By Harlan Edmonds, guest columnist
Some wisdom from the ancient world, widely attributed to Socrates, states that: “Evil appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction.” Indeed. And it is this moral inversion—literally a metaphysical madness—that makes for failed states.
The most fragile states of all are republics, for the simple reason that republics can only be established and maintained by a moral and virtuous people.
This requires a unity of spirit and a commonality of transcendent values that develop only seldom in history in defiance of the lowest common denominators of human nature and its sordid fruits.
Like our Founders, we may well know from history that republics last around 200 to 250 years, tops.
But during those brief intervals, republics can immanentize the greatest promise of human potential and divine blessings, and thereby endure some of history’s worst calamities.
But soon enough, every republic dies, typically by suicide through internal decay.
And when republics fall, like the greatest tree in the forest, or a monumental wonder of the ancient world, they can collapse with a thunder that resounds through the ages.
The older half of Americans now living, if at all aware of the blessings of our republican inheritance, have had our lives haunted by these parameters.
We have always been aware that we might well see the end, while suffering its tribulations. And yet, we’ve been astonished at our reprieves.
Just after the 200-year mark of our republic, a number of exceptional leaders arose to make America “great again” before it ever became a slogan.
Ronald Reagan led the charge by articulating a revival of our foundational principles and values and by displaying the courage, confidence, and faith to defeat the Soviet Empire and its proxies that were sworn to our destruction.
This triumph soon faded—squandered under a tedious string of political mediocrities, unable and unwilling to counter the domestic political Left dedicated to that same totalitarian socialist project of displacing our constitutional order.
After decades of success along this line, having damaged or subverted almost every American institution, it is no wonder that our triumphalist liberals were gobsmacked by the improbable election of Donald Trump.
It was not so much his off-putting personal flaws that provoked their unbridled hatred, but rather, his Reaganesque effectiveness in undoing the policy mistakes of the past and rallying the remaining half of Americans who don’t hate our country and its foundations.
As late as last summer, it was universally acknowledged that Mr. Trump was well on his way to preside until 2024 and the cusp of our republic’s 250-year mark.
But we all know what happened next, as almost everything broke the Democrats’ way: the election swung their way and the Georgia runoffs delivered Congress to Democrat control.
And then, imagining constitutional remedies where there are none, President Trump embarked on a flirtation with metaphysical madness, inciting his supporters to go to the Capitol. A portion of them broke in, and as a result, fulfilled the wildest dreams of our republic’s enemies.
A harsh historical assessment is appropriate for Mr. Trump with regard to this moment (despite his speech of reversal and concession the following day) but not with regard to that of his many astonishing achievements for his country, and certainly not with regard to the vast majority of his sincerely patriotic supporters.
Conservative Americans remained morally and ideologically consistent. Even after years of sore provocation, we didn’t become drawn into a mob insurrection, and we instinctively denounced the violation of our Capitol. We passed the test. We recoiled from the brink of moral inversion.
Contrast this with the complete flip-flop of Mr. Biden and his supporters. After many months of inciting and enabling lawlessness and violence, they finally found a riot they could deplore.
These same liberals, who have excused other attacks on federal buildings, the assaults on police, the beatings of civilians, the terrorizing of homeowners, the burning of cities, the lootings of businesses, the destruction of statues, monuments and our history itself—they suddenly demand justice. Revenge, no less.
Mr. Biden, with his supporters, has denounced the multi-racial Capitol police as racist for not killing more of the multi-racial Trump mob. They have descended into metaphysical madness.
The radicals and devotees of mob-rule who handle (and will shortly replace) Mr. Biden will tolerate neither moderation nor limit. As Socrates would say, along with our Founders, evil appears as good in their minds.
And they are absolutely certain they are the best Americans to ever live, while the rest of us are the worst.
In a few days they will take control of our country, begin their dismantling of our Constitution and search for more enemies to subjugate.
Our republic had a good run, but this may be it.