Conrad Black is usually at his best when he uses a broad brush to place a current situation within a broader context, often incorporating historical references to enlighten. Today he takes on the 2020 Election Hoax. Black covers a lot of ground quickly, but I thought his comments regarding the disgraceful conduct of the SCOTUS and the disturbing totalitarian tendencies of the Media--which used to be considered virtually a Fourth Branch of our government, and is certainly a co-equal branch of the Establishment:
If the United States cannot, in Lincoln's words, “bind up the nation’s wounds,” and re-emerge as a strong democracy, the end of Western Civilization is in sight.
I'll skip over Black's judicious remarks about the election generally as well as his remarks about AG Barr's misguided judgment calls. I think he pretty much nails--in a few brief sentences--the rot in our public institutions that is exemplified by the craven behavior of the SCOTUS (although he fails to understand the precise nature of Texas' complaint) and our Media lords:
The refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal from the state of Texas, joined by 18 other states, is an outright abdication. ... Where the courts don’t exercise their jurisdiction, a vacuum arises which is likely to be filled by lawlessness, and potentially, even violent lawlessness.
The United States has become a country where a majority of Americans—people of good will from both parties—believe presidential elections are not conducted honestly. (Think back to the contested election of 2000.) An overwhelming majority do not trust the media, which, in political matters, is effectively a totalitarian enterprise slandering the Republicans and censoring criticism of the Democrats.
The Supreme Court has declined to opine on the most important question that possibly can be legitimately brought before it ...
Who can doubt that the Texas lawsuit--representing fully half the nation in various capacities--touched directly on the very nature of our constitutional order, the nature of our political and social compact? Nor, as Black points out, is this an entirely new crisis in our political order. After all, a solid majority of Americans, embracing significant percentages of Dems as well as Republicans, believe this was a Steal--an Election Hoax. That such large numbers of Americans are willing to believe that reflects a long experience of fraudulent elections, with recent decades returning to the most blatantly fraudulent practices of the past. The SCOTUS' failure to seriously address the concerns of the nation is a stunning abdication of responsibility. In the circumstances, to say that the nation deserved better than a brief, two paragraph order that relied on a blatant misrepresentation and questionable application of a suspect legal 'doctrine' is an understatement. The SCOTUS--the constitutional institution that represents our proud dedication to rule of law as a principle of our political and social order--has quite simply delegitimized itself.
Black does well to include in his excoriation of the SCOTUS his remarkable characterization of of American media as "effectively a totalitarian enterprise." While Black frames that characterization here in terms of partisan electoral politics, the role of the media in advancing successive hoaxes over the past two decades cannot be ignored as part of the bigger picture. Surely the SCOTUS cannot ignore the implications of remaining, essentially, silent in the face of a barrage of disinformation, much of which is framed in legal contexts. Sadly, Bill Barr shares the blame in that respect, but the SCOTUS is our pre-eminent legal institution. Its abdication speaks volumes with respect to the disarray in our constitutional order brought on by the many decades of Leftist assaults in politics, the media, and in our educational institutions.
Black expands on the state of American media in a separate paragraph. His comments are in the context of the media's determined suppression of information critical to an informed choice for voters, but also in the broader context of almost universal distrust of this key societal institution by the broader range of American society:
... The severity with which practically all of the media and social media denounced and ignored suggestions of potential misconduct by former Vice President Biden and his family, including suspending the Twitter account of the New York Post, the country’s oldest newspaper, and of the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, is indicative of the undemocratic tendencies of the media and it helps to explain why professionally conducted surveys uniformly show that fewer than 15 percent of Americans trust the media. A free press is an indispensable pillar of a functioning democracy, but is now in the United States a despised, corrupted, and shriveled facsimile of the reliable and fearless media a vibrant democracy requires.
Black concludes with two telling references to American history:
If the United States cannot, in Lincoln’s words, “bind up the nation’s wounds,” and re-emerge as a strong democracy, the end of Western Civilization is in sight. It remains the indispensable country, and as Richard Nixon said in 1970: “No power on earth can . . . defeat or humiliate the United States, except the United States.” The whole world is watching as vital history is made.
While that evaluation may sound hyperbolic, a careful consideration of Black's words should be enough to persuade otherwise. Western civilization rests, ultimately, on deeply religious foundations, and it is precisely those foundations that have been under determined attack in the United States since at least the last decades of the 19th century. In Europe that attack dates further back and the process of dissolution as regards anything that could be credibly termed Western civilization is far advanced. Unfortunately, the self humiliation of our key constitutional and societal institutions has accelerated in the decades since the emergence of the New Left. President Trump--a flawed man in his personal life--has consistently sounded a call for a spiritual return to the roots of Western civilization, realizing that only that will ever Make America Great Again. Will America listen? As Black says, "The whole world is watching ..."