By John F. Di Leo –
Do you ever get the feeling there’s an awful lot going on, all at once?
Sinking into a Deepening Recession –
Goldman Sachs continues to downgrade their expectations for 2022 GDP on a monthly basis… and they’ve now tried to get ahead of things for next year by predicting 2023’s GDP to be at a miserable 1.1%. And yet, they don’t say the word “recession.” What does this mean? Perhaps that they owe it to their investment customers to tell the truth about numbers, but they feel they owe it to their political friends to not tell the truth about words?
Funding A Foreign War –
Russia gains in Ukraine, and Ukraine gains on Russia. Every day there’s more news that Russia is getting more daring, now shelling more sensitive Ukrainian infrastructure than before, but Ukraine is claiming more and more abandoned Russian equipment, and even pushing back on some land Russia conquered months ago. India is the latest of Russia’s “friends” to berate Vladimir Putin for the war and to encourage him to end it somehow. And all the while, on a daily basis, Washington DC agrees to write seemingly blank checks to Ukraine, providing them both directly and indirectly with cash and equipment to help their war effort. We’ve had proxy fights with Russia before, throughout the Cold War, but we used to be much more careful about the risk of escalation. Whatever happened to that concern?
Living with Crippling Inflation –
The Federal Reserve is finally getting bolder and bolder in their rate hikes, attempting to address the monster of inflation – declared at 8.3% but more in the neighborhood of 20% or more for most Americans when the reality of their spending breakdowns is considered. The Fed, therefore, gets all the attention on the issue, instead of Congress and the White House being rightly forced to bear the blame for it. It’s their taxation, overspending, and crippling overregulation, after all, that has caused all this inflation. Why is the issue conveniently lifted off their shoulders and shifted to the Fed, in an election year? Might it have anything to do with the fact that the Federal Reserve isn’t on the ballot, but Congress is?
A Crisis at the Fuel Pump –
Petroleum fuels – primarily gasoline and diesel – dropped over the summer from their spring highs, because of the usual government-mandated changes in blends and the regime’s dangerous fire sale of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. People cheer at these apparent drops. But are they noticing that current fuel inflation is still absolutely unprecedented in the United States – that in fact even this drop from its high means that we are still paying twice as much as we paid in the fall of 2020? Current gasoline and diesel prices are about 200% of what they were under President Trump. Are voters being reminded of this? Or is the press burying the big picture by focusing on the apparent drop in recent weeks?
An Overwhelmed and Underfed Electrical Grid –
And what of other energy? As this regime uses all its powers to drive a global retreat from dependable, efficient energy (petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear) in favor of undependable, inefficient energy (solar and wind), western Europe is being brought to its knees, and US states are telling residents to leave their air conditioning, washing machines and electric cars unused, because the grid can’t power them. The press doesn’t put two and two together on these matters, but perhaps voters will.
The Undermining of the Election Process –
Month by month, drop by drop, we receive more proofs of election violations – yes, commonly known as “vote fraud” – from state after state. While there are still some judges and politicians who try to deny the undeniable, it gradually becomes clear as crystal that the election fraud of 2020 was indeed massive. Dinesh D’Souza’s “2000 Mules” film exposed the crimes of ballot harvesting and mail-in balloting; even liberal state supreme courts have had to acknowledge that multiple state constitutions forbade many of the corrupt tactics of 2020 that intentionally compromised ballot integrity. Eventually, it seems likely that everyone – even partisan historians – will be forced to admit that not only the presidency but many other races downballot were stolen that year. The question today is whether the perpetrators will be able to postpone this broad realization long enough to keep it from infuriating the voters in 2022 and 2024. The people most likely to arm themselves and install burglar alarms, after all, are those who realize that they have already been robbed. Somehow, that truism has to translate into voting.
The Democratic Party’s National Embrace of Crime and Criminals –
And speaking of crime, state after state – or should we say, blue state after blue state – has decided to side with crime in recent years, to horrible result. New York, Minneapolis, and San Francisco with their “immediate release without bail” policies… the states’ attorneys of counties like Los Angeles and Cook and Milwaukee where they just choose not to prosecute people, regardless of what the law says… and now the state of Illinois has even passed a law that formalizes such irresponsibility, abandoning the concept of imprisonment for all but a smattering of the most severe crimes. Illinois’ new Safe-T Act is designed to make life safer for criminals, by making life more dangerous for everyone else. On purpose. Voters are beginning to realize what’s going on. Will they realize by election day?
A Funeral Knocks Everything Else Off the Headlines –
On top of all this, the elderly reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away right at the beginning of the United States’ midterm election season. The story of the British Royal Family – which technically has almost nothing to do with us on this side of The Pond – has dominated our news and pushed so much off the headlines that the Republican Congressional Effort to nationalize the election with a new compact (similar to the 1994 Contract With America) had to be postponed in hopes of getting some kind of press. No conspiracy there; the queen was 96; she passed when her time had come. But oh, how the American Left rejoiced at the realization that the focus of our national news was going to be aimed abroad for a while, at such an incredibly critical time.
