American Consequences - March 2021


W. Bush might not have gotten into the White House). And yet the election wasn’t “stolen.” I speak from some experience here. As a reporter, I’ve covered every U.S. presidential election since 1972. I’ve also covered elections in Paraguay, the Philippines, South Korea, Panama, and the U.K. during the Brexit vote. Furthermore, thanks to my involvement with the non- partisan pro-democracy Freedom House organization (see my “Price of Freedom” article in this month’s issue) and with the approval of the U.S. State Department, I was an “International Independent Poll Watcher” during the 1990 Nicaraguan election where Violeta Chamorro defeated Danny Ortega and the 1996 Russian election where Boris Yeltsin was reelected. I’ve seen elections that were definitely stolen (the Philippines) and elections that were definitely not stolen despite their surprise outcomes (Brexit and Trump in 2016) and elections where everything possible was done to steal them and they came out honest anyway (Nicaragua). Neither the Democratic nor the Republican party has the kind of organizational strength and coherence, let alone the kind of police powers, that would enable them to achieve a true election theft. Oh, come on, PJ! It’s all about the captains and the kings. The 2020 election cycle really showed our top billionaires in action. Now we’re supposed to pretendwe didn’t see anything so our house of cards doesn’t fall down. We get it. OK, conspiracy theories aren’t real. Wink wink. Everybody gets 10 lashes with Occum’s razor strap. Peace out. –Thea M. P.J. O’Rourke Response: Thea, I give you points

for your reference to “Recessional,” Rudyard Kipling’s magnificent poem about the end of empire...

The tumult and the shouting dies; The Captains and the Kings depart: Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, An humble and a contrite heart.

But I think that what our 2020 election cycle most clearly showed was our nation’s deep left/right division about what the empire that is America should be and do. Whatever America is or does, I hope, in my humble and contrite heart, it’s no house of cards. And as for Occam’s razor, I lash conspiracy theories – as well as myself – with the philosophical principle that “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.” That is to say, “The simplest explanation is most likely to be correct.” So, to bring this back to politics, I don’t think the American left is complexly wrong in a highly structured manner, I think it’s simply wrong. We should look at our situation with open eyes – no winking. Or blinking. Or nodding. (P.S., I wouldn’t like Trump for a King. And I wouldn’t care to go into a battle with Biden as my Captain.) PJ, Have loved your work for decades. As to conspiracy theories, I have only a couple of words: JFK Assassination. Once you start to recognize even just a little of what happened before, during & after that obvious coup, some other “conspiracy theories” start to make sense. Also, do a little reading about the history of the CIA. – Rick F.

American Consequences


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