November 11

 The November 11, 2022 edition of The Status Quo: An Electric Newsletter is dedicated to the misguided and confused Veterans who continue to support the former fake President of the United States in his campaign to destroy the U.S. Constitution. It appears they have forgotten their oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies. It seems they have also forgotten that this promise does not end when one takes off the uniform or chooses to abandon that oath in the name of political expediency. The promise made them a part of something bigger than ourselves and more important than our own lives if called to sacrifice that life. They have not only betrayed their country, but they have also betrayed those with whom they have served.

Thou Shalt Kill

For many years it confounded this Veteran why so many Americans hated other Americans for no discernable reason other than holding different political views. I read and listened to the experts on voter trends, polls, etc. describe the phenomenon. I listened to the talking heads on network and cable news as they reported on the growing anger and violence leveled against Americans by Americans due to party affiliation. It simply defied belief that in a country where politics, politicians and governments have failed the American people so consistently and for so long that so many Americans could hate other Americans solely for holding different political opinions. It was only during the Pandemic that I realized why Americans are turning on themselves.

The career politician has so manipulated the fringe elements of their respective tribes that they are able to turn Americans upon each other in the name of re-election. In short, they have bottled hatred and are selling it to both fringes as the cure-all for what ails America. They convince the gullible and uninformed that the other party is destroying their idea of America and then fan the flames of hatred to create a nation divided by the fringe elements of two corrupt political parties operating in a corrupt political process.
What is ironic is that the fringes of the two parties were once only a small minority in each party. The career politicians, hand-in-hand with the national media, have transformed the “lunatic left” and the “reprehensible right” into the mainstream. In doing so, they have placed us all in danger. As we watch the number of mentally disturbed young males attack schools, churches and supermarkets. we see just how sick many in our society have become. As we watch the former fake President of the United States promote violence by urging his Trumpettes to harm other Americans, we see just how sick our politics have become.

We cannot dispute that our national politics provides the world with a glimpse into our national life. We also cannot dispute that this glimpse paints an ugly picture. Likewise, we cannot dispute that America is producing more and more young men like Adam Lanza and Salvador Ramos everyday. As such, Americans must understand that in the coming years we are going to find more young males willing to kill dozens of innocent Americans because they believe it is the only option left to be heard. They hear the hatred spewing from the mouths of our nation’s leaders and will come to embrace that hatred within themselves. These angry and confused young men, some not even 18, will embrace hatred and violence as if it were a new religion just as they will see a degenerate like the former fake President of the United States as a role model for a new cowardly America.

During the Pandemic the number of young people suffering from anxiety and/or clinical depression skyrocketed. In 2020 for example, an estimated 4.1 % of adolescents aged 12-17 had at least one major depressive episode. This is the fertile ground from which tomorrow’s killers will grow. This combined with the disturbing facts about these males’ lives makes for a wave of mass shootings that even Americans cannot imagine. Today’s shootings will not be like those coming tomorrow just as the men from yesterday are not like the men of today. Young men today are very different from the men of the previous generations. Today’s males work less. They have less sex. They have fewer commitments. They are more likely to find their entertainment alone in their basements. Many shun socializing with their peers. Many of them think that a tersely worded tweet is the same as confronting wrongdoing. They judge others they do not know based solely on information from sources they do not know are telling the truth because we all know that it’s easier to hate than to learn.

The evidence supports the assertion regarding the ticking time bombs walking our streets. However, the reader is encouraged to search for themselves any information on the number of mentally unstable young males currently walking our streets so they understand when the new American male is raised in the ethos of the “social media” warrior and befriend others like him on-line the end result will be the massacre of more and more innocents. And if you think law enforcement is going to stop them, I encourage you to Google massacre in Uvalde. The legacy of Uvalde, TX is not that America is producing sicker and sicker young men. We know this already. The legacy of Uvalde is that law enforcement is impotent to stop them even when the shooter is in the next room killing children!

Jesus of the Disinherited

When this Newsletter was first posted 22 years ago, a Veteran had a dream of convincing Americans to hate the career politician like the Veteran hates the pedophile. It was a dream that neer came to fruition. Maybe it never came to fruition because it was based on a false premise. Maybe Americans really do not hate pedophiles. Sure, Americans claim to hate pedophiles, serial rapists and cold-blooded murders but hating them proves nothing. Everyone hates them. But by hating their fellow citizens for their misguided and dangerous political opinions, they prove to themselves and their social media family and friends how perceptive they are in really understanding what will make America great again. The lazy and ignorant love to hate because it is quite a bit easier than sacrificing and compromising for the common good.

Hating Obama was a sport to many “white” Americans who knew nothing of the man. Likewise, the hate spewed forth by “smarter” Americans at George W. Bush was so disgusting that it appeared as if hating had become the new national pastime. Sorry George baseball is for sissies. Notwithstanding this dose of reality, we need not search long to see what it is these haters have in common. They all have one thing in common. They are as far from Jesus Christ as one can imagine. They are also the Americans responsible for destroying faith in our election process and freedom of speech in our schools. So in an effort to pass this Veterans Day in peace, this Veteran decided to return to the thing that had provided sanctuary for decades. Books were an escape and a journey for this former Army Officer and it seemed right to return to a book that proved too difficult for an angry and confused 19 year old. Howard Thurman’s Jesus of the Disinherited (“Jesus”) is a book beyond the reach of many Americans and that speaks volumes in itself.

An initial attempt to read Mr. Thurman’s seminal work on Jesus Christ was made in the early 1980s when this Veteran was an undergraduate at Wayne State University. Unfortunately, the book proved too much for an unprepared 19 year-old. Many of the words Mr. Thurman used as well as the ideas and concepts he addressed were very difficult to follow, let alone understand. Jesus is not for the breaking news devotte or the snapchat crowd. In fact, it can be asserted with confidence that his work is beyond the intellectual capabilities of the hordes of “social media warriors” who spread hate because it makes them feel good.

What makes Jesus such an incredible book is that it contains the single best description of who Jesus was and what He wanted to teach us. Mr. Thurman puts aside His birth and resurrection and looks at Jesus and the environment into which he grew to manhood. Mr. Thurman takes us through the realities of the life of Jesus in order to not only teach us who Jesus was but also how Jesus must have felt about the major issues of the day. Love and Hate being two of the most prominent issues addressed in Jesus and they are coincidentally the two most important issues facing Americans today. It is not inflation or immigration that threatens the Republic. It is those who seem incapable of living in peace with their neighbors that are tearing at the fabric of our democracy. Hatred is all the rage in America 2022.

