Are these the best days?

Are these the best days?

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Daniel L. Gardner

America was founded on the novel idea that the people could rule themselves if law were king. Actually, Lex Rex (Law is King) dates back at least to Samuel Rutherford’s book by the same name published in 1644. They didn’t have the Internet back then, and publishing books was fairly spotty, so the idea took time to take root. Governance of any society until then was normally Rex Lex (King is Law).

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Over the millennia, great societies have been built around the world. Hundreds of thousands of remaining stone edifices adorned with precious metals and rare jewels testify of the wonders of ancient kingdoms. At the end of the 18th century, America was just climbing out of obscurity as a fledgling nation in a newly discovered world. Our founders had nothing to lose regarding history and tradition, and so much to gain for the future of the nation when they mapped out a grand experiment in governance.

Today, America is arguably the greatest nation on earth regarding riches and strength. That’s quite a feat considering how far back we were among the nations a mere 200 years ago. How did we become so great? Has God truly blessed America more than other nations? If not God, then are Americans inherently smarter and more industrious than other peoples? And yet, Americans are a mishmash of peoples from around the globe. Americans look like people from every other nation on earth. We don’t have a singular “American” look.

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Last week, Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, declared America was in a “constitutional crisis.” America has been in a “constitutional crisis” since the Constitution was ratified in 1787. Nadler’s crisis is not constitutional. It’s political. And that is the greatest threat to the security of the United States of America: politics.

No foes outside our boundaries are capable of taking down America. Benjamin Franklin acknowledged that when he said America was being founded as a republic … if we can keep it. In his 1840 classic, “On Democracy in America,” Alexis de Tocqueville identified a number of internal dangers, including soft despotism and tyranny of the majority, that posed greater threats than outside forces. A hundred years later Nikita Khrushchev spoke about America crumbling from within.

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Politicians, particularly career politicians, are the absolute worst kind of people to be in charge of government. The last great American president was Ronald Reagan, and he was an actor. To be fair, Bill Clinton’s terms were good times for America, but not necessarily solely attributable to Slick Willie himself.

Everybody knows Donald Trump is definitely not a politician. He’s run only one political campaign against one of most powerful political machines in the history of the world, and he won the presidency of the United States of America. That’s quite remarkable! So remarkable, in fact, Trump has single-handedly disrupted national politics on a scale not seen since Nero burned Rome.

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If politicians are the greatest threat to the unity and survival of America as constituted by our founding fathers, and if President Trump is by far the greatest threat to politicians in American history, then Americans should rest easily and enjoy the national fireworks during Trump’s remaining time in office. After Trump leaves office, Americans will be subjected once again to career politicians making their beds and fortunes high atop the hills overseeing the rest of us.

This is America today

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Mississippi. You may contact him at


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