time to finding those dangerous Catholic domestic terrorists who prefer the Latin Mass. (Credible rumblings have it that Pope Francis is going to help them by effectively banning the Tridentine Mass before the spring is out, but that is another column). Meantime, the state of Oregon has banned Christians from adopting children unless they are willing to take them for ‘gender-affirming’ surgery. “Devout Catholic” (lol) Joe Biden had Catholic Priests and pastoral ministers banned from Walter Reed hospital. Catholics are no longer allowed to give pastoral care there, regardless of how much patients beg for it. And he did this just in time for Holy Week.
Public Institutions: I could go on all day here, given the woke military and the violent rejection of free speech by universities, mostly in California (while Gov. Gavin Gruesome goes blithely touring the nation and warning of how red states are a threat to ‘our democracy’) but I will just touch on the institution that, until three years ago, still held vast public esteem and confidence: medicine. It was a shock to see doctors and hospitals uniformly lining up to mindlessly spout gov’t approved mandates that made things worse while withholding actual life-saving care. The best that could be said of these “experts” was that they did not know what they were talking about. A friend just brought me a copy of the questionnaire he had to fill out for his annual physical. It was very light on actual medical questions and heavy on determining such things as if he felt safe in his home, if he was discriminated against, and if his family and friends supported his true identity. Because of malicious incompetence and questionnaires like this, the medical profession is in a death spiral. (I should note that my talks the last two years have had heavy representation from doctors and other medical professionals who do NOT support the current system. They have uniformly encouraged me to keep pushing, while helping me get it right and telling me hair-raising stories of how the gov’t and medical boards viciously coerce practitioners to force them to conform.)
Genocide: Yep, you read that right. The gov’t and lefties are growing more bold in their calls for genocide against dissidents from their insane narrative. It first became overt with Jane Fonda’s call for the murder of anyone who does not support abortion. (I guess they will call them post-natal abortions.) Meantime left-wing activists have made a martyr out of the woman who murdered six people (including three children) at a Nashville Christian school because she was a tranny. Leftist officials and media are exploiting the mental illness of people who suffer from gender dysphoria to weaponize them.
Many profound commentators are noting, with shock and dismay, that we are reaching the end of America. I, of course, wrote (and firmly believe) that the republic died on Dec. 11, 2020 when the Supreme Court refused to grant standing to 18 states which wanted a full examination of massive election irregularities in that year’s presidential election. Victor Davis Hanson, one of the foremost public intellectuals on today’s scene, gives a brief chronicle on the collapse of America’s standing in the world. The American republic is a heaping wreck with a blown engine fully ablaze on the side of the road. Frantic efforts to crank the ignition a few more times are not going to accomplish anything anymore. It’s over.
2) Work to accomplish effective action. Understand that we are already in what is (mostly) a cold civil war with people who want to destroy America and orthodox Judeo-Christian faith. They want to rule, they are not very bright, and are incredibly intellectually lazy. They are already stooping to Nazi, Soviet and Chinese levels of official depravity to achieve their ends. And they are getting worse. Before we emerge from this tunnel, they may become more officially monstrous and depraved than any before them. That is who our opponents are. Do not fall for their rhetorical Newspeak which endorses violence in the name of tolerance. This truly is the generation George Orwell foresaw, a generation which believes that war is peace and knowledge is ignorance. The only thing in them is a ruthless will to power. The banalities they spout about caring and ‘our democracy’ are designed solely to slow down any resistance from the rubes they would rule.
That means that the traditional means of public discourse are dead, largely useless. Howls of protest and rage only tell the leftist radicals that they are accomplishing what they intend. We must make them feel the consequences of their actions on us as best we can. They always exempt themselves. Meantime, we must make sure to waste little to no time with histrionics. I often speak of how vitally important being deliberate is, because we must make sure that whatever actions we take have impact, not just make an impotent statement.