Jesus is divided into 5 chapters beginning with Jesus – An Interpretation. Mr. Thurman introduces us to his Jesus. The author describes to the reader a man who lives under Roman rule, comparing Jesus’ life with that of Paul, a Roman. Jesus was a member of a lower-class devoid of the rights and privileges to which Romans enjoyed and that fact was an important in Jesus’ life as one of the disinherited. The author presents questions that require serious contemplation. One might be so inclined to pray for help in honestly confronting these issues and our lives. Mr. Thurman shows us Jesus confronting the issues that confronted HIm everyday; issues that coincidently are as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago.

Yet what really sets Jesus apart from other works on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ is the four chapters that follow. These chapters are titled Fear, Deception, Hate and Love. Fear and Deception perfectly describe how these twin tools of oppression work to keep those who are oppressed in a state of oppression. It is within these two chapters of Jesus that we come to understand how and why Jesus is for the disinherited. Also within these two chapters we also come to understand His message is one for the disinherited. We are also taught that His teachings leave us, the inherited, with only one conclusion. We, the inherited, are the oppressors. We promote ourselves and our interests while caring little or nothing for the disinherited. We have collectively left them to our failing governments just as we have left the safety of our children in the hands of career politicians.

It is said that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Love was his message and He commanded us to love God and one another before all else. We never stand taller or more clearly demonstrate our Christian values than when we help the poor and downtrodden. Whether we serve meals to the hungry, raise money for a women and childrens’ shelter, act as Foster Parents, adopt an abandoned or abused child or spread the gospel of tolerance and empathy as the path to a better world, the end result is a way of life that embraces the message of Jesus Chirst. Mr. Thurman would agree.

As impressionable as the four chapters described above were on this Veteran, it was the chapter on Hate that led to this article. Hate is a growing business in America and the future looks even more favorable for the spread of this disease. Make no mistake. Hate is a disease. It spreads like a virus and Mr. Thurman gives us an example of how it spreads. (See pages 67-68 of the Beacon Press Books paperbak edition, 1976). The story of his ride in the same coach as a white woman and her hatred for him did not surprise me. The eastside of Detroit in the 1970s was not a bastion of racial harmony. This Veteran and former soldier of Christ had witnessed enough acts of racial violence by the age of thirteen to last a lifetime. Exactly how that woman’s hatred could affect others in the train carriage made me realize how Alex Jones became so popular despite being just another hate monger from Texas whose lies, slander and perversions hurt real people. It is time all Americans, especially those who call Texas home, wake-up to the hatred within ourselves and all around us. It is destroying our country one hate filled word at a time.

Every American must understand that It will be hate and not wildfires, floods, hurricanes, tornados or superstorms that destroy our Republic. Heat waves will kill countless Americans in the coming years but hate will kill the hope of what America might one day become. Hate will kill the idea that so many Veterans have fought and died to defend. Hate will also kill the “can do” American spirit that has saved this nation in the past and instead replace it with the “don’t have to” spirit of the new American male. Hate will blind us to our true enemies as they work to divide us, enrage us and then push us beyond our limits of tolerance into open warfare. Maybe that is what it will take to force Veterans to understand that we have far more in common with each other than we do with the career politicians and the unhinged fringes of America that are destroying our nation.


The May 2022 edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to all mothers no matter their age, race, national origin, creed, color, or economic status. Whether from America or the Ukraine, mothers have suffered at the hands of men since the dawn of our species. Unfortunately, the mothers of the Ukraine get to experience a kind of suffering other mothers are spared. For example, the mothers of Yemen, Ethiopia and Myanmar did not make CNN’s 24-hour “Breaking News” cycle as did Ukrainian mothers despite those mothers having watched their children die before their very eyes. They were afforded the opportunity to suffer without a CNN reporter asking them what it felt like to watch their children die before their very eyes. Only in the land of the free, home of the depraved can filming the suffering of mothers pass as breaking news. Congratulations CNN. In a world full of pain, suffering and men like Vladimir Putin you will never run out of free content.   

My Best Friend

May 1 or “May Day” as it is known around the world is celebrated in America as Law Day. Law Day is celebrated in Mass by many Catholics across the country. Religious and civic leaders gather to celebrate their support for the rule of law.  In fact, it was a cherished celebration for this Veteran’s mother and for her to have attended one such celebration with her “Officer of the Court” was one of the proudest days of her life. 

May Day is a celebration of the adherence to the rule of law that has made America a beacon of hope to countless souls around the world. Our system of laws and regulations coupled to our adherence to them is what enabled America to become the preeminent economic power in the world. Adherence to the rule of law was also what made America different from other nations, but those days are gone. We are no longer a nation of laws, but a nation of men who place themselves above the law.

Anyone who watches the “Breaking News” on CNN knows the rule of law is under attack worldwide. India is the largest democracy in the world, yet we see many within India’s government work to undermine the rule of law in order to promote hatred. In Pakistan, India’s mortal enemy and itself a large nuclear armed democracy, we see the rule of law challenged almost daily by those who wish to control Pakistan’s future. From Kashmir to the District of Columbia, we watch as those who work to manipulate the truth do so to avoid adhering to the rule of law.

What many in America do not understand is that the rule of law is what separates Bannana Republics from democratic nations. In Pakistan and India for example, the rule of law might be the single most important factor in preventing nuclear war between these bitter enemies. What should concern the world is how long can the forces of moderation control the tide of hatred flowing over India? Similarly, we should be concerned with how long the forces defending the rule of law in America can keep the enemies of democracy at bay.   

The benefits from adhering to the rule of law do not make CNN’s breaking news cycle so many Americans are ignorant to the value of living in a society where the rule of law matters. Yet, today, many Americans are confronted with the reality that they are living in a nation of men and not laws.  January 6, 2021 and its aftermath are just the latest examples of what living in America means today for many white Americans. For many “other” Americans this is not new. Minorities and the vulnerable, be they children, women, the mentally ill or the sick, have been living this reality since our nation was born. Notwithstanding this unfortunate fact, many minorities have benefited from the rule of law. President Johnson, a Texan no less, wanted to ensure the rule of law treated everyone the same no matter your color and he made it so. This was new in his day (1950s-60s) and the backlash he received is very similar to the backlash we see today as the supporters of the former fake President attack law enforcement in order to avoid ever having to adhere to the rule of law. If you doubt this assertion, please stand-by. Someone near you is planning to attack law enforcement because that is what appears to be what the former fake President likes.  