What are we to make of all this? We are seeing so much competition for news that nothing gets the attention it deserves. Some of our older readers may remember a pop culture phenomenon in the early 1970s – Alvin Toffler’s “Future Shock” – in part, a theory that there would soon be so much news, so much change, so much going on, that nobody can possibly keep track of it all. The question posed at the time was, if you can’t keep track of it, should you focus on your own mental health to make sure this rapid-fire change doesn’t drive you crazy?
Back then, Alvin Toffler and his peers missed a different question, one that we are now coming to notice last: the question of how to handle individual public policy questions that require thoughtful consideration and serious debate in an election year, at a time when there are just too many being thrown at you to give them all their due analysis. For example:
- Should the White House have been able to shut down pipelines – voiding existing government contracts – without so much as congressional action, or should they be impeached for it?
- Should the White House be able to “forgive” (transfer from the rightful debtors) a trillion dollars in student loan obligation, without so much as Congressional hearings on the matter, or should they be impeached for attempting it?
- Should we be picking sides in the Russia-Ukraine War at all, let alone funding its expansion?
- Should we be defending our borders?
- How can we best protect Taiwan?
- Should our government be allowed to virtually criminalize the manufacture of normal automobiles, and shouldn’t the federal constitution ban individual states from attempting to ban their sale?
- Should we acknowledge the almost undeniable facts that everything the USA did regarding Covid-19, from funding the labs that developed it to shutting down businesses, schools, hospitals, churches and lives – was wrong… criminally, maliciously, irredeemably wrong… and what on earth should we do about it?
Each of these issues is of enormous impact, and every single one merits the thoughtful attention of a principled, rational nation. There is no way to cover them all, in one year, in one election.
There is, however, one lesson to take from it, a lesson that all of this adds up to:
The Founding Fathers were right.
The invisible hand of a free market solves most of these issues on its own. People can choose solar or gasoline – for themselves – in the right way and at the right time, if it’s up to them, and society is safer than if their government decides for them.
Farmers can raise corn or wheat, cattle or pigs, peppers or onions, depending on their land, their rainfall, their climate, their choices, and they’re sure to be more successful than if their government decides for them.
Colleges can design and price their education more efficiently if it’s based on what students are willing to pay, rather than on what the federal government is willing to subsidize.
And the dollar is infinitely more stable if the economy is left alone, than if congress is constantly making up money out of thin air, and the Fed is constantly forced to pull imaginary levers to try to save the world from their profligacy.
The Founding Fathers, in writing the Constitution, didn’t anticipate each of these specific challenges… but they did anticipate the big picture. They knew that politicians would always want to bite off more than they could chew.
The Framers knew that future politicians would want to do things that government simply cannot do well, and should not attempt. So they wrote a Constitution of limits, putting manacles on the ankles of the leviathan, chaining the leviathan’s wrists to restrict its movement, muzzling the leviathan’s face to protect the public from its fangs.
We could be spared all this… all the angst, all the rush, all the forced decisions in the political realm, if we would just obey the design that the Framers put in place for us. The government shouldn’t be interfering with much, if any, of this stuff.
The Founding Fathers seem distant sometimes, but they knew. They WERE thinking of us, all those long years ago.
September 17 was Constitution Day, the day on which we celebrate our form of government – a nation of laws, not a nation of men. A nation in which the federal government is restricted from its worst impulses by checks and balances, a nation in which the big decisions are left to each individual, not made by an authoritarian class of pompous, unhinged elites in the swamp of Washington DC.
We remember the “what” on Constitution Day… and a year like this reminds us of the “why.”
May Divine Providence help us, on our six-week-long election day this fall, to also remember the “how.”
Copyright 2022 John F Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer and transportation manager, writer, and actor. A one-time county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been writing regularly for Illinois Review since 2009. In the mid-1980s, John served as a board member of the Illinois Right to Work Committee under the tutelage of the late Tom Latimer.
A collection of John’s Illinois Review articles about vote fraud, The Tales of Little Pavel, and his 2021 political satires about current events, Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes One and Two, are available, in either paperback or eBook, only on Amazon.
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Any change to the Electoral Count Act by Republicans will be the end of Republican party! I know my family and me will never vote Republican again this proves Pence had the power to block certification to investigate the fraud it was never about overturning the election.
Very well summarized John. Presidential overreach is at ridiculous levels. Federalism needs to come back in style. The states have to take back their usurped rights. I remember – as a kid in high school – thinking how odd it was that the feds told the states to lower MPH on highways to 55. Or, no federal money for highway maintenance. It was blackmail then and it’s blackmail now…that’s how the feds roll.
The Feds tried the same threat back in 1968 to force the states to enact mandatory helmet laws for motorcyclists.
It worked in Illinois…until it was both repealed, and found unconstitutional, the first week of June 1969.
Excellent as usual!