July 2nd, 2022


Sanctity and Dispossession

Mark Steyn

By Mark Steyn

Published Nov. 8, 2016

Sanctity and Dispossession

Marina Santos: Dust but verify

The latest amusing electoral intervention by James Comey? As I wrote on the very day the FBI Director "re-opened" the Hillary investigation:

I suppose if you've run one sham investigation there's no harm in running a second.

And so it proved.

~Meanwhile, longtime Clinton aide Doug Band says Chelsea used Clinton Foundation money to pay for her wedding. Charity begins at home, and a home as lavish as Chelsea's needs a lot of charity. Oddly, the IRS' investigations into the legitimacy of 501(c)3 organizations never seem to get anywhere near the Clintons. But, as with the Department of Justice, everyone seems to have gotten used to the ruling party's annexation of the national revenue agency.

~America needs immigrants to do the jobs that Americans won't do - like seasonal fruit-picking, mowing your lawn, and handling top-secret classified documents. Behold a headline for our times:

Clinton Directed Her Maid To Print Out Classified Materials

Well, you can't expect Hillary to stroll to the photocopier herself, can you? Mrs Clinton regrets she's unable to print today, madam:

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton routinely asked her maid to print out sensitive government e-mails and documents - including ones containing classified information - from her house in Washington, DC, e-mails and FBI memos show. But the housekeeper lacked the security clearance to handle such material.

As usual, America's money-no-object federal bureaucracy went to the trouble of installing in Mrs Clinton's home a SCIF ("Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility") that only those with top security clearances are meant to be able to access - and then Hillary let her Filipina maid have the run of it. These materials are so sensitive that, even when they're coughed up to these inquiries and investigations, they're heavily redacted: You can't see them but Marina Santos sees everything: She's J Edgar with a Hoover. On Her Majesty's Secret Servant. For Your And Your Servants' Eyes Only. Hillary erased the distinction between the intelligence service, the diplomatic service and domestic service - because to her they're all servants, and who can tell the difference?

~This election more than most has clarified who counts and who doesn't. So here's the chief magistrate of a republic of laws shooting the breeze with a core constituency ahead of Election Day and inviting the massed ranks of the Undocumented-American community to come on down:

Let's play that back in slow motion. You, Joe Schmoe of 27b Elm Street, can't get near the citizen-representative who heads your government without undergoing a background check. Yet, if you belong to favored identity groups, you get to propose wholesale lawbreaking in a one-on-one interview:

'Dreamers, undocumented citizens - and I call them "citizens" because they contribute to this country - are fearful of voting. So, if I vote, will Immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?

Many years ago, when I bought my pad in the Granite State, I had an urge to attend a traditional small-town New Hampshire Town Meeting in the school gym, so I asked the Town Clerk if she'd mind if I showed up. After all, like the "undocumented citizen" above, I "contributed" to my town as a property taxpayer and whatnot.

"You can come and watch," she said. "and I'm glad you're interested. But I'm going to let the Moderator know. You seem like a nice young man, but there'll be trouble if he sees you mouthing 'Aye' or 'Nay'."

The man who solemnly swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States might usefully have tried a variant of my Town Clerk's line: "You seem like a nice young lady, but there'll be trouble if these 'undocumented citizens' of yours show up to vote. Because they're not citizens, and so that's a crime."

Instead, the President assures her and her fellow "undocumented citizens" that they've got nothing to worry about:

First of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself.

The young woman nods her head, taking this strange inversion of the legal position (which is that, when you are a citizen, you vote) as confirmation of her own definition of "undocumented citizenship". And then he expands:

There is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, etc. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential.

So knock yourself out, "undocumented citizens". There's seven billion people on the planet, and that'd be a helluva Hillary landslide.

Professor Jonathan Turley, who is generally a smart but fair man of liberal bent, thinks the President's answer is "clear" that an "undocumented person cannot vote" and that any "confusion" arises from the "poorly crafted question". With respect, the question is perfectly clear - the interviewer is brazenly advocating mass lawbreaking of the defining act of representative government - and the principal representative of that government is most certainly not clear in slapping such a provocation down. Despite Professor Turley's best efforts, the President is at the very least nudging and winking at the mass organized subversion of the central rite of free societies.

Thus the post-constitutional order: It's totally outrageous for Trump to undermine the legitimacy of the democratic process by suggesting the election is rigged, but it's fine and dandy for the President to undermine the legitimacy of the democratic process by urging foreigners to rig it.

~Down Under, my old friend John O'Sullivan writes on Trump without illusions:

David Blankenhorn, the president of a small conservative think-tank devoted largely to reversing the decline of the American family, discovered that he didn't know a single person who intended to vote for Donald Trump. He felt that was wrong in someone whose title was president of the Institute for American values. So he set off on a drive around America's South-East-an electoral stronghold of Trumpism-to meet Trump voters and to find out what makes them tick. The results are collected in his article in the current American Interest magazine.

Among other things he found that the Trump voters were realistic, even cynical, about Trump. Those who supported him most strongly did so because they liked the fact that he was not bound by political correctness in speaking about immigration and similar issues. Paradoxically, some of the same people disliked his insults to others, his use of profane language, and his inability to control his own mouth-but liked what one might call his political profanities all the same. That lack of illusion about Trump helps explain why he has not been destroyed by the scandals plaguing him. They've been "factored in"...

As one voter said: "What's the worst thing that can happen? He doesn't do what he says he going to do? I've seen that for the last thirty years."

John characterizes Trump supporters thus:

They are united by a feeling that the America they have known and loved, with its habits of trust and voluntary co-operation, is being replaced by a more stratified and less democratic society. If they are dispossessed of anything, they are culturally dispossessed.

That's what ties them to Brexit voters and similar rumblings on the Continent. John O'Sullivan disputes that this is "populism", as that term has traditionally been understood. Most of his National Review colleagues continue to insist that, whatever it is, it's certainly not "conservatism". Whatever happens tomorrow, that argument will go on. My own view is that it's cultural conservatism - which is certainly a strain of conservatism, and arguably the most fundamental. Following the doings of a political elite that hires Filipina maids to print out classified documents and pays for its daughters' multi-million-dollar nuptials with tax-deductible "charity" donations and encourages foreigners to undermine its elections, the ruled feel ever more remote from their rulers - and, in their own decaying and/or demographically transformed neighborhoods, they're denied even the consolations of culture.

Whether such people are a majority, as in the Brexit vote, we won't know till tomorrow night. But there are an awful lot of them to dismiss as entirely irrelevant to America's future - at least when compared to all those "undocumented citizens" the President is so anxious to pander to. Democrats' and many Republicans' message to the "culturally dispossessed" is to shut up, and get used to - what's the phrase? - "living in the shadows".

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Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human rights activist. His latest book is "The Undocumented Mark Steyn: Don't Say You Weren't Warned". (Buy it at a 32% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 50% discount by clicking here. Sales help fund JWR)