History has taught us when attacks on the rule of law are brazen and supported by a nation’s political elite, it is only a matter of time before the rule of law gives way to violence amongst the civilian population. Citizens acting in concert with others equally as misguided can pose a serious threat to peace and civility. Yet some men pose an even greater danger than others. Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, is one such man and the threat he poses to our Republic represents a clear and present danger to the United States Constitution.  

The recent revelations over U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife’s communications with the former fake President of the United States’ Chief of Staff before, before, during and after the insurrection of 6 January 2021 are unbelievable. The fact that these communications relate to the “stop the steal” campaign and were no doubt intended to prevent and/or obstruct the certification of the 2020 election is disturbing in the extreme. To make matters worse, it is now understood that there are at least 29 separate text messages from Virginia Thomas to the former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, during this fateful time. These texts reference conversations with her “best friend” and how they are “waiting for an army to stop the steal.” Army? What army? The US Army? Paid mercenaries from Russia?  These questions must be answered before it is too late.

These two love birds wanted to stop the peaceful transfer of power that is the hallmark of this Republic. These persons of privilege wanted to end a tradition started by President George Washington. President Washington wanted the world to see how a republic based on the rule of law functions. This tradition has been a shining example of what once made America a true republic. Today America offers the world not a majestic day in January where the levers of power in the most powerful nation on earth are voluntarily relinquished in accordance with the law but a narcissistic degenerate’s ill-conceived plan to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from a sitting President to a newly elected President. It proves just how far America has fallen from grace and for those who doubt this assertion, ask yourselves if you really think Mark Meadows cared what “Ginnie” Thomas wanted. Mark Meadows only wanted to know if a U.S. Supreme Court Justice thought preventing the certification amounted to Sedition.

Like the Rosenbergs before them, it is time that Clarence and Ginnie take their seats in the dock.  Those Americans who serve and have served their country demand to know the truth about which army they hoped would stop the certification of the 2020 General Election. To allow Sedition to go unpunished only invites more Sedition and if you doubt this assertion, please stand-by. There is a “patriot” near you planning to commit sedition in your name and how you respond will determine on which side of history you stand.

Open Letter to Ken Burns

This plea for help is written in the hope that a great American storyteller will finish his 1989 story on Congress. As much as Congress was a sentimental history of the Capitol building itself and the events that occurred in and around it, the story did not portray what is really happening in the “People’s House” or what the people’s representatives are doing outside it. America is on the fringe of open civil war with law enforcement the latest target and the truth about our elected officials in Washington D.C. must be told.   

What is really happening in the U.S. Congress is our elected officials are playing games that have all but destroyed the institution that is the U.S. Congress. What is really happening in Congress was not covered in your film of the same name yet the events occurring now started even before 1998. In 1998, your film was presented as a nostalgic journey through the colorful characters that once occupied seats in Congress. If that was your intention, you succeeded in telling only half the story. It is the other half of the story that needs to be told and it needs to be told now. The American people need to know the rest of the story because the rest of the story is about how money, dark or otherwise, corrupted the legislative process to such a degree that the Legislative branch no longer functions as the U.S. Constitution intended it to function. In other words, the men and women in Congress have destroyed the ability of our federal government to function while simultaneously tearing at the fabric of our society in the pursuit of money to secure their re-election.

The kooky rascals you portrayed in Congress have given way to hateful bigots on the far-right like Marjorie Taylor-Green who twist the truth to support their lies. Likewise, elitists like former President and Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton sold our government to the highest bidder while the they and the far-left turned a blind eye to the rapid increases in black men and boys being incarcerated for what the Clintonites were doing in their free time. Those silly rascals of your Congress might have been bigoted, but they would never have permitted a President like the former fake President of the United States to get away with his disgraceful conduct while in office.

In an effort to assist, this fan of many years offers a few ideas for Congress II. What about finishing Congress in the same way you finished Vietnam? Give the American people the whole truth about the “pay-to-play” game that has destroyed the Legislative branch just as you told the truth about that tragic and avoidable war. What about finishing Congress just like you finished The Central Park Five. How about continuing your examination of the “bosses” and the influence of men like Thomas Reed and Joseph Cannon by adding to that list men like Tom Delay and Dennis Hastert and self-promoters like John Conyers and Dan Rostenkowski.  Please let the American reflect on the actions of those cooky characters along with more popular characters like the senile senior senator from the land of legalized larceny or the self-promoting Goldman Sachs disciple from the lonely star state. She is a disgrace wandering the halls of Congress like an infant and he is a disgrace because the truth means nothing to this spineless opportunist. Tell their stories to the American people and maybe just maybe the real cancer in Washington D.C will be cleansed from our body politic by the people our government was created to serve.


The leak of a draft decision in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court was without precedence in 200 years of American jurisprudence. It serves as yet another reminder of just how fast the rule of law is disappearing in America. The draft decision that was leaked appeared to over-rule the long-held precedent of Roe v Wade. We later would learn it did just that.

What seems lost in the discussion of this “leak” is not who had access to the draft opinion, but who had the most to gain from releasing it.  This Officer of the Court asserts that no clerk or staff member of the Court released this document. It was released by one of the nine members of the court.

This Officer of the Court offers what it knows about one suspect. For example, we know the allegations made against this suspect when he was nominated to the court.  We know this suspect has his own brand of jurisprudence and is often offended when that brand is challenged. We know that this suspect wants attention drawn away from his actions leading up to and including 6 January 2021. Therefore, is it not reasonable to assume Justice Clarence Thomas is the leading suspect in what appears to be an effort to both show the Chief Justice there is nothing he can do to censor or punish this great man as well as draw attention away from Congress’ investigation into his role in the insurrection of 6 January 2021? 


The June 19, 2021, edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who sacrificed their lives for a country where millions of their fellow citizens treat them as inferior. “Juneteenth” is the name given to the day when slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom. Yet what happened on June 19, 1865, remains unknown to countless Americans. This fact alone speaks volumes about our system of education. What speaks even louder is the fact that so many white Americans work tirelessly to degrade and disenfranchise black Americans despite their contributions to American culture and our nation’s security. Ignorant of history, deaf to the teachings of Christ and clueless to the world around them, these self-absorbed Americans cling to the idea that American dominance will continue unabated provided others are willing to make the sacrifices necessary for their continued prosperity. How pathetic. How un-American.

By Any Means Possible

American history is one of rebellion and civil disobedience. Violence and change are the two constants that run through American history. From the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord to the long overdue Black Lives Matter movement, Americans of all faiths, colors and creeds have come together in times of peril and injustice to silence the voices of those whose hatred and bigotry infringed upon the rights of others. It is time Americans do so again.

