The year is 2021. After a dozen years of left-progressive governance, the United States is a wreck.
Her foreign and defense policies are a global laughingstock.
Churches refusing to follow government dictates have been driven underground. The family, once the structural core for a stable nation, is a twisted contraption incapable of holding itself together. Schools are propaganda factories with zombie-like children learning to parrot left-progressive creeds.
The Constitution has been stretched so far by authoritarians that its restraints on power no longer have any teeth or meaning.
Under a new national healthcare system, hospitals have shut down, doctors are taking down their shingles and cashing in on off-shore investments, and the quality of healthcare has crumbled.
Left-progressive California-style tax policies have gutted the economy and closed businesses, resulting in near-catastrophic unemployment. Bureaucrats forge new taxing schemes to try to fend off the inevitable impasse of too little revenue to fund a ravenous federal budget.
The people are fed up in 2021, sick of platitudes and high-sounding promises. Candidate Jared Hollister, appearing as a charismatic conservative, promises to transform America. Hollister wins the presidency. It turns out he is no more a true conservative than left-progressives are classical liberals. Within months, the nation learns just how extreme President Hollister is and how rabid in his determination to transform America.
The authors of the American Constitution, he believes, were too sympathetic with the chaotic radicalism of eighteenth century revolutionary France. Only Nietzschean strength can rescue America from its decay. President Hollister spews executive orders to correct the distortions he sees in the Constitution.
Congress is an assembly of hapless politicians to be ignored, he believes. Then there's the problem of the states and their governors, many of whom are concerned over the tyrannical federalism stomping over the American landscape.
President Hollister orders federal troops to undertake Operation Sapphire Rudder. Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force contingents will maneuver in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The governors wonder why their states were chosen. Concerned over Hollister's despotic tendencies they alert their own state soldieries to monitor the situation carefully.
Important media voices laud the New England governors for their wisdom and courage, reminding everyone of the danger of right-wing autocrats ...
This fictional scenario bears at least some resemblance to what Texas Governor Greg Abbott faces as the U.S. Army Special Operations Command prepares to launch Operation Jade Helm this July in Texas, and several other western states. Abbott has instructed the Texas State Guard to monitor the training program. This has evoked heaps of scorn from left-progressive voices, as well as from some in his own party.
What would left-progressive governors and media voices be saying if that far-right "President Hollister" were doing the unsettling things Barack Obama, a committed left-progressive with an avowed determination to transform America, has done?
Perhaps I am naïve, but I do not question President Obama's love for America. However, his goal of transformation infers there may be an America that needs to disappear. The hard fact of national metamorphosis is that old America is the caterpillar that must go so the butterfly—the new America—can spring forth.
Mr. Obama will certainly protect that new nation, but its emergence depends on the elimination of the old. There are important tools to accomplish that, ranging from the manipulation of borders to defense and foreign policies that seem reckless, policies that teeter at the edge of violating Tenth Amendment states' rights, and federal spending that drains personal pockets and local and state budgets.
Abbott is depicted as a paranoid lunatic, a nut who believes the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force—all of whom will be involved in the Jade Helm operation—are invading Texas. But Abbott is no more a wacko than was Winston Churchill in the 1930s when he was derided for his concerns about an idealistic prime minister and Parliament naïve about the dangers to their nation.
Is Abbott a nut or a Churchillian seer?
Abbott is a devout Catholic Christian who believes the Bible. He knows the responsibility Saint Paul, inspired, according to Abbott's faith, by the Holy Spirit, places on those in civil office. In Romans 13 the tasks of legitimate civil authority can be summed up as defending the innocent, enforcing justice, and encouraging good.
Paul writes Timothy that we are to pray for all in authority over us so that we can live "peaceful" and "quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity." The inference is that those authorities for whom we are to pray have our backs so we can go about our routines and relationships without worry.
When a governing official dismisses and skirts constitutional restraints on his or her power there is the grim prospect they will turn on us. History is laden with examples of such ignominy.
It's not the American military Governor Abbott believes needs monitoring, but it's the American military under the philosophies of its present Commander-in-Chief. Laugh at Greg Abbott if you wish, but as an adoptive Texan of more than thirty years, I am grateful he understands his responsibilities.
And given that Abbott is the leader of the state with perhaps America's most porous border, the whole nation should appreciate his concern about what happens in the territory he governs.
Pray for Barack Obama and for Greg Abbott and for all in authority in these complex times.