Angelo Codevilla: Who Will Lead America’s ‘Deplorables’ Out of Political-Corporate-Cultural Bondage?

Art thou he that should come, or look we for anotherThen Jesus answering said . . . tell John . . . how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

—Luke 7: 20, 22.

Who will lead the deplorables’ exodus from the bondage that the political-corporate-cultural oligarchy imposes on America? The power that the oligarchy has gathered since 2015 pales by comparison with the resentment it created thereby, and the wave of public opinion that is building against it.

America’s deplorables, clingers, irredeemables, chumps, dregs, neanderthals, etc.—persecuted, increasingly prosecuted for being on the wrong side of the oligarchy—yearn for political leaders to rescue their way of life. Demand is so high because most self-proclaimed conservative leaders talk the voters’ talk, but walk the big donors’ oligarchic walk.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s recent self-disqualification as a potential leader bids us recall that the public will follow only those who actually lead them by personally defying the oligarchy. Focusing on themselves is the worst thing that they can do.

Noem had seemed to be such a leader. Her manner, personifying the beautiful, no-nonsense young mother next door as she defied the oligarchy regarding the COVID-19 virus led many to count her among the few Republicans who answer to the voters rather than to the big donors. Few noticed, however, that as regards COVID-19, and when she ordered law enforcement to stop the summer 2020 riots in their tracks, she was acting with the local business community’s full support. She had not been tested.

When the test came, she failed it. A bill passed overwhelmingly by her legislature would have prohibited biological males from competing on girls’ and women’s teams. She declared eagerness to sign it. Then, the usual corporate executives threatened South Dakota business with boycotts, and the Chamber of Commerce transmitted the pressure. Her claim to have followed the advice of unnamed “legal experts, legal scholars,” was standard responsibility-shifting. Her boast to be building a broad coalition to build support for something like the bill she had vetoed elicited derision. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Who will America’s deplorables follow, and why?

The Gospels, as well as common sense, urge us to pay attention to deeds done in the face of opposition. Each and every thing that the oligarchy does to trammel the lives of ordinary people cries out for remedy. These require persons with a national following to put themselves at the head of popular affirmations of truth, justice, and the American way, certain that they will be “Trumped”—that the oligarchy will dehumanize them as it did Donald Trump.

Subtracting Americans from the oligarchy’s oppressions requires using one’s powers—as governor, senator, indeed as anyone with access to an audience—to personify and organize any number of tasks, neither minimizing exposure nor mincing words. Standing against the madness of transgenderism, flying in the face of the most objective truths, may well be the easiest of these. Here are some others, in no particular order.

  • To reject as the political power grab that it is the complex of closures, mask mandates, and lockdowns that continue to be foisted upon Americans ostensibly to protect against the COVID-19 virus; and to reiterate the truth that a virus that has taken root in a population will go through it, quarantines notwithstanding.
  • To treat the Biden Administration’s plan to impose vaccination passports via cooperation with “the private sector” as the double travesty of American law that it is: because it is unconstitutional, because it would surely grow into a Chinese-style social-credit system, and because it consists of franchising public powers to private entities unaccountable to the voters.
  • To stop K-12 schools from teaching critical race theory, i.e. that white people are intrinsically bad, and to forbid corporations and government agencies from forcing “training” in that ideology on their employees.
  • To call out all that is done and said about “white privilege” and “white supremacy” as naked racism and as a cover for privileged persons—mostly white—to guard their personal and class privileges.
  • To lead Americans to insist that elections be decided only by ballots from duly registered voters, secured from the moment they are cast, and counted transparently. And to reject manipulation of elections in the name of anti-racism.
  • To lead Americans against the Justice Department’s, the FBI’s, and parts of the armed forces’ campaign of suppression of opposition to the oligarchy; to reject references to shadowy right-wing “seditious” organizations that turn out to be essentially nonexistent (e.g., QAnon) or to be led substantially by federal infiltrators (e.g., the Proud Boys); and to condemn the publicly hyped prosecution of allegedly associated individuals.

More than anyone, Ron DeSantis has used his position as Florida’s governor to lead by deeds more than by words in a number of these tasks. He has banned the teaching of race hate in his state. He invited the oligarchy’s ire by removing the state’s mandate to wear anti-COVID masks, and has said he regretted having agreed to even a single day of lockdown. He has promised to refuse to recognize vaccination passports in his state. He has also introduced a state law to make it possible for Floridians who feel they have been censored or otherwise hurt by the Big Tech social media platforms, to sue them. He has already established safeguards against ballot tampering. In the spring of 2021, his is the example for would-be leaders to follow.

He is not alone. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), unable as a senator to take executive actions, has called onto himself the ire that the oligarchy heaps on the millions of Americans who refuse to swallow the narrative that the 2020 presidential election was free and fair. His doing so reminds millions that, the oligarchy’s intimidation notwithstanding, it is right and proper to think and speak of the truth of its massive and unconstitutional interference in the election—which the oligarchs even bragged about in Time.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), himself a medical doctor, called to account Dr. Anthony Fauci, the oligarchy’s point man on COVID-19 restrictions, for his many misrepresentations and lies about scientific matters. So authoritatively have his questions and explanations been that the oligarchy has not unleashed its customary barrage of accusations, knowing that doing so would further encourage ordinary Americans to follow him.

Far more needs to be done by far more would-be leaders. Whoever would lead America’s deplorables must head up a national effort to discredit and stop the oligarchy’s growing totalitarianism.

The point is clear, however. To lead the deplorables is to meet their sociopolitical needs.

Photo credit: Michael Vadon (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved

Angelo M. Codevilla is professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press, 2014).

This article was reprinted from American Greatness.

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