Women and minorities have steadfastly resisted the relentless efforts of their oppressor’s desire to return America to a time when women were treated as inferior to men and African Americans deprived of their rightful place at America’s table. Despite these repeated attempts to return America to the “good old” days of widespread disenfranchisement and government sanctioned discrimination, Americans have united to defend the oppressed and in so doing maintained America’s progress to greatness. America might be the last, best hope of mankind, but she is far from great. Evidence proving this assertion can be found in these pages stretching back 21 years. If the reader requires further proof of just how flawed America remains, this Veteran offers Marjorie Taylor Greene, an elected member of the U.S. Congress, as exhibit 1. The former fake President of the United States is exhibit 2.

This article, like many before it, is about a sickness that exists in our society and our body politic. Rather than call it racism or bigotry let us instead give this sickness a face. Let us call this illness the Taylor-Greene influenza. The symptoms are diarrhea of the mouth, deformity of the anterior insular cortex and an acute absence of any historical perspective. If left untreated, the patient deteriorates to a state of imbecility where she or he can no longer control their ignorant utterances.

We see this sickness every day in the actions of those who embrace Nazi ideology and express Confederate sympathies. In fact, this sickness exists in the very armed services who fought to end the tyranny of Nazi Germany and eliminate the scourge of slavery. The Hurtgen Forest in Germany and the rolling hills of southern PA are filled with men who gave their lives so the dream of what America might be would one day be realized. A dream that coincidently required Americans to kill Nazis and lay waste to a society that embraced slavery as a way of life. Yes, the good old days when evil was meet face to face and defeated.

It is indeed tragic to watch as the party of fiscal restraint, limited federal authority and the freedom of men to pursue their dreams without government interference abandons these principles to adopt bigotry, disinformation and obstruction as the GOP’s core beliefs. The question conservatives must ask themselves is how did the party of Eisenhower and Reagan become the party of Donald Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene? The answer is obvious. Conservatism is in retreat because we have allowed the “deplorables” to become legitimate voices in America. Do you have a better adjective to describe the former fake President of the United States, his Neo-Christian Vice President, Rudy Giuliani or the career politicians Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham?

Let there be no mistake, the battle being waged within the GOP is not just one for the soul of America’s conservative movement, but of those principles that can and must return America to the path of greatness. It is indeed depressing to know that the answers to so many of America’s most pressing problems rest within the principles of conservatism and not liberalism’s belief that social experimentation and the necessary expansion of government to conduct these experiments is necessary to achieve their version of a utopian society. Critical Race theory presents many issues for debate, but it no more explains the failures of the Great Society than voter fraud explains the former fake President of the Unites States’ loss in November 2020.

Against All Enemies

It does not take an astute observer of the American political landscape to know this Republic is in grave danger – a danger brought about in large part by the inability of the Legislative branch of our central government to function as it was intended. In fact, it has been the fault of federal legislators, a.k.a. members of Congress, that the Legislative branch has ceased to function. It has been the intent of the career politician to divide Americans into warring camps in order to secure their re-elections. We see proof of this assertion all around us but never more so than on 6 January 2021 – a day that should live in infamy.

It is true that the career politician might not have envisioned the complete breakdown of bipartisanship within the Legislative branch but that does relieve them of liability for the state of our Republic. Despite clear and convincing evidence as to the guilt of the career politician for setting Americans against one another and bankrupting our central government, the national media and many of America’s scholars continue to report that the political divisiveness created by career politicians is not a threat to our Republic. To them, the lack of bipartisanship in Washington D.C. and the division of the American people are just two issues that the major political parties must resolve. In other words, they see this catastrophe as if it were a disagreement over the funding of the next highway bill. What makes it a catastrophe is that the career politician does not care that the Legislative branch has ceased to function. The career politician only cares that the electorate remains divided thus guaranteeing their re-elections.

What has contributed to the making of this catastrophe has been the role American scholars have played or not played in the age of technology. American scholars continue to hide their heads in the sand fearing some social media warrior will expose them for uttering an opinion that offends one of these delicate flowers. Scholars on both the left and the right are to blame for abandoning their posts. Hiding in their tenured closets, these men of words are not sounding the alert that the political divisions promoted by these degenerates, liars and crooks pose a direct threat to the U.S. Constitution. Yet this exactly what the career politicians’ words and practices have done.

For decades, the national media have focused on the Executive branch as the branch whose powers must be checked when in fact it was the Legislative branch whose powers should have been checked. Unfortunately, it is too late to check those powers. The Legislative branch has already done the damage necessary to make it the greatest threat to the U.S. Constitution. The power of the purse, as Congress’ power is often called, has been so abused by Congress that the debt it has created has now brought our Republic to its knees and the last place Americans want to be is on their knees before China, North Korea, Russia or Saudi Arabia.

In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution with the intent of limiting the President’s ability to commit U.S. troops without Congressional authorization. Congress, whose members are experts at avoiding responsibility for their crimes, did in fact “authorize” the invasions of Iraq in 1991 and 2003 despite Iraq posing no threat to the United States. Without declaring war, as it was Congress’ duty to do if Iraq had posed a threat to our nation’s security, Congress made both invasions possible by issuing resolutions “authorizing” the Bush administrations to invade Iraq while leaving the next generation to pay for them. In so doing, Congress was able to avoid public responsibility for these disastrous foreign policy decisions while passing off the cost of the wars to the next generation.

It is imperative the American people understand that the checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution were not created by accident. They were created to prevent one of the three branches of government from dominating the other two branches and yet one of those branches has today come to dominate the others to such a degree that it has become an existential threat to the very document so many swore an oath to defend. It is also imperative that every Veteran understands that the U.S. Constitution is not only under attack, but it is on the cusp of irrelevancy. We saw how close the U.S Constitution came to being irrelevant on 6 January 2021. We also saw just how unprepared the defenders of the U.S. Constitution were to defend it.

Going to Ground II

In June 2018, this Newsletter posted the first edition of Going to Ground as a tribute to the efforts of the Status Quo to warn Americans of what lies in store for them if they did not change the status quo. Since this Veteran no longer feels that his efforts will change the status quo, he too is abandoning the role he accepted 21 years ago. On July 4, 2000, this Veteran began a campaign to change the status quo in America unlike any in American history. In so doing, a heavy price was paid for the sacrifices made. Although always confidant that the sacrifices were worth it since the goal was to make America safe for His little ones, this Veteran has finally realized that Americans could not care less about what happens to America’s children. Love of money has taken hold in America like a fast-spreading virus. The only problem with this virus is that there is no vaccine.

