The relevance of Germany’s experience to contemporary politics perhaps becomes clearer with an understanding of what a regime is. A regime is a complex of institutions, personnel, and practices committed to the preservation of a ruling ideology. A regime comprises the commanding heights of a political and social system, including public and private bureaucracies, major media outlets, and the academic establishment—all of whose members understand one another, defer to sympathizers’ needs, and devote their professional lives to self-aggrandizement and ideological conquest.
Naturally, not all regimes are alike and therefore do not go insane in the same way. Has the American regime—i.e., our governing political order—gone insane? Some may think the matter is debatable, but I think we may be taking the first steps on the pathway to political insanity.
For instance, the way regime officials and sympathizers have treated Tea Party people is nothing short of despicable, a mere hair’s breadth this side of insanity. Tea Party supporters have been characterized as racists, radicals, fascists, and traitors, none of which of course applies to them, but some of which are fair characterizations of some of those making such accusations. The liberal-progressive regime that has dominated America for the past generation or so cannot fathom a genuinely popular uprising. Regime adherents are cynically familiar with all sorts of fraudulent demonstrations, from their college days to union organizing, and can manage no better response to the Tea Partiers than to project their own race-class-gender-political identity bigotry onto their challengers. This rube-like narrowness of intellect would be amusing if it were not so mean-spirited.
Other growing manifestations of regime insanity are counterintuitive and often grotesque. For instance, would a sane regime member compare American soldiers to death-camp guards or terrorists—“Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some other mad regime”—as did Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill)? Would its minions enact policies whose inevitable trajectory is to bankrupt the country within a decade? Would a sane regime delegate authority to a government agency to regulate practically every puddle of water?
The list of questions goes on, much longer, from immigration to recent defense policy, the latter of which has been characterized by Charles Krauthammer as “incomprehensible.”
And if this isn’t quite at the stage of insanity, it is at least very bad policy.
The question is, what can citizens do about it? Here’s where I’m concerned, because the answer is: probably not much. Unless, that is, citizens reconstruct those institutions and fill their posts with fresh recruits from the ranks of civil society. That would mean ending the tenure of incumbents throughout the regime, in government, media, and academia, which is a tall order, one whose magnitude is likely not fully understood by Tea Party enthusiasts and their supporters. But absent a thorough changing of the guard, the liberal-progressive regime’s walk on the path to political insanity will continue.
- The Joys of Life - May 26, 2017
- How to Make America’s Elites More Responsible - March 13, 2017
- A “What If” Memorial Day - May 25, 2016
- Trumpism and Elitism - December 10, 2015
- Tracking America’s Suicide - October 9, 2015
- Bernie Sanders’ America - September 30, 2015
- Dealing with barbarism: V-J Day and beyond - August 27, 2014
- The Great War at 100: Revisiting The Guns Of August - August 1, 2014
- President Obama’s Environmental Purity Agency - July 10, 2014
- A Decent Respect: Renewing the Spirit of ‘76 - July 4, 2014