William J. Bennett, F.H. Buckley
Republicans have been divided as never before in this election. Some might have wished for a better candidate. Others, who liked the candidate better, might have wished for a better Party. But with only a few days left before the election it’s time for all sides to unite to defeat the Democrats, at the top, middle and bottom of the ballot.
It’s time to put aside our differences, elect Trump, and defeat a candidate under an FBI investigation.
In America’s government of strong presidentialism, it’s the candidate at the top who matters, and a vote for Trump is the only feasible method of defending the principles of freedom, justice and prosperity Republicans hold in common against the most serious threat we have ever faced, a threat that begins to look like the final defeat of republican government, and permanent decline for the country we love.
That’s why 130 respected Republicans thought-leaders have signed a second letter explaining why we support Donald Trump and urging Party unity, at scholarsandwritersforamerica.org.
This is the most consequential electoral choice we’ll have in our lifetime.
Under Obama we have departed from the Founders’ constitution of separation of powers towards one-man rule by the president. With Mrs. Clinton, we’d see an even greater slide towards an all-powerful presidency, by an imperious person who holds subordinates in contempt and who labels Republicans as enemies and “deplorables.”
She doesn’t have a legislative agenda. She has a regulatory and Supreme Court agenda, and the justices she would appoint could be expected to bless one-person rule by the president. That’s why George Mason called this an “elective monarchy,” which he said would be worse than George III.
By contrast, Donald Trump has a legislative agenda. The person who wrote “The Art of the Deal” can be expected to reach across to Congress to enact the sound legislation he proposed in his speech in Gettysburg.
He has pledged to appoint judges in the mold of Justice Scalia, judges who would strike down the diktats of a president who ignores Congress as Obama did in his Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program. That program would have legalized 5 million undocumented aliens, and the Supreme Court split 4-4 on it. We know how a future Court would rule, with a new member appointed by Mrs. Clinton. And she’s already told us of her plans to regularize millions of undocumented aliens by executive fiat.
Absolute power corrupts, said Lord Acton. Were Mrs. Clinton elected, she’d have the near absolute power of the American presidency. But she wouldn’t need that to become corrupt. She’s there already.
Consider, then, what would happen were the “Clinton Cash” machine to move into the White House. We’d have a government with the morals of a banana republic; and crony capitalism, the silent killer of the American economy, would increasingly burden entrepreneurs. Wasteful regulations, drafted to benefit the clients of K Street lobbyists, would transfer wealth from dispersed lower and middle-class Americans to the rich and well-connected.
The courtier class of Clinton donors would flourish, but woe to those who would fail to partner with the government. It might not be a kleptocracy, but it would be a huge move in that direction.
Worse still, all the powers of the state would be unleashed against political enemies, with tax audits, EPA investigations, and charges brought under one of the numberless and technical federal public welfare offences. Montesquieu defined political liberty as the “tranquility of spirit which comes from the opinion each one has of his security,” and a Clinton administration would see to it that its political opponents would never know such tranquility.
We saw a bit of this during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and (whatever else might be said about him) he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. With Mrs. Clinton it would be far worse. She is a very different sort of person from her spouse, and much more closely resembles a Richard Nixon, a Nixon without his accomplishments and with a fawning media that could be relied upon to defend her when it counted, as well as a corrupt administration that would back her to the hilt.
And Donald Trump? He’s an American archetype, a Sam Slick who seemingly has taken every legal advantage offered by the Tax and Bankruptcy Codes. And you expected something better from a New York City businessman? But having used all the advantages the law afforded him, he now proposes to curb them, with a Tax Code that would close off the loopholes and with important lobbying reforms that would end the corrupt revolving door between Congress and K Street.
This is the most consequential electoral choice we’ll have in our lifetime. Whatever differences might have had during the last twelve months, all Republicans must now unite behind the entire Republican ticket.
William J. Bennett is the former Secretary of Education whose most recent book was Tried by Fire: The Story of Christianity’s First Thousand Years (Thomas Nelson, 2016).
F.H. Buckley is a law professor at George Mason University and the author of “The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America” (Encounter, 2016).