Sure, there is a small percentage of Americans who do care for America’s children just as there is a small percentage of Americans who are willing to serve their country, but they are examples of the few whose work is undone by the many. The many being the majority of Americans who are indifferent to the suffering of others and simply do not care to help those in need. The fact is we live in a nation of self-absorbed individuals who care only about their personal well-being and this is a recipe for disaster – the disaster being the collapse of our Republic from within. To be sure, it will not be a foreign power that destroys our Republic. It will be Americans who destroy what so many have sacrificed their lives to protect.

The article below is by one of this Veteran’s favorite conservative voices. Mr. Brooks has long been a favorite of this Newsletter and his examination of the American people below is spot on as the British would say. Too bad it is also what will spell the end of America as the last, best hope of mankind.  Therefore, let the words of David Brooks be the last that appear in the Newsletter because they capture what this Veteran has learned over the past 21 years. America’s fall from grace is not only accelerating but it is well deserved.

 Our Pathetic Herd Immunity Failure

By David Brooks May 6, 2021 The New York Times

Could today’s version of America have been able to win World War II? It hardly seems possible.

That victory required national cohesion, voluntary sacrifice for the common good and trust in institutions and each other. America’s response to Covid-19 suggests that we no longer have sufficient quantities of any of those things.

In 2020 Americans failed to socially distance and test for the coronavirus and suffered among the highest infection and death rates in the developed world. Millions decided that wearing a mask infringed their individual liberty.

This week my Times colleague Apoorva Mandavilli reported that experts now believe that America will not achieve herd immunity anytime soon. Instead of largely beating this disease it could linger, as a more manageable threat, for generations. A major reason is that about 30 percent of the U.S. population is reluctant to get vaccinated.

We’re not asking you to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima; we’re asking you to walk into a damn CVS.

Americans have always been an individualistic people who don’t like being told what to do. But in times of crisis, they have historically still had the capacity to form what Alexis de Tocqueville called a “social body,” a coherent community capable of collective action. During World War I, for example, millions served at home and abroad to win a faraway war, responding to recruiting posters that read “I Want You” and “Americans All.”

That basic sense of peoplehood, of belonging to a common enterprise with a shared destiny, is exactly what’s lacking today. Researchers and reporters who talk to the vaccine-hesitant find that the levels of distrust, suspicion and alienation that have marred politics are now thwarting the vaccination process. They find people who doubt the competence of the medical establishment or any establishment, who assume as a matter of course that their fellow countrymen are out to con, deceive and harm them.

This “the only person you can trust is yourself” mentality has a tendency to cause people to conceive of themselves as individuals and not as citizens. Derek Thompson of The Atlantic recently contacted more than a dozen people who were refusing to get a Covid-19 vaccine. They often used an argument you’ve probably heard, too: I’m not especially vulnerable. I may have already gotten the virus. If I get it in the future it won’t be that bad. Why should I take a risk on an experimental vaccine?

They are reasoning mostly on a personal basis. They are thinking about what’s right for them as individuals more than what’s right for the nation and the most vulnerable people in it. It’s not that they are rebuking their responsibilities as citizens; it apparently never occurs to them that they might have any. When Thompson asked them to think in broader terms, they seemed surprised and off balance.

The causes of this isolation and distrust are as plentiful as there are stars in the heavens. But there are a few things we can say. Most of the time distrust is earned distrust. Trust levels in any society tend to be reasonably accurate representations of how trustworthy that society has been. Trust is the ratio of the times someone has shown up for you versus the times somebody has betrayed you. Marginalized groups tend to be the most distrustful, for good reasons — they’ve been betrayed.

The other thing to say is that once it is established, distrust tends to accelerate. If you distrust the people around you because you think they have bad values or are out to hurt you, then you are going to be slow to reach out to solve common problems. Your problems will have a tendency to get worse, which seems to justify and then magnify your distrust. You have entered a distrust doom loop.

A lot of Americans have seceded from the cultural, political and social institutions of national life. As a result, the nation finds it hard to perform collective action. Our pathetic Covid response may not be the last or worst consequence of this condition.

How do you rebuild trust? At the local level you recruit diverse people to complete tangible tasks together, like building a park. At the national level you demonstrate to people in concrete ways that they are not forgotten, that someone is coming through for them.

Which brings us to Joe Biden. The Biden agenda would pour trillions of dollars into precisely those populations who have been left out and are most distrustful — the people who used to work in manufacturing and who might now get infrastructure jobs, or the ones who care for the elderly. This money would not only ease their financial stress, but it would also be a material display that someone sees them, that we are in this together. These measures, if passed, would be extraordinary tangible steps to reduce the sense of menace and threat that undergirds this whole psychology.

The New Deal was an act of social solidarity that created the national cohesion we needed to win World War II. I am not in the habit of supporting massive federal spending proposals. But in this specific context — in the midst of a distrust doom loop — this is our best shot of reversing the decline.

Life in America

The 2021 Winter Storms edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to those Texans who suffered needlessly as a result of the greed and incompetence of their elected officials. Having been forced to recognize the failures of Texas’ power grid scheme in 2011 by a similar weather event, Texas Republicans past and present had ten (10) years to address the systemic failures of the current distribution system. However, they opted to ignore the lessons of the past and the question we need to be asking is why. This conservative Veteran believes that Republicans who control Texas government ignored these obvious failures because they knew that to transform the confusing and unworkable system to a more practical and reliable system would force them to admit their one-of-a-kind distribution scheme is rooted in the bankrupt idea that “free markets” are always a better path to govern than through government regulation.

Only the Strong Survive

During Winter Storms Uri and Viola, the Republican Party’s unwritten policies of greed and indifference to the suffering of others were on full display for the world to see. The rejection of good governance by embracing convoluted schemes of power distribution under the guise of “free markets” led to the suffering of millions of Texans. We know this to be true because we saw it with our own eyes. Moreover, it was also the cause of death for many of Texas’ most vulnerable residents. The first official number of dead from these two storms is 57 as of 17 March 2021. For this alone, Texas Republicans should be ashamed only we, San Antonians, know they are incapable of feeling shame. They revel in their indifference while lacking the courage to admit when they are wrong.