The habits of mind and practice going forward are critical. For a time, I am going to be offering the sort of candid, blunt advice I offered political clients, although somewhat restrained. I have a lot of techniques I used that involve a sort of political judo – bringing the opponents’ own strength and aggression to bear against them. It requires rigorous discipline. To that end, I offer three general instructions to start:
- A) Be completely predictable strategically and unpredictable tactically. Strategy is what you intend to accomplish, and tactics are how you accomplish it. It was of enormous value to me politically that my allies always knew and were confident in my endgame. It gave me leave to use some very unorthodox tactics to accomplish that without ever being considered – or being – a sellout. I was completely committed to the rights espoused under natural law and partially expressed in the US Bill of Rights. That included Freedom of Religion, the Second Amendment, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly. Once, when speaking for a candidate at a state NRA meeting, someone in the audience asked me what guns I owned. I responded that I have actually never owned a gun. He angrily retorted that he didn’t trust anyone who never owned a gun. At that point, the state president (with whom I had fought many battles together) rose and said to the questioner, “I don’t know about you yet, but I do know Charlie – and I trust him completely.” That was that. It is a great advantage to have the complete confidence of the people you work with. It is not just a matter of discrete issues; there has to be a coherent intellectual foundation. I gained such confidence because I stood firm on ALL the freedom issues – never wavered on any. If I had wavered on guns, many of the abortion people would have (rightly) had doubts about me, for it would bring into question whether my words were sincere or opportunistic. Many lightweight candidates think they can make an exception on one freedom issue to appeal to the left and not lose support from the right. They lose trust on everything. Meanwhile, the public confidence that comes from being completely transparent strategically gives you room to come up with some novel and striking tactical methods, some of which can solve problems and, at the least, always confuse and slow up the opposition. I had private meetings with a lot of high-level Democrats and the press and never, except for some early rumblings, had any conservative groups believe that it was anything other than working to advance our aims – because I had proven myself consistently. So why would the Democrats want such meetings? Because I did not waste time tossing insults or inflammatory rhetoric their way, but sought common interests that could be accomplished without violating either of our foundational positions. And I always kept my word. More than a few times I gladly tossed away a tactical position in exchange for a strategic gain. There is great power in being strategically predictable and tactically unpredictable.
- B) Don’t react to provocations until you have taken time to fully assess the intention of the attack. Much of the time an attack is designed both to weaken you and to force you to play on the opponent’s preferred field of battle. People with short fuses always give their opponents home field advantage. I like indirection. If an opponent launches a powerful attack, I want to choose the field of battle we are going to use. That means I take the time to find where they are most vulnerable and, after issuing a pro forma defense of their original attack, take the battle to the field where they are most vulnerable. Many an over-eager opponent, after attacking me on guns found themselves inexplicably in a pitched battle over taxes and spending – or whatever their weakness was. Don’t be a reactionary. It is a formula for defeat.
Sometimes you have to make a decision quickly. Being routinely deliberative will help you to make better decisions in those situations, too. You will be much less prone to giving in to your emotions and more fixed, even in your anger, in finding responses that will have impact rather than merely being personally cathartic.
Always be focused on how every action you take moves you closer to the goal. Don’t be showy; be effective. NEVER trade a real advance for some showy visceral public approval.
- C) Never give counsel to your fears in battle. People, particularly partisans, often delude themselves that there is some magic argument that will resolve everything. What naïve chumps! Everyone engaged in a public dispute has different motives. Some few act almost purely on principle, most act on a mixture of principle and the quest for power, and many act exclusively on the quest for power. There is no magic argument that will solve everything because many are less concerned with the good than they are with advancement. Many would rather be captains of a losing team than players on a winning team.
Whatever strategic and tactical plan you devise is going to be attacked. Actually, the better it is the more ferociously it will be attacked. I used to write for three statewide publications even as I was acting as an operative. I knew I had hit a home run when the attacks in the comments section were the most vicious. It was counter intuitive. Vicious, ugly attacks soothed me while a lack of screaming vitriol from opponents worried me.
In the midst of battle, attacks take a toll on even the most disciplined minds. If you let that lead to uncertainty or indecision, you are lost. If a plan has a real substantive weakness, you can change course – but only do it deliberately and NEVER in a panic because people around you are screaming. The hard fact is that a mediocre plan, firmly executed, will beat a brilliant plan, indifferently executed, almost every time. Never give counsel to your fears.
