America needs regime change — not in the essential form of Constitutional government, but departure from the contemporary regime of power that dominates American politics.
Rather than violent overthrow or foreign invasion, America needs regime change from within as specified by the Declaration of Independence: "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends (i.e., the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness") it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government."
The regime of power that has dominated American politics for decades is as old as the presidency of Republican Theodore Roosevelt and as recent as that of Democrat Barack Obama. A Hillary Clinton presidency would most certainly continue it.
If Donald Trump does not recognize the need for such regime change, he will become one more functionary of the old regime.
If he understands the need for regime change Trump could go down as one of our greatest presidents, hailed by history as the leader who saved American exceptionalism, resurrected constitutional government, and made "power to the people" an actuality rather than a manipulative slogan used by tyrants.
If, on the other hand, Trump "fixes" everything through Executive Order, emergency powers, Constitution-ignoring, and Congressional disregard he will simply be a continuation of the old regime.
There are at least four major areas where a different regime of power with a fresh policy worldview both domestically and internationally is needed.
1. There must be a return to Transcendence as essential in the governing worldview described in the Declaration of Independence.
Power is seized, but genuine authority is granted from the higher to the lower. The only person who can be trusted with high authority is the man or woman submitted to Highest Authority. Thus the American founders began with the recognition that the fundamental rights of the people come from their Creator, not the regime. The essential purpose of government, they said, is to protect those God-given rights.
A regime that does not recognize the Creator first does not see itself accountable to anything beyond itself. All tyrannies spring from that attitude.
Secularists smirk at biblical Christians, but we are deeply concerned about rulers who see themselves as de facto deities accountable only to themselves. History fans our angst.
However, the quality of deity to whom leaders give account makes a huge difference because people resemble what they worship. A cruel, cold, and demanding god will produce a cruel, cold and demanding theocracy. Transcendence must mean an awareness and appreciation for the equilibrium between justice and grace in the Judeo-Christian worldview that is the core of our founding principles.
If Donald Trump does not understand this he will be nothing more than a repeat of a Mussolini promising to get the trains running on time through the use of dictatorial muscle. He will prove that nationalistic Fascism and Marxist Socialism are of the same repressive, regulating, smothering cloth
2. We must have a new regime that recognizes the fundamental God-given right stated in the Declaration — the Right to Life.
The GOP platform takes a firm position against abortion, and strong opposition to Planned Parenthood funding, but its presidential candidate could not find space in a 76-minute speech to state his support for the right to life.
Party platforms are quickly forgotten. Will Trump topple the old regime that beatifies Margaret Sanger, defends the merchants of baby-parts, and excludes from its ever-expanding list of rights the essential right of an infant-in-the-womb to life outside the womb?
Sadly, given his contradictory statements through the years, and omission of the issue from his acceptance speech, we don't really know — though we do know where Hillary stands.
3. The new regime of power must understand the true nature of the enemy that wants to destroy our nation, and our entire civilization.
Leaders who don't understand the adversary throw open the gates of their countries in fits of utopian idealism. Citizens of European nations — especially Germany right now — have good reason to wonder if their national leadership has their backs.
Europe has lost sight of its core identity as Judeo-Christian. If we don't know who we are we don't know what our interests are, wrote Samuel Huntington. Thus, Europe is up for grabs.
Secretary of State John Kerry is a high priest of the present regime, entrusted with America's international relations. Awhile back, he opined that most people do not want to live by "something that was written down ... two thousand years ago." Last week Kerry pronounced air conditioners and refrigerators as big a threat as ISIS-style terrorism. Kerry demonstrated that the regime that must be replaced is dangerously blind to the nature of the adversary.
For good reason many of us are still concerned about the depth of Donald Trump's faith, his commitment to its principles and values, and his grasp of its connection to the worldview that made America great in the first place.
The warp effect of power astounded me as a young man working in the Nixon White House. Reality is terribly distorted within the iron-fenced compound at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If the holder of the nation's highest office doesn't have strong identity formed by healthy spirituality, a worldview that connects the dots between the transcendent and the immanent, and a sound philosophy of power compelling a sense of accountability, that leader succumbs easily to the lure of the belief and style of the old regime, and plunges into the power warp.
The United States will not survive another four to eight years of that. One hopes Donald Trump understands, because Hillary Clinton does not.