Let the record reflect it was in February 2021 that the Republican Party’s infatuation with free markets was shown to be just a façade. Greed is what Republicans are infatuated with and no amount of spin can change that fact. Indeed there is no doubt that free markets have their place in a democratic society. In fact, they are key to the success in the 21st century as they operate for the most part better than markets regulated by government. This is a lesson taught to us by history and our own national experience. However, free markets have their place in American society and controlling the distribution of electricity is not one of them.

Free markets currently govern America’s health care system and look how well it functions. A well-oiled machine if what you call success is obesity, diabetes, drug addiction and bankruptcy. Americans should be ashamed of what we call “health care” but then again we, as Americans, know we are incapable of shame. We shutter at the idea of offending some wallflower by speaking truth to power but we could not care less that rape-kits sit untested in the basements of local government allowing serial rapists to prey upon our women and children. We do live in a society tuned upside down where might makes right and the less fortunate are expendable. America is not about survivable of the fittest. America is or was about the common good not the almighty dollar.

It is hard to imagine a more convincing example of the failure of the free-market approach than what we witnessed in Texas this past February. It is also hard to imagine more persuasive evidence of the indifference of Texas Republicans than their race to blame renewable energy for the cause of the February 2021 power outages. Men like Governor Abbott used photographs from 2015 depicting helicopters de-icing wind turbines in Sweden as proof that renewable energy was the cause of the power outages in Texas in 2021. It seems lying has become the Republican Party go-to-response when asked to explain its failed public policies. The question every conservative should want answered is when and where did this sickness come from?

As if to make sure everyone knew what Texas Republicans think of their constituents, the “former” Mayor of Colorado City, TX informed his constituents during the storms that “Only the strong will survive and the weak will perish.” How pathetic. How Republican. Yet, to be fair to Mayor Boyd, he was simply posting to social media what many Americans have come to know as the motto of the Republican Party. When Mayor Boyd wrote, “No one owes you or your family anything” and “Folks God has given us the tools to support ourselves in times like this,” he was simply relaying the message the Republican Party has been sending the American people since the days of Newt Gingrich.

If Americans are interested to know when Neo-Christians and Neo-Conservatives (see previous edition of the Newsletter) began to control the Republican Party from the far-right, they need look to 1994 when Newt Gingrich became the Speaker of the House. The “Contract with America” turned out to be just another silly slogan that Republicans used to gain re-election. It was similar to the same silly slogans Democrats have used in the past to secure election. Hope and Change will always be my favorite. How ironic that the Democrats threw away that hope and change when they nominated Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton for President- the only Presidential candidate more repugnant in the eyes of many Americans than the new to politics former Fake President of the United States. Of course we now know he is at least as repugnant as Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton if not more. And we also know that Gingrich, Hastert, DeLay, the Cunningham’s, Graham, and the invertebrate Ted Cruz, represent the new Republican Party; where lies, greed and indifference to the suffering of others are the hallmarks of effective governance when effective governance means only one thing: securing re-election

What is hard to imagine is that the Republican Party was once led by men like Dwight D. Eisenhower, Everett Dirksen, Hugh Scott, Robert Dole, John McCain, and countless other conservative politicians who understood that the principles of conservatism did not include just limited government and fiscal restraint. These men knew that compassion for one’s fellow man was a core conservative principle just as they knew the importance of demonstrating to the world that America’s commitment to good governance was proven by practicing what it preached. If these men were alive today, they would work tirelessly to remove any trace of the former Fake President of the United States’ corrupt influence from the party of Abraham Lincoln as well as isolate and defeat the fringe element of the Republican Party. We, as conservatives, united under the banner of truth, must pick up the struggle and return the Republican Party to its roots; roots so deep they extend back to a time when white men died to a make black men free.

…and the Weak will Perish

As if God wanted to remind us of the inequities that permeate our land of the free, home of the depraved, the two winter storms that claimed the lives of many across the nation delivered those inequities by way of graphic photographs, angry tweets, and cold hard facts. In an effort to ensure that all Trump devotees are not left guessing as to what the word inequities means, it is important they understand that inequities is a word used to describe something that lacks fairness or infers injustice. Not that they care about the profound inequities that exist in America just that they know what the word means should they continue to proclaim themselves Christians. It is also important for the rest of us to remember that certain words present a problem for the former Fake President of the United States and so many of his gullible followers. He like many of them have the vocabulary of a “really great” and “wonderful” fifth grader. A “tremendous” fifth grader if you know what I mean. And I think you do.

Another example of the inequities and absurdities of life in America was brought to us courtesy of the Novel Coruna virus. This inequity, which proved very deadly for the less fortunate among us, was placed on display in Los Angeles, CA for all Americans to see. It is no coincidence that this inequity occurred in Los Angeles, CA. Los Angeles, CA is home to Hollywood and Hollywood is the epitome of everything that is wrong with America. Racism, bigotry and criminal conduct brushed aside as inconsequential are the hallmarks of Hollywood and the local government it controls. To those who have never lived in the Southland, let there be no mistake that Hollywood governs Los Angeles just as the banking industry governs New York, the car industry Detroit, the oil business Texas, and money in Washington D.C. The example below is not of the countless mentally ill living along Skid Row because bleeding heart liberals in CA want government to provide room, board, and entertainment to murderers, serial rapists and fixated pedophiles. To hell with the mentally ill say the elite in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. They are mentally weak and as such should perish to steal a phrase from the far-right in Texas.

On the contrary, the example below involves the inequities of our front-line health care workers and the holiest of holies – NBA players. In November of 2020, registered nurses gathered in Los Angeles to protest the fact that UCLA’s athletic department conducted 1,248 tests in a single week while health-care workers at UCLA hospitals were denied testing. Last year, National Nurses United, the country’s largest nursing union, released the results of a survey of more than 15,000 members and about two-thirds reported they had never been tested. How pathetic.

Before the race-baiters in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Hollywood pass off the above reference to the NBA as an example of racism, it is imperative they understand the NFL is worse and MLB is close behind. From August 2020 to the end of the 2020, the NBA conducted over 675,000 coronavirus tests. How many tests were done in the black and Hispanic communities near where these stadiums are located? As for nurses and emergency personnel living and working in those communities, if they think they have been exposed, they are on their own in obtaining testing. Meanwhile the overpaid and wholly non-essential NBA player gets a test a day at no charge. These inequities are why America is no longer a country united. These inequities are why college educated Americans especially younger Americans are turning away from the Republican Party. These inequities are why America is no longer the last best hope of mankind. We, as conservatives, can change this inequity by uniting under the core principles that once made Conservatives the bedrock of American politics. Or, we can watch as our nation continues its fall from grace hoping against all hope that we are not left to perish in the ashes of the new world order.