3) Execute your plans in a way to prevent and minimize violence. As I said earlier, we are already in a cold civil war. The left has several advantages here. They hold themselves to no larger principles, even factual truth, itself. They egg their excitable allies on to more and greater violence while cushioning them from any accountability. They call fiery leftist riots “mostly peaceful protests” while describing actual conservative mostly peaceful protests as violent insurrections. They are deliberately and intensely trying to provoke the right into actual violence that they might enact more draconian approaches to stamp out dissent. They are so eager for right-wing violence that you can see the disappointment on TV anchors’ faces and voices every time a mad attacker turns out, once again, to be a mentally unstable leftist instead of their hoped-for right-winger.
The purpose of this rule is both tactical and strategic. We will convince almost zero hard-core leftists to re-embrace the principles of ordered liberty. They will not convince solid people of faith to become screaming, angry lunatics. As with almost all things, it is the uncertain middle we must convert. Tactically, we don’t want to do things that are likely to persuade that uncertain middle that the left is justified in any authoritarian crackdown. As the crackdown gets harder, that gets less important as it becomes clearer even to those with mental myopia that the left is the aggressor.
Strategically and substantively, we want the house in as good a shape as possible when we re-occupy it. Violence tends to spiral and cascade, becoming scorched earth far more quickly than anyone imagines. We want to return to a land of milk and honey, not craters and rubble.
The most effective potential way forward for that is federalism. Some states are terminal. California, Illinois, Michigan have little chance of revival until they have completely collapsed, egged on by a federal government that wants to collapse everything. But states which have more respect for ordinary people and stability can become a firewall for freedom by adopting nullification of offensive and unconstitutional federal laws. Some say that if, say, Texas openly refused a federal order the army would be sent in to enforce federal will. I say the new woke military is ill-prepared for such an endeavor. If young men are given a choice between attacking ordinary American citizens in between struggle sessions on gender and institutional racism or serving in the state guard of Texas defending traditional American freedoms that will work out quite nicely for Texas (and the rest of us) I think. Besides, if the feds took such openly aggressive action, I think it would drive more states into the nullification camp rather than intimidate any but the already gone.
4) Act so as to facilitate reclamation and reconciliation after the crisis has been passed. The bluest states are already well on their way to economic and structural collapse. Let them go. Any efforts at revival there must come from within. Keep in mind, though, that if you burn the house down entirely, while it prevents your opponent from occupying it, it also prevents you from doing the same. We are engaged in a form of political triage. Save those states which, by their openness to freedom and sound policy, can be saved so that they can become the framework of a “new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
If we are to prevail and reclaim the land we were bequeathed, we must act with cold resolve, not fiery anger. That does not dismiss the possibility that raw force in defense of freedom will be required at some points. If it is, though, the decision must be made by cool heads rather than hot, reactionary heads. And even such a decision must be made with an eye on how to preserve as much of the infrastructure of a working society as possible.
The left has already crossed the Rubicon. Now begins the battle to decide whether our children will live in a land of the free. It is not just courage that will win the day, but wisdom.
I could not help but note that the massive intelligence leak last month confirms the facts I had written about the Ukraine-Russian war a few weeks back. The US government knows, as well as I do, that there are already a small number of American troops on the ground, that Ukraine is suffering seven times as many casualties as Russia, and the best that Ukraine can hope for is a stalemate, even with the massive infusion of American cash and armaments. The same press and leftists who cheered Alexander Vindman’s lies about Donald Trump as bold whistle-blowing are now claiming telling the truth about what they have lied to us about for over a year is treason. No doubt, in a land of tyranny, truth is treason.
We will have another national meeting next Sunday, April 23. I will have more details in a column next week. If you are interested, I will speak for a half hour to 45 minutes. In the meantime, you will be able to write your questions out and MP will ask them of me after I have finished the talk. Last time was wonderfully successful with no serious glitches. Going forward, we plan to get some team leads to conduct some of these so you can dig down deeper into areas of interest. Not to worry, I’m not going anyplace. Every couple of months I will do a general meeting.
If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.
Find me on Twitter at @JohnstonPilgrim