Will Senate Republicans allow their louts to rule the party?
By George F. Will (The Washington Post, 13 February 2021, 1235 CST)

The first of this century’s national traumas is denoted by two numbers: 9/11. One purpose of, and a sufficient justification for, the second impeachment of the 45th president was to inscribe this century’s second trauma in the nation’s memory as: 1/6.

Although not nearly as tragic as 9/11 in lives lost and radiating policy consequences, 1/6 should become, as its implications percolate into the national consciousness, even more unsettling. Long before 9/11, Americans knew that foreign fanaticisms were perennial dangers. After 1/6, Americans know what their Constitution’s Framers knew: In any democracy, domestic fanaticisms always are, potentially, rank weeds that flourish when fertilized by persons who are as unscrupulous as they are prominent.

The Framers are, to the 45th president, mere rumors. They, however, knew him, as a type — a practitioner of what Alexander Hamilton (in Federalist 68) disdainfully called “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity.” Post-1/6 America has a quickened appreciation of how those “little arts,” when magnified by modern modes of mass communication as wielded by occupants of the swollen modern presidency, make civilization’s brittle crust crumble.

Intelligent people of goodwill disagree about the constitutionality of an impeachment trial of a former president. Forty-four Republican senators voted (generally less from constitutional conviction than from political convenience) to truncate the trial. They lost, but their role as jurors remained. In that constitutional role their duty was to decide whether the president’s two months of inciting what occurred on 1/6 constituted an impeachable offense. Saturday’s revelations about Donald Trump’s comportment during the riot — redundant evidence of his character, surprising to no senator — were no match for 100 senators’ unifying desire to spend a week away from the Senate.

The presentation by the House impeachment managers was a demonstration, the more welcome for its rarity, of congressional conscientiousness and meticulousness. Congress is an investigating institution, for three purposes: To establish the need for particular legislation. To provide oversight of the operation of existing laws and the institutions they undergird. And to inform voters about matters that they must understand in order for representative government to function. The investigative aspect of impeachment proceedings serves this third purpose.

Information is inherently good, and the trial was a cornucopia of information about the sights and sounds of 1/6. And about the Republican Party. Its congressional membership overwhelmingly says, and perhaps believes, that 1/6, and the low presidential intrigues that preceded it, were not violations of the presidential oath to defend the Constitution.

As the trial proceeded, there appeared a new aspirant for membership in the Republican senators’ large Lout Caucus: Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Tex.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), et al. In Ohio, Josh Mandel announced his candidacy to replace Rob Portman, the temperate conservative and meticulous legislator who is retiring in 2022. Mandel said the impeachment “got my blood boiling to the point where I decided to run.” His blood boils frequently: This will be his third Senate run.

His agenda for creating a more perfect union is “to pulverize the uni-party,” meaning “this group of Democrats and Republicans who sound exactly the same and are more interested in getting invited to the cocktail party circuit than they are in standing up for the Constitution.” With his stupefying unoriginality, Mandel sounds exactly like innumerable congressional Republicans who clawed their way to Washington by espousing an anti-Washington-cocktail-circuit stance as conservatism. Mandel has perfect pitch for populism’s rhetorical banalities.

Were he to win, he would occupy the seat once held by Robert A. Taft Sr., the son of a president, and one of the five senators (with Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John Calhoun and Robert La Follette Sr.) first honored with portraits in the Capitol’s Senate Reception Room. Taft’s wife was once asked, “Do you think of your husband as a common man?” Aghast, she replied: “Oh, no, no! The senator is very uncommon. He was first in his class at Yale and first in his class at the Harvard Law School. We wouldn’t permit Ohio to be represented in the Senate by just a common man.”

Taft was known as “Mr. Republican.” Seventy years later, Mandel is an increasingly common Republican. Today’s two major parties have framed political competition since the middle of the 19th century — since the Republicans rose from the rubble of the Whigs. An essential conservative insight about everything is that nothing necessarily endures. Care must be taken. The Republican Party will wither if the ascendant Lout Caucus is the face it presents to this nation of decent, congenial people.

2021 Inauguration Day

The 2021 Inauguration Day edition of The Status Quo: An Electronic Newsletter is dedicated to those who were not able to say goodbye to a loved via social media. From traumatized health care workers to suffering families, the pain so many endure today must fuel a movement to not only reform our governments from the ground up but also motivate us to hold accountable those enemies, foreign and domestic, whose actions and inactions have caused so much pain and suffering. Since we already know how badly we failed each other, we must document for future generations which government officials besides the former fake President of the United States betrayed us and which government offices besides the Office of the former Vice President failed us. For if we fail to hold our elected officials accountable, we will betray the memory not only of those who died needlessly but also the memory of those who sacrificed their lives to preserve a government of the people and for the people. We simply have no other choice if conservative principles are to survive.


As the third decade of the 21st century dawns, Americans can take pride in having achieved the impossible. Despised around the world for decades, Americans have reached a new low in foreign relations. In 2020, Americans were not only despised around the world but are now held in contempt by their enemies and pitied by their allies. Pitied by their allies for supporting a pathological liar who left them to fend for themselves in the face of a global pandemic while being held in contempt by their enemies for allowing career politicians to divide them into warring camps, the American people must understand the consequences of abandoning personal responsibility and embracing a corrupt political process beholden to money. How much longer will the American people tolerate a broken Legislative branch? It is destroying the future of our children and grandchildren.

For over twenty years, this Veteran has demonstrated how easily career politicians are manipulated into serving interests other than the national interest. Two examples of this manipulation should provide ample evidence of just how easily career politicians both red and blue are used to serve interests other than those of the American people. In 2003, many Americans first became familiar with the term Neoconservative or Neo-con. Neo-conservatism is or was a political movement born during the 1960s among liberal hawks (war mongers) who became disenchanted with the increasingly pacifist foreign policy of the Democratic Party. These warmongers became disillusioned with the growing political power of the “New Left” and their desire to end the war in Vietnam. They saw the anti-war protests as somehow damaging to American foreign policy and they labeled the “New Left” anti-American. Sound familiar?

As much pain and suffering as “Neo-cons” brought to the U.S. Armed Forces, their families and the Iraqi people, the newest group of charlatans manipulating our elected officials are aiming to inflict a different type of damage on our country. These charlatans are Neo-Christians. These new or “neo” Christians represent a new form of Christianity; one that embraces greed and lust for power while discarding compassion for the suffering of those in need. It is their hope that they can turn Jesus Christ into a partisan political tool and in many instances they have succeeded. Some call themselves Evangelicals while others call themselves Fundamentalists but what they are not is Christian.

The real damage these Neo-Christians are inflicting upon America is that they are displacing two of conservatism’s core principles with an unmitigated lust for power and a greed that knows no bounds. The displaced principles referenced above are an adherence to the rule of law and a personal commitment to the Judeo-Christian values that once made America the last best hope of mankind. This displacement has left the Republican Party a political organization without honor. The fact that these Neo-Christians reject the rule of law by embracing poor governance is why our former fake President failed to protect us from enemies both foreign and domestic. No better example exists to prove this assertion than how our former fake President dismissed warnings from multiple U.S. intelligence services that Russia prevents a clear and present danger to America and the Neo-Christians still supported him. The damage Russia has done to our government is only now coming to light.

If conservatives are truly afraid that President Biden or any other Democrat is going take away their guns, expand the federal government to rival the bureaucracy of the former Soviet Union and dismantle our national defense, they must coalesce around the principles of good governance, fiscal responsibility, a strong but intelligent national defense, a limited exercise of federal authority, and the true tenants of free enterprise. Moreover, conservatives must do these things while shedding the career politicians and the lunatic fringe created by our former fake President in favor of women, minorities who have suffered from an oppressive system of injustice and most importantly those Americans who have turned away from Christianity because so many of its leaders both Catholic and Protestant have made Christianity appear so perverse. Unfortunately, this will not be easy because the party of conservatives no longer exists. The fire sale for its proverbial soul occurred 4 years ago and the buyer was Donald J. Trump – the now former Fake President of the United States (FFPOTUS).

Greedy Old Patriarchs and the Lunatic Fringe

When Rudy Giuliani is the spokesmen for a fake President, it is time to acknowledge that truth no longer has a place in the Republican Party. When Ted Cruz becomes the arbiter of truth, we must understand the truth will never see the light of day. When Lindsay Graham embodies the idea of self-sacrifice, the idea loses its meaning. It is time to remove the cancer of political expediency that has spread throughout the Republican Party since the first great lie was told by a Republican President in 2003. The Republican Party has now propagated two despicable lies and its members do not seem to care to hold those responsible accountable. What is ironic is that only the core principles of conservatism can save America from the coming tide of failed social programs, a weakened national defense, and a renewed effort to place blame where it does not belong. Let Conservative Americans place the blame where it belongs and the first place to start is with Donald Trump and his lackey Mike Pence – the most dangerous Neo-Christian of all.

Goodbye Principled Conservatism
By Bret Stephens, New York Times, October 30, 2020.

If Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court turns out to be the last major act of a one-term Trump presidency, it will be a fitting finale. Republicans, like the Federalist Party of yore, will consolidate power in the judiciary. Apart from that, they will have spent the past four years squandering their reputation, forsaking their principles, and trashing the kind of political culture they once claimed to hold dear.

As victories go, the word Pyrrhic comes to mind.

How did the conservative movement reach this pass? Hemingway’s great line about how one goes bankrupt — “gradually, then suddenly” — seems apt. But the tipping point arrived on a precise date: July 20, 2015. That was the day Rush Limbaugh came to Trump’s political rescue after the developer nearly self-immolated with his remark that John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, refusing early release at the price of gruesome torture, should not be considered a war hero.

“This is a great, great teachable moment here, this whole thing with Trump and McCain,” Limbaugh gushed. Americans, he said, “have not seen an embattled public figure stand up for himself, double down and tell everybody to go to hell.”

Here was a stunning moral inversion. Limbaugh turned public respect for McCain’s wartime record into an act of surrender to political correctness. And he treated Trump’s shamelessness as an expression of moral courage. It set the template for the campaign, and presidency, that followed. Every time Trump lied, broke a promise, humiliated a subordinate, insulted a stranger, bullied an ally, tweeted something vile, said something idiotic, threatened to blow up NATO, and otherwise violated moral, political and institutional norms, his appeal among the Republican base didn’t decline. It rose. As far as they were concerned, he wasn’t embarrassing himself or degrading the country. He was “owning the libs” — hoisting them, as his supporters saw it, on their own petard of priggish propriety.

This form of politics — not as a complement to statecraft, but as the outpouring of resentment — is what has come to define the conservative movement in the age of Trump.

Conservatives used to admire Edmund Burke. Not anymore, insofar as Burke stood for the importance of manners and morals to the health of the state. Conservatives used to admire Milton Friedman. Not anymore, insofar as Friedman stood for free trade, sound money and a balanced budget. Conservatives used to admire Scoop Jackson. Not anymore, insofar as the Washington state Democrat was a champion of the idea that human rights should stand at the center of U.S. foreign policy. Conservatives used to admire Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Not anymore, insofar as both Reagan and Bush believed in humane immigration reform, international coalition building, standing up to Russian tyrants and, when possible, making deals with Democrats.

In place of all this, what today’s debased conservatism now boils down to is anti-liberalism. Sometimes this resembles old-fashioned conservatism, particularly when it comes to economic regulation and the judiciary. At other times it has entailed undisguised reversals of past conservative positions, such as Trump’s appeasement of North Korea or his derision of the 1994 crime bill.

But anti-liberalism is not conservatism. At its principled best, conservatism holds that liberal ends — the right of the individual to enjoy the maximum degree of freedom compatible with the right of his neighbor to do the same — are best secured by conservative means. Those means are the practices, beliefs and institutions that, for the most part, lie outside the state: stable families, religious communities, voluntary associations, productive businesses, the habits of a free mind. Ultimately, the goal of conservative politics is to produce competent citizens capable of responsible self-government.

Anti-liberalism, by contrast, seeks self-serving ends through illiberal means. The ends are the benefits that accrue from the possession of political power, ethnic dominance, or economic advantage. The means are the demonization of competitors for power and the delegitimization of people, laws, and norms that stand for the ideals of an open society. In this sense, Trump’s Ukraine gambit was the quintessence of anti-liberal politics: a self-serving and secretive use of raw power to threaten the security of an embattled democratic ally in order to criminalize a domestic political opponent.

It’s true that Trump did not quite get away with that gambit, thanks to a courageous whistle-blower, just as he didn’t get away with some of his other his anti-liberal efforts, like canceling the U.S.-South Korea free-trade agreement, firing Robert Mueller or terminating DACA (for now). But if anti-liberalism can still meet effective opposition within government, that’s mainly because Trump is often an inept practitioner of his own brand of politics. Another four years in office, however, will only embolden him, entrench his cronies, and inspire